Over six in ten hospitality operators are concerned about staff shortages this Christmas, according to a survey by consultancy KAM and recruitment campaign Hospitality Rising.

The survey asked over 70 hospitality executives about the current state of staff shortages and revealed 62% were concerned about a shortage of both front- and back-of-house staff this Christmas.

The survey further found 69% have noticed an increase in the number of people leaving the industry over the past year.

While businesses have reported the impact on sales on turnover, current staff report that shortages have had a significant impact on their welfare.

Seventy percent of operators are increasing wages and 46% are reducing covers or trading hours, while some are refraining from holding private events at their venues over the festive period.

Mark McCulloch, founder and campaign director, Hospitality Rising, said: “This research brings home the stark reality of the workforce crisis in hospitality and the absolute need we have for bold and creative ways to solve it.

“By working collectively via initiatives such as Hospitality Rising, we can bring more people into our dynamic and rewarding industry and ensure that we aren’t leaving revenue on the table due to a shortage of staff.

“The first phase of Hospitality Rising, our #RiseFastWorkYoung campaign, has already proved its effectiveness – driving 17,000 applications via our dedicated jobs board in its first three weeks.

“In order to keep up momentum and drive the next stage of the campaign we need more operators to come on board and more companies to pledge financial support. Hospitality is nothing without people and we are determined to work together to ensure the best and the brightest are attracted to the industry to ensure a bright future for the sector.”

Katy Moses, founder and managing director of KAM, added: “It’s heart breaking, albeit sadly not surprising, that staff shortages continue to limit the vitality of the Hospitality sector with customer service levels, employee engagement and sales being impacted.

“The research really highlights the critical role which Hospitality Rising is playing in attracting new people to the sector.”