High street operators will struggle to fill vacancies and businesses will suffer if the government introduces a low cap on immigration, the ALMR has warned.

Speaking after the Conservative Party manifesto committed to reducing immigration, the ALMR warned British workers could also be affected if eating and drinking out businesses fail, as the majority of workers in the sectors come from within the UK.

The sector is heavily reliant on non-UK workers with almost a quarter of the total hospitality and tourism workforce made of non-UK workers, and nearly half of those EU migrants.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the ALMR, said: ”With the country running at almost full employment, eating and drinking out businesses will inevitably have to look oversees to fill vacancies. This is not a calculated preference for oversees workers, it is simply a matter of filling a shortage.

“Eating and drinking out businesses also hire locally and help provide employment in every region of the UK. Three quarters of the hospitality and tourism workforce is home-grown and pubs and restaurants provide work and spend a significant amount of time and money recruiting and training their staff.

“That notwithstanding, there is still a need for businesses to have access to non-UK workers to fill roles that otherwise would not be filled and ensure that businesses can succeed.

“If the next government places a low cap on immigration, then high street businesses will struggle to fill vacancies and we may see businesses suffer as a result.”