Hotel & Catering Outlook For 2022

by | Nov 26, 2021

Hotel & Catering Key Trends

For many industries, 2021 has been a year like no other… but for the Hotel & Catering industry, it’s been one of the hardest and strangest years of all time. The hospitality industry essentially closed for over a year and we’ve seen firsthand the huge impact it’s had on Hotels, Bars, Restaurants and Corporate Catering sectors.

When the time finally came to re-open (some doors are still closed and may never re-open) those that were lucky enough to still be in business faced a number of challenges with staffing being the most critical issue of all.

Let’s start with front of house:

A large proportion of people working as Bar staff, Waiters and in Accommodation come from countries outside of Ireland. Travel for the most part has been off the cards for many people for quite some time, and we simply don’t have the numbers of people available to fill the amount of jobs that we have.

What about hiring local staff?

Since March 2020, the industry has been virtually closed and we no longer have the interest from people who are finishing up in schools or colleges. This is mainly because the Hospitality Industry is now seen as a precarious one that could be closed again within a few weeks or months at best.

Looking for experienced staff?

A lot of people coming into the industry work part-time or during holidays while in college, but the industry has been closed more than it’s been open which has led to a massive shortage of people that have a year or two experience in the market.

What’s happening in the kitchen?

The Chef crisis is still in full swing, but the big issue of the moment is where are all the kitchen porters and the reply is simple… there are none!

As with front of house, we simply do not have the people coming into the country that we used to. The English Language Schools are back open, but we’re seeing people making the choice to study online. This is mainly because they can now do this from the comfort of a warmer and cheaper climate. Candidates are also realising that the salary and conditions are better in the manufacturing or distribution industry.

In addition to all of the above, many people who were only working part-time in the past and who earned circa €200 to €400 per week are now getting the PUP payment at €350 per week. So, with no questions being asked for staying at home and receiving (in some cases) higher wages, this brings another massive challenge to the Hospitality Industry.

Solutions – Can We Throw Money At It?

With many establishments not being able to operate at full capacity, it leads to a high proportion of events, weddings and conferences getting cancelled or being put off for the foreseeable future. Money is in short supply, so the emphasis is put on ‘what else can we offer’.

Working from home is not an option for most roles, so the industry can’t jump on this bandwagon. However, they can take a look at what else is important to the people they employ like flexible rosters, job sharing, or ongoing training and development.

The feeling that workers are being valued is the most important thing that we are hearing from candidates. But of course, supply and demand along with more increases to the minimum wage have also played their part and we are seeing a lot of movement in the traditionally lower paid positions. For example, Kitchen Porters and Accommodation staff along with Bar and Waiting staff have all seen increases. The new normal wage is close to €12 and €13 per hour for Kitchen Porters / Accommodation staff while Waiting and Bar staff positions are moving closer to €13 and €15 respectively.

Chefs have also taken a huge leap forward with €34,000 now being the standard salary paid by the 3 & 4 star Hotels for Chef de Partie and increases in the Commis rates all down the line.

The only place we are not seeing much movement in is the area of Head Chefs, but our Director Shane McLave believes that when the corporate catering sector fully re-opens without closures, there will likely be more competition in this area.

What’s Next?

Between the combination of an uncertain future and the over heated market that we are currently seeing, a lot of companies are moving towards the temporary and contingent workforce. This is particularly evident in traditional areas such as Waiting staff, Chefs and the emerging trends of Accommodation Staff / Management.

The industry is now seeing the benefits of having a recruitment partner that both understands their business and has the ability to flex up and down when required. This leaves businesses in a much better position as they will be more equipped to deal with staff shortages.

Get In Touch

If you’re looking for a recruitment partner or you wish to find a job in Hotel & Catering, please visit our Hotel & Catering section on our website by clicking here. Alternatively, you can email us at info@excelrecruitment.com.

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