The research, from global software provider for hospitality and leisure Fourth and aggregated the analysis of more than 700 firms across the trade, also revealed British workers were filling greater numbers of jobs in the sector than ever before.
Currently, EU workers make up almost a third (32%) of the workforce compared with 42% in October 2019.
British workers make up more than half (53%) of those employed in the sector – up from 46% in October 2019.
Pub specific figures
It went on to find total headcount across hospitality was in line with this year in 2020 but down by almost a fifth (18%) against September 2019 and has been growing month-on-month since March. The size increased slightly by 0.3% in September when compared with August.
When broken down into segments of the hospitality trade, British workers make up nearly three quarters (73%) of the pub trade workforce – up from 68% in April.
This has been offset by a drop in workers from the EU as they represent 20% of headcount now, compared with 28% in April.
However, restaurants saw the biggest change with British workers making up 46% of employees, compared to 40% six months ago. The proportion of EU restaurant workers has fallen from 47% in April to 39% currently.
War for talent
Fourth managing director EMEA Sebastien Sepierre said: “Given the current climate, where labour shortages are continuing to prove incredibly challenging for operators, it’s clear there is a war for talent taking place in the hospitality sector.
“Vacancy rates are running at record levels and it’s evident the pool of EU workers has significantly reduced.
“Technology and digital solutions play an important role in navigating these waters, helping operators hire, onboard, engage and retain team members.
“Businesses will ultimately have to be smart with their labour scheduling strategies to ensure consumer demand continues to be met and the guest experience doesn’t suffer.”