Pub industry drives seasonal surge in EU hospitality workers

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Seasonal pattern: the latest figures indicate that EU workers enter the industry and pick up extra shifts during busy periods
Seasonal pattern: the latest figures indicate that EU workers enter the industry and pick up extra shifts during busy periods
Latest figures have revealed that, after several months of decline, an influx of seasonal workers to the pub industry has delivered a spike in EU workers entering the hospitality industry.

According to figures from global software partner to the hospitality and leisure industries, Fourth, the percentage of new starters in the hospitality industry hailing from the EU fell from from 41.5% in July to 38.5% in September before climbing back up to 44% in November.

This has mostly been driven by an influx of EU workers to the pub industry, with the proportion of the pub workforce who are from the EU rising from 17% to 26% in November.

According to Fourth, these figures correlate to a surge of EU workers experienced in June, suggesting that seasonal workers from the EU support the pub trade when it enters busy periods, such as Christmas or a large sporting event.

The statistics were mined from Fourth Analytics and were based on a sample comprising over 30,000 hospitality industry employees.

Pubs workers driving influx

Mike Shipley, analytics and insight solutions director at Fourth, commented: “Against an uncertain political backdrop as to the future of the free movement of labour from the European Union, it is welcome news to see there has been an influx of EU workers entering the industry, after several months of falling numbers. 

“Interestingly, driving this influx, is the pub industry which has experienced a surge in workers from the EU as we approach the busy Christmas period.

“This trend reflects fluctuations experienced in June, suggesting that EU workers enter the industry and pick up extra shifts, during busy periods.

“This further reveals our industry’s reliance on foreign workers, particularly in the restaurant and quick-service restaurant sectors, as well as back-of-house roles.

“Among the many challenges our industry currently faces, people are often listed as the biggest concern and ensuring a pragmatic immigration system after Brexit, along with a conscious, combined and concerted effort to attract young UK talent into the industry, is imperative.

“In this uncertain environment, at the very least, operators need to have a clear understanding of the make-up of their workforce.”

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