International survey

Staff shortage is challenge number 1

Staff shortages are a big problem, but there are more challenges that restaurateurs have to cope with.
IMAGO / Shotshop
Staff shortages are a big problem, but there are more challenges that restaurateurs have to cope with.

The staff shortage is being felt in the hospitality industry worldwide. But German restaurateurs currently rate two other problems as more pressing, in contrast to hosts from other countries. This is the result of the survey "Global State of the Hospitality Industry Report 2021", for which 850 restaurateurs from 6 countries - 100 of them from Germany - were asked about various topics.

The survey was conducted by the opinion research company OnePoll for the cash register provider Lightspeed. When asked about the biggest challenge at the moment, the topic of staff and specialist shortages was unsurprisingly at the top of the list in almost all countries - with the exception of Germany.

Here, this problem was cited only third most often, at 22%. Instead, more than one in three restaurateurs in this country see the increased demands of guests as the biggest task at present - the highest figure in all six countries - followed by rising food and supply costs.

Reducing opening hours as a solution?

Nevertheless, according to the survey, the staff shortage is noticeable among German businesses. Thus, 40 percent of German hosts had problems retaining their staff. 45 percent said they had increased benefits or wages in order to find new staff or retain old ones. In addition, a third of German businesses have already had to make do with fewer staff than would actually be needed.

However, "only" one in ten (9%) German restaurant operators have reduced their opening hours due to a lack of staff. In all other countries, this rate is significantly higher, the highest in the USA (30 %).

Europeans hope for help from the state

When it comes to the question of how the personnel problem could be better tack led, the Lightspeed Report shows a clear difference between the Anglo-American countries and the European continent. German (67%), Dutch (60%) and French (53%) restaurateurs hope above all for more government funding to increase wages and stabilize operations. Restaurateurs from the U.S. (65%), Canada (50%) and the U.K. (48%) are primarily looking to technology to automate processes to free up staff.

In all countries, significant proportions of respondents said they had increased wages or benefits to retain staff. The most common was the U.S. (59%), followed by Germany (45%) and France (38%). "The fact that they have to do something about the lack of staff was clear to the vast majority of restaurateurs in this country long before Corona," says Christoph Becker, Managing Director at Dehoga Nordrhein. "The Lightspeed Report reflects what we as an association also observe: The German hospitality industry has been trying hard for a long time to break up encrusted structures and become even more interesting for employees through an attractive overall package."

Peter Dougherty, GM Hospitality at Lightspeed, adds, "Our research confirms that the skills shortage is a global challenge. Now is the time for us as an industry to think about how we continue to make the hospitality industry a great place to work and build a career."