Hospitality faces challenge on career image

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The restaurant and pub sectors need to work harder to convince people that they are great places to work and build careers, new CGA Peach stats reveal.

Figures from the October round of BrandTrack research show that only a quarter (24%) of people would recommend the hospitality industry as a career or part-time profession—compared to a third (34%) who would not. The rest (42%) don’t know—suggesting a widespread uncertainty or lack of understanding about the industry as a profession. 

More encouraging is the BrandTrack finding that younger people are much more likely to recommend hospitality as a place to work than older ones. Among those aged 18 to 24, a third (33%) would do so, compared to less than a fifth (19%) of those aged 45 to 54. This suggests attitudes to pub and restaurant work might be changing—albeit slowly. People living in cities and Greater London, where hospitality perhaps has the highest concentration and profile, are most likely of all to recommend it. 

Despite positive aspects, the findings emphasise the urgency of attracting young talent into hospitality. With the Brexit vote now casting doubt on the future flow of overseas workers into the UK, the eating and drinking out sectors will be among many other industries trying to make up a potential shortfall in staff numbers. 

These new BrandTrack figures are a reminder of the work that remains to be done to help people understand that pubs and restaurants provide stimulating and rewarding work. But the high numbers of people who are unsure of their opinions of hospitality as a career suggest they might be open to persuasion if they can learn more about its roles. It’s up to everyone in this sector to highlight the huge opportunities that are available to young talent in particular.
— CGA Peach Vice President Peter Martin