Tips on being more positive around The City’s hospitality industry crisis

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The City's hospitality industry crisis
Image credit Unsplash

The UK hospitality industry is still struggling and, despite some improvements, the capital continues to face significant difficulties. Many London pubs and restaurants are operating below pre-pandemic levels due to increasing costs and decreased consumer spending.

However, in the face of these challenges, many within the industry remain passionate and motivated. The sector should remain optimistic as there are upcoming opportunities, now and in the near future, on which both businesses and workers can capitalise.

Despite reduced spending amongst customers across the board due to the rising cost of living, summer spending within hospitality, particularly pubs and bars, is expected to rise. Annual summer events like festivals and sporting events (the Euros, Wimbledon) will help drive this increase, resulting in the need for additional staff and shift opportunities. This period of higher spending is a positive outlook for the industry and venues should be planning ahead of increased footfall by recruiting extra staff.

Brigad has already begun to see an increase of activity on our platform, indicating that the industry has already started to take advantage of these opportunities. Historically, there has been a 30% increase in missions published during summer. Hospitality professionals should prepare in advance to capitalise for this period of opportunity by upskilling and ensuring their CVs and profiles on apps, such as Brigad, are up to date.

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The hospitality industry experiences high labour turnover, costing the sector £274M annually and resulting in a large skills gap, which disadvantages workers in the long term. Improving employee motivation and worker retention levels is key to tackling the skills gap. The good news is that many employers, organisations, and trade bodies in the industry are very aware of the problem and taking active steps to resolve these issues. The hospitality industry should be commended for its adaptability and willingness to embrace new solutions.

Brigad is a freelancing platform that allows hospitality businesses to connect directly with skilled hospitality freelancers for short-term work. Since our launch, we have seen an increasing number of hospitality professionals opting out of permanent contracts and choosing to pursue their careers as freelancers. 81% of users reported feeling more valued at work since using Brigad, while 60% revealed that they would have left the industry if they had not discovered the platform. The introduction of Brigad into the London hospitality industry is also a clear demonstration of the evolution of tech within hospitality. Innovation within the industry is on the rise and will be a strong source of support for the burdens and challenges businesses and professionals face.

Freelancers have huge, untapped potential to help support the growing number of vacancies, which stood at 112,000 at the end of 2023, and businesses should be paying attention. By connecting directly with professional and highly skilled talents on Brigad, businesses can firstly avoid high agency fees, as well as reduce the need for long and expensive recruitment and onboarding processes by recruiting short-term, already-trained freelancers.

Both professional freelancers and businesses should consider utilising a platform like Brigad, offering workers control over their work-life, while also providing an efficient solution and high-quality staff and shifts to users. Brigad’s success in tackling the industry’s issues while providing unique support to businesses and individuals is clear. We’re excited to be supporting such a resilient and high-potential industry.

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