Two fifths of firms have increased prices due to staff shortage

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Financial strain: research found a number of hospitality operators have already increased prices for consumers (image: Getty/loops7)
Financial strain: research found a number of hospitality operators have already increased prices for consumers (image: Getty/loops7)

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Some 41% of small business owners in the hospitality sector have already pushed prices up as a result of the ongoing recruitment crisis and a further 17% expect to do so in the next three months, a report has found.

Data of 520 UK-based business owners, which was commissioned by Takepayments and conducted by Perspectus Global in November 2021, went on to highlight of those who have already hiked up prices, 29% have increased them by 10% to 20%.

The research also found businesses within the food and drink sector have seen the largest rise in salaries with 15% increasing their wages by 50% to 100%.

Furthermore, one in four small business owners claimed they have had to delay growth plans because their company lacks the number of staff it needs to operate at its current capacity.

More than half (55%) of hospitality firms surveyed said they had experienced staff shortages while almost one in two (46%) have experienced supply chain issues.

Financial impact

The combination of the two has financially impacted 50% of small businesses while one in 10 (13%) said recruitment issues have caused a negative financial impact to their business.

However, 29% of business owners are trying to manage the recruitment issues through reducing opening hours.

Over the next quarter, 30% of businesses owners are planning to increase pay for open vacancies and 34% are looking to increase pay for existing staff in a bid to retain them.

Some 42% expect to improve their working conditions/culture within the next three months and 29% have already introduced flexible working – both driven by staff shortages.

Meanwhile, the top ask from operators in terms of Government support was a tax break specifically for small business owners (41%).

Further increases

This was followed by about a quarter (26%) calling for Government-provided paid training schemes and 25% wanted small business specific support packages until the supply chain and staffing issues return to a manageable condition.

Takepayments’ Sandra Rowley said: “Until the supply and staff shortage issues are overcome, small business owners across the UK could continue to be hit by negative financial implications, which may ultimately lead to further increases in consumer prices.

“Small businesses within the hospitality sector have particularly been hit with staff shortages as Brexit laws came into position this year, affecting sectors that relied heavily on European workers.

“Business owners within the sector are not only calling on the Government to introduce a tax break to help them financially navigate through this climate but calling for solutions such as emergency visas and relaxing of immigration rules in an attempt to return a workforce their business depends on and create a solution for the ongoing staff shortages within the sector.”

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