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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Thu 9th Mar 2023 - Sector vacancies drop but wage bills climb
Sector vacancies drop but wage bills climb: Labour shortages at Britain’s top managed hospitality groups may be starting to ease, the 2023 Business Leaders’ Survey from CGA by Nielsen IQ and Fourth has shown – but rising wage bills are piling more pressure on some fragile businesses. The survey shows one in 11 roles (9%) are currently vacant and open for application. It marks a drop of two percentage points since the last survey of leaders in October 2022. The rate of churn – the proportion of staff leaving a business in the last three months – has, meanwhile, dipped by three percentage points to 16%. Despite improvements, vacancy and churn levels continue to cause concern. Only a third of leaders (33%) said they feel confident about their ability to recruit. Attracting and keeping staff has also come at a significant cost, with hospitality businesses raising their pay by 12% and 11% for new and existing staff respectively in the last 12 months – just ahead of the rate of inflation. More than half (57%) of business leaders said cultivating the right working culture has been effective in improving retention, while a high level of communication with staff (41%), a focus on staff well-being and mental health (33%) and creating learning and development opportunities (33%) have been impactful. Industry collaboration – including via the Hospitality Rising campaign – has also helped to improve the reputation of pubs, bars and restaurants as places to build a career for younger workers, leaders said. Sebastien Sepierre, managing director – EMEA at Fourth, said: “While the pressures related to labour shortages might be starting to ease, it is apparent that workforce related challenges are very much continuing to keep operators awake at night.” Karl Chessell, CGA’s director – hospitality operators and food EMEA, added: “Hospitality is one of the UK’s most dynamic industries for job creation and it can kickstart the economic recovery, but first it needs targeted government support on labour shortages and cost challenges.” 

Just Eat launches carbon labelling trial: Just Eat has launched a carbon labelling trial in Brighton in a first of its kind for a UK food delivery platform. Alongside My Emissions, a provider of food carbon calculations and labelling, Just Eat is working with five restaurant partners for the next 12 weeks to display a “traffic light” carbon rating next to main meals. The ratings take into account the farming, production, transport and packaging of the dishes. Participating restaurants will display a carbon label rated from A (very low carbon impact) to E (very high carbon impact) by incorporating a traffic light colour system on their Just Eat page, meaning consumers will be able to better understand the carbon impact when choosing a meal. The trial is initially taking place with Smoque Burger, No Catch, BrewDog, Fat Pizza and Fat Burgers and Desserts. Fat Pizza and Fat Burgers and Desserts is expanding the trial to more than 40 stores nationwide on the Just Eat platform. Just Eat estimates 80% of the wider marketplace carbon footprint is generated by food and food production. The trial aims to address this by helping consumers better understand the environmental impact of their food choices and by supporting restaurant partners in offering more sustainable options. Jaz Rabadia, head of responsible business and sustainability at Just Eat Takeaway, said: “We are committed to building a more sustainable future for the food delivery industry. This trial, with the support of our restaurant partners, aims to empower and educate our consumers on the impact food choices can have on our planet.” Just Eat said the results of the trial will help Just Eat assess how the initiative could be scaled more widely.

Purple Story makes L&D acquisition: Entrepreneurial learning consultancy Purple Story is to acquire the learning and development division of workplace culture business Purple Cubed. Purple Story was founded in 2019 by Karen Turton, former director of Nando’s and Turtle Bay Restaurants. Turton said: “I’m a huge fan of the work that [founder] Jane Sunley, [managing director] Jo Harley and the team at Purple Cubed do and couldn’t be more delighted to carry on their great work in the learning and development arena. We will continue to work closely together as they develop their new Hendrick & Hyde consulting brand and Korero, a company set up by Purple Cubed employees who recently carried out a management buy-out of the Talent Toolbox talent and performance management software.” To support its growth, Purple Story has restructured, with Lynda Merryweather promoted to chief operating officer and Kelly-Anne Coyle promoted to head of operations. Karen Turton will be speaking at the Propel Multi-Club Conference on Thursday, 23 March at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in London’s Kensington. Operators can book up to three free places per company by emailing

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