Labor Shortages in The Hospitality Industry

May 19, 2021

Despite nearly one-third of hospitality workers losing their jobs during the pandemic, many reports indicate workers don’t seem to be returning to the hospitality industry.

Without sufficiently trained labor to fill in the gaps in hospitality establishments like travel, casinos, cruise ships, restaurants, tourism, and hotels, the entire industry could suffer from a global shortage of qualified workers, but what does this mean?

Causes for Hospitality Industry Labor Shortages

There are many different variables to consider that impact the hospitality industry and the loss of experienced workers.

major factor is wages. In working roles where tips are a significant source of pay, such as with restaurants, employees may leave to find higher-paying jobs with consistent paychecks.

Consider, too, how quickly technology has become part of our daily lives, including our jobs. In some industries, like hotels, older employees may be forced out if they are not familiar with new technology.

Another variable includes an aging workforce with years’ worth of skills opting to retire from the hospitality industry.

Temporary Actions to Seal the Gap

While some hotels and other industries are trying to fill the gap with technology, for example, using cooking technology like sous vide and pre-portioned vacuum-sealed meals, others are assigning extra duties to available employees.

Still, these are stopgap measures that can only go so far. The best solution is training the new workforce appropriately.

There has always been a high turnover rate in the hospitality industry due to demands like working during holidays, nights, and weekends, difficult or angry customers, and high-paced work settings. However, we see the industry’s current struggle to fill essential roles that provide service and amenities to customers.

The Effects of Labor Shortage on Hospitality

While it’s difficult to predict the future, it’s highly likely that luxury and high-end hotels, restaurants, and services are on the verge of experiencing a monumental change. For example, over the next ten years, hotel rooms might decrease their number of rooms but increase in size to cater to the 1%. This will likely result in extremely expensive and sophisticated hotels, with fewer value-oriented hotels for those with a limited budget.

Still, this depends on a rejuvenated workforce, which likely might rely on the reformation of immigration laws. The hospitality industry is experiencing a record scarcity of employees, mostly due a drop in foreign-born laborers (source: Immigrants, the Economy and the COVID-19 Outbreak).

Guests might find themselves in long lines waiting for front desk assistance, room service, and more. Many hospitality executives are now calling for immigration reform to resolve these issues.


The Value of Customer Service Skills

Customer service skills are integral when offering a positive restaurant guest experience. These often include interacting with customers, maintaining a positive and cheerful attitude, and multitasking.

This is why it’s important to have a robust training program that includes standard operating procedures, accountability checklists, and proven methods in place, to enhance the capability of your staff. Our training platform—Synergy Sync— can help you with this. It promotes best practices throughout your restaurant, so training is a breeze. It’s also smartly priced, so you don’t have to worry about cost per user! For $350 a month, you get unlimited users per location and a wealth of industry expertise at your fingertips. Fully trained employees often translate into more satisfied employees. There is no better time than NOW to enhance and invest in your current and expanding team through a comprehensive training program.