58% of hospitality employers increased their benefits

New data has found that more than half (58%) of businesses in the hospitality industry have increased their benefits package in the past year.

The first quarterly Caterer.com hospitality hiring insider report, which gathered the views of 250 hospitality employers and 2,000 consumers, highlighted how the sector has boosted employee benefits to attract talent after a rise in vacancies since its reopening following the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

The research revealed that 80% of businesses are offering other pay and work-life benefits such as bonuses, 81% are providing personal development programmes, 83% are allowing flexible shift patterns and 77% are giving out free meals.

Additionally, half of people in the UK believe hospitality wages are low and 17% consider jobs in the sector to be only temporary before moving into another profession, when actually 90% of employers in the sector pay above the living wage.

Three-fifths (60%) of hospitality employers have received more applications from UK workers than ever before, and 67% have seen staff who left the industry during lockdown return from other sectors, which is the reverse of last year when many workers took on temporary jobs elsewhere during forced closures. More than half (56%) have hired new staff from other sectors in the past three months.

Kathy Dyball, director at Caterer.com, commented that it has been “encouraging” to see more UK workers entering the industry as people see the valuable, long-term employment opportunities hospitality can offer, while staff shortages have been exacerbated by staff being taken out of work at no notice.

“In the longer term there is work to be done to change perceptions of the industry. Its reputation has suffered due to lockdowns, with job uncertainty added to the list of misconceptions such as low pay and lack of flexibility. Working together as an industry to address these will be paramount to develop future talent pipelines,” she said.