staff shortages and supply chain issues in the hospitality industry

6 min

Organising chaos: Resolving staff shortages and supply chain issues in the hospitality industry

Recruitment and supply chain issues can send hospitality businesses into a spiral, but your business doesn’t need to get caught up in it. Here we point you to digital tools that can help ease your staffing and supply chain challenges.

Jasmine Xie

Jasmine XIE • Libeo

Published on | Updated on

Hospitality staff shortage in the UK

You want a happy restaurant with happy customers and need talented, happy staff to achieve that. But with a staffing shortage of unprecedented levels in the hospitality sector, recruiting and keeping a top team can be a real challenge.

Recruitment challenges in hospitality industry grow more and more each year. Last year, the chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation reported that there were half a million staff shortages across the UK food supply chain – 12.5% of the required workforce. 

If that wasn't enough of a dilemma, staff shortages in other sectors are preventing companies from producing and delivering goods. The domino effect is supply chain chaos and unhappy staff – 45% of hospitality workers report that their jobs are less appealing because of staff shortages, unsociable hours and inexperienced colleagues. Hospitality staff shortages not only impact on the quality of a business, but also the customer experience.

So what's to be done? Fear not. There are digital solutions that can help turn these problems around.

Digital solutions for recruiting

To cope with staff shortage, hospitality actors invest in technology and adoption of digital solutions, starting with staff management tools.

Skello offers a simple solution for building the optimal work schedule for your restaurant and has features specifically designed for the hospitality industry. 

You can create rotas and schedules and share them online with your staff, who can use messaging services that help team spirit and forestall staffing shortages. This easy communication is beneficial for your employees too. They can book absences and leave via an easily accessible online system and will see which days are available and which are not.  

With your digital platform set up so staff can clock in and out, the details of hours worked will automatically transfer to your payroll software, bookkeeper or accountant. You’ll have real-time information about staffing levels, and monitoring hours worked and unauthorised absences will be easier. 

For top-level oversight, a running total of your wage bill, the turnover ratio to staff costs and any monthly changes give you all the data you need. You’ll be better positioned to maximise profitability and ensure optimum staffing levels.

When gaps in your team appear, you can use tools like Brigad to find short-term staff. This app connects restaurant owners and freelancers – and, of course, automates the admin. With this tool in your belt, you can more easily get in touch with suitable candidates and efficiently manage the drafting of contracts and payments to employees or freelancers.

An attractive online identity

Good wages alone aren't enough to draw and keep the best employees. We must cultivate a work environment that rewards effort and invests in our employees' well-being and future. But once this is in place, we can make a lot of good noise online. 

Suppose you can demonstrate a positive atmosphere, emphasise gender equality, show a low staff turnover rate and point to good customer reviews. In that case, you'll find the cream of the employment crop beating a path to your restaurant's door. 

Good communication here requires branding that conveys your business’ identity and values. If a professional graphic designer is too costly, there are online solutions that use templates and simplified tools, like Canva



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Optimising your supply chain

Many online options allow hospitality entrepreneurs to circumvent supply-chain issues while securing the freshest produce and best prices. From the largest chain to the smallest of restaurants, automated tools can resolve supply chain challenges, minimising waste and maximising profits.

Mobile apps make sourcing and ordering the best ingredients straightforward. In essence, they are online marketplaces with transparent pricing and delivery times. With digital tools like this in your corner, you can spare yourself the stress of trying to track down products.

Melba is a modern tool that integrates with your recipes and stock levels. While the Rekki app allows chefs and restaurant owners to partner with the world’s best suppliers – you can browse, order, and pay seamlessly, saving time and money.

Maybe you’ve heard of the Farm to Table revolution? It’s a growing market and one with its challenges and rewards – find out how to leverage local and farm-to-table - and how tech makes that change easy.

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