After more than a year of closures and restrictions, restaurants in London are re-opening due to the UK government’s easing of COVID restrictions.
Despite Londoners being eager to dine out the industry is struggling to find the human resources needed to serve them.
Acclaimed chef Yotam Ottolenghi said his restaurants are finding it difficult to hire “on all fronts”.
“You put an ad out for kitchen porter and you’ve got very few candidates applying,” he said.
According to a survey conducted by BigHospitality a third of venues in the UK reopened without adequate staffing.
The group has warned of a ‘staffing crisis’, as the sector faces a shortage of some 188,000 workers.
A sense of instability and post-Brexit immigration rules has made retention more difficult, with EU citizens comprising an estimated half of the hospitality workforce prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the industry struggles to find solutions, consumer demand is soaring, with Mr Ottolenghi remarking he is confident people will want to eat out, as it remains “one of the few communal joys that we still have, and restaurants are the perfect places for that.”