When Yotam Ottolenghi slashed the opening hours at some of his London restaurants last year, the celebrity chef blamed an inability to recruit enough staff. 

He is not alone in struggling to find enough workers as pubs, restaurants and hotel owners are running short across the country. 

According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the hospitality industry is scrambling to fill more than 100,000 vacancies, which account for more than 10pc of all unfilled roles in the UK. 

Even two of London’s most luxurious hotels, The Dorchester and The Savoy, have been held back by a lack of staff, warning that it is making it harder for them to cater to their wealthy clientele.

It comes amid a wider labour crisis across the UK, as productivity growth is at its slowest since the 18th century.

That has been fuelled by a broader worklessness crisis, as more and more people are neither in employment nor looking for work.

However, when looking at the hospitality sector, industry experts are pointing to a different issue entirely – a shortage of youngsters.

Kate Nicholls, the chief executive of UK Hospitality, says: “The birth rate fell off a cliff around the millennium so we always knew we were going to have 200,000 fewer 18 to 24-year-olds entering the jobs market between 2020 and 2024.”

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