Hospitality workers concerns revealed ahead of sector re-opening

The time has finally come for the hospitality sector to get ready to re-open its doors again to the public.

Pubs and restaurants with outdoor seating areas are set to be opening on the 12th April 2021, following on with indoor seating to be returning from 17th May 2021.

Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord is currently battling the case for all pubs and restaurants both indoor and outdoor to open on the original date of 12thApril within the High Court for a judicial review.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Sacha Lord explained that: ‘Keeping pubs closed until May is unscientific and amounts to class discrimination’.

And as much as the average Briton is looking forward to the hospitality sector opening up, the same can’t necessarily be said for the staff.

A new poll of hospitality workers shows that the UK’s bar staff, chefs, waiters and other sector employees are excited about getting back to work when the sector re-opens, but many are nervous about busy crowds and being out of practice at their jobs.

The nationwide poll for hospitality workers carried by hospitality industry energy experts Energy PEAK found that only a third (33%) of hospitality workers feel confident about returning to work. The confidence levels of hospitality staff vary by locations across the UK too.

According to the data, people who work in hospitality in Manchester are the most excited about getting back to their job (night or day shift). Assuredly, 57% of the hospitality workers said they were looking forward to the sector re-opening and felt confident about going back to work.

From the poll, a concerning figure is that in London, only 25% of the capital’s hospitality staff said they felt confident and excited about returning to their hospitality jobs. As the city has a population of 9,426,000 and with the capital being renowned for its tourism, London’s restaurants and pubs are always brimmed to full capacity.

Edinburgh’s hospitality workers are the least confident of all, with fewer than one in ten (9%) saying they feel confident about getting back to work. Due to the pandemic lasting a lot longer than we expected, and with Europe reaching their third wave, understandably, staff will be nervous in case they catch Covid-19. Especially as most workers wouldn’t have had their vaccine when they go back to work.

Energy PEAK CEO Jeff Walsh: “Hospitality workers have been among the hardest hit during the pandemic. So, it’s really important that customers are patient with them as they get back up to speed. Let’s not forget, many of these workers won’t have been able to put their skills to use for more than a year when they finally get back into behind the bars and into the kitchens.”

“I’m sure customers will be understanding. I personally can’t wait for the sector to reopen and will be looking forward to supporting all the fantastic local businesses that we’ve all missed while they’ve been closed.”

Although everyone will be excited to be back at their favourite pubs and restaurants, remember to be kind to the hospitality staff – they’re the ones looking after us.

According to the Commons Library: ‘As of late December (14-23 December) the ONS reported that 59% hospitality businesses were trading, compared to 84% across all industries.  41% of hospitality businesses had temporarily paused trading, compared to 13% across all industries’.

So, with the opening for hospitality, it is now time for them to progress and succeed further post-pandemic.