In an industry that works so closely with customers, the hospitality industry naturally faces a lot of HR issues. From morale of employees to general health and safety, the hospitality industry can be a rewarding but challenging industry to work in. In this post we’ll be looking at some of the biggest issues facing the hospitality industry.


High Turnover

One of the most common issues found in the hospitality industry is the high turnover. For a lot of people, it’s either a part time or side job to fund their studies or they just can’t keep up in such a fast and intense environment.

Establishments such as restaurants have a hard and stressful work rate and along with uncertain hours, can result in people leaving.

One of the most common issues found in the hospitality industry is high staff turnover. With many part time and seasonal roles the hospitality industry can often attract students or those looking for additional work. However, the fast paced, high stress environment teamed with uncertain and often unsociable hours isn’t for everyone and can lead to high turnover.

High turnover in turn can create more office headaches, including the time and cost of recruiting and training new staff.


Recruitment

Having a high turnover results in needing to spend more time recruiting new staff. This can be costly and often increases the pressure and workload of existing staff. The need to quickly fill the position can also result in a person who’s not right for the job being hired, which could affect the quality of work produced.

It’s also important to have a correct job description when advertising for jobs. An accurate job description will help to attract the right the candidate and manage their expectations of what the job entails. If the employee feels that the job they are doing doesn’t match the job they applied for it can lower morale and potentially push staff to quit.

Recruitment

Training

It’s important to ensure that all staff are fully trained so that your business can run as effectively and safely as possible.

Any new member of staff should receive full training whilst in their probationary period. This means that businesses need dedicated members of staff to teach and look after the latest recruitments which can impact on the general day-to-day running of the business. By taking team members off the floor to train, you either have to schedule more staff, which costs more money, or try and work with less staff, which could lead to a lower standard of service.

Because of this, new staff members will occasionally receive less or under-par training in order to get them working; saving the business time and money. This is definitely not the right approach as having untrained staff on the floor could lead to serious accidents, injuries as well as other problems such as breaking of equipment.

This doesn’t just apply to new members of staff either. Before promoting or changing an employee’s job it’s crucial to understand their current skill set and account for any additional training and support they may need. Too often people are pushed into management before they are ready or without full training because they perform well in their current role. This will definitely have a negative effect on the business. It can lower the morale of the employee.


Health & Safety

As with most industries, health and safety plays a big part in the issues that face the day-to-day of working in the hospitality industry.

With access to various different machinery and equipment, it’s crucial that all members of staff are fully qualified to use and be around it. Inexperienced staff members could easily injury themselves or damage the equipment and this causes trouble for everyone involved. This ties into training, making it very important to have clear instructions on how to safely use each piece of equipment.

Health & Safety
Equipment is not the only health and safety issue that faces the hospitality industry; food safety plays a big role. When working closely with food, it’s crucial to have strict procedures in place and for staff to be fully trained and aware of the dangers. Any mistakes in food preparation can lead to putting the customer at risk and even a lawsuit depending on the damage. So it’s always best to make sure staff know the importance of good hygiene and food safety.

Restaurants need to clearly label equipment and chemicals especially, as you can imagine the dangers if the use is not stated and used incorrectly. Chemicals should be stored far from food preparation and care should be taken when cleaning the area. Wet floor signs need to be put in place whenever there is a spill or mopped floor and correct PPE must be available for the cleaning of equipment and machinery.


Shrinkage

Shrinkage is a huge issue for the hospitality industry, being incredibly easy to lose track of what’s been reported and what’s been accounted for.

For example, restaurants will tend to have a lot of waste (such as unused or out of date food) and this isn’t a problem, it’s a natural thing and is usually worked into the budget. But the problem lies with waste that goes unreported. Businesses lose a lot of money each month because of unreported waste when it could be easily avoided.

Another huge issue with shrinkage is actually theft. Theft can be defined in many ways; it’s not just ‘stealing’.

If an employee takes any food or drink without permission, it’s classed as stealing and they should be dealt with accordingly. Any food or drink that goes missing and is unaccounted for counts as unreported waste and businesses will lose money. There is also the potential issue of staff members stealing from the tills or safes, which doesn’t happen often but it is always important to have the correct procedures for dealing with this in place.

You can also count time wasting as theft, with employees stealing time from the business. Time wasting includes thinks like taking longer breaks than required or told to, taking a long time getting things or walking off for cigarette breaks. It’s important that the right disciplinary actions are taken when dealing with time wasting.


Morale

Morale is something that can easily be affected by working in the hospitality industry. As we’ve previously stated, it’s an intense environment to work in and this will affect the morale of the employees.

Working in a stressful environment can cause friction at the best of times so it’s always best to be prepared and try and ensure a smooth workflow. Having bad morale will affect the standard of work and will leave the employee unhappy, not being able to perform their best and more likely to leave.

It’s important to keep staff spirit up and have frequent employee engagement. This can be in the form of Personal Reviews or just sitting them down for a one on one. Making staff feel valued can boost morale and will show in the quality of work produced.


Payroll

As with any business, having the correct paperwork and processes in place is crucial.

Running payroll for businesses such as restaurants can be especially complex. The mix of salaried and hourly paid staff combined with irregular hours and additional payments such as tips could make even the most experienced accountant’s head spin. Having a good payroll system in place is therefore key.


Summary

As you can see, there is a lot that can go wrong in the hospitality industry if people are not careful. It’s important to look out for these issues and find ways to avoid them, especially in the wake of the Employment Tribunal fees being scrapped. Bad practise is not worth being taken to court for, we are here to help.

Wurkplace offers a complete range of online training courses and health and safety support for the restaurant industry, as well as the hospitality industry.

We can help with everything from occupational health management to payroll to recruitment and training.

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