Demand for catering staff set to surge.

Berry Recruitment warns catering businesses to get their staff ready now before the easing of lockdown because there will be a huge demand.

Berry Recruitment supplies mainly temporary staff and said there could be shortages of workers.

And managing director Lee Gamble said some businesses could close if they can’t find enough staff.

Many workers from the hospitality sector have found new jobs in the last year and there is no guarantee they will return to their former careers.

Furthermore, European staff who returned home just before the first lockdown might not be able to return even if they wanted to.

It raises the possibility that kitchens will be unable to service the anticipated rush in customers.

Lee said: “There are a whole variety of roles required in catering.

“And with the sector having been effectively closed for a year these workers have in many cases found other things to do – such as driving.

“Kitchen work is hard and the shifts are long so businesses really ought to be getting things ready now. They can’t assume a ready supply of willing workers will be available.

“In fact I believe there will be a shortage – and in some circumstances it could lead to businesses closing.

“With many more people than usual likely to holiday in the UK there will be a bigger demand on catering and hospitality businesses.

“As well as all types of chef we will see demand for waiting staff, silver service staff, bar staff, baristas, front of house staff, food service assistants, kitchen porters, pot washers – as well as managerial and supervisor roles.

“Each of our branches has a reservoir of temporary workers who we’ve been finding roles for since Covid struck.

“The difficulties in catering will be exacerbated because the European temporary staff are here in much lower numbers and many are unable to travel.

“With furlough running until the autumn many people who could be recruited into catering might prefer to wait until they have to find alternative work.

“It is well worth businesses in catering and hospitality thinking ahead about their staffing levels because the last thing they need after a year being shut down is a failure to maximise profits because of staff shortages.”

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