No-one said it would be easy, but…
If you’re working in the hospitality sector, chances are you’re a realist – or you are now even if you weren’t when you started out. All those little fluffy dreams of leaning on the bar of a lovely little pub, or smiling serenely across the dancefloor of your ultra-cool but also ultra-calm club soon disappear like mist on a hot day. It’s work and more work, and if you’re lucky and get all the pieces in place, the jigsaw reveals a positive picture.
So, few licence-holders will have been expecting everything to go smoothly once Covid restrictions in England and Wales were finally lifted. Clubs, especially, hadn’t been open for more than a year, so there were bound to be teething troubles. But what no one anticipated was those troubles turning into raging toothache.
Obviously – and reasonably – masking, distancing and general coronavirus awareness are a given. But that includes a massive reduction in the number of dining tables and customers served.
Staffing shortages mean that wages are skyrocketing. The average wage for a doorman on a London club, for example, has almost doubled.
Then there’s the small matter of staff being ‘pinged’ by the Covid app, and having to self-isolate as a result. So what was already a staffing crisis, because so many EU nationals have left the UK, has become worse.
Fewer people through the door means less money coming in. And as furlough schemes end, the financial burden falls fully onto the licensee again. But on top of that it’s an employee’s market: staffing shortages mean that wages are skyrocketing. The average wage for a doorman on a London club, for example, has almost doubled.
And those people who are taking up jobs may not be the best qualified. Door staff, bar staff, waiting staff – they’re all positions which require good skill sets and almost degree-level psychology (well, not quite).
All in all, it’s a perfect storm, though what type of storm politeness prevents us from saying. This is a situation which the Government has not planned properly but it’s one we all have to get on with.
If it all seems too daunting, Complete Licensing can at least help you ensure every aspect of your licence is up to date and correct. We can also advise on how to make sure you’re employing the right people. Our experience can, at least, offer a helpful anaesthetic to help you get over that tooth pain.