Nearly half of hospitality managers consider British employees to fall short of their European counterparts in their knowledge and commitment to food safety and hygiene, new research suggests.
Authors of the report said the statistics were “particularly concerning” for customers with allergies and intolerances, giving several high-profile allergy-related deaths in recent years.
Natasha’s Law has subsequently been introduced to protect allergy sufferers and give them confidence in the food they buy.
Dr. Richard Anderson, head of learning and development at online training provider High Speed Training, which released the report, said: “The perception amongst hospitality professionals that UK workers lack the food hygiene and safety awareness of their European colleagues is extremely concerning. Hospitality has a widening skills gap and Brexit will potentially accelerate this shortage due to the industry’s strong reliance on migrant workers.”
The research findings also reveal that over half of hospitality leaders (53%) think that UK staff lack the work ethic of their European colleagues.
Behavioural and social traits, such as interpersonal skills (46%) and problem solving, negotiation and conflict resolution (40%) are also cited as areas that UK hospitality workers fall behind on compared to fellow European employees.
However, around four-fifths of professionals consider UK workers to be ahead of their European counterparts for enthusiasm, personal grooming, and customer service and communication skills.
The findings are part of a nationwide study involving hospitality business owners and managers across the UK and reveal that 98% believe that there will be a shortfall in skills following Brexit.
One-in-five have said that they will not be able to address this skills shortage with the workforce currently available in the UK.
The industry report, Preserving the ‘Art of Hospitality’: Championing the Industry for Post-Brexit Survival, draws upon extensive research and encourages the industry to work together to ensure the UK maintains its reputation for delivering quality service, with recommendations for how businesses can successfully recruit and retain more staff.
The eight ‘Art of Hospitality’ skills that hospitality managers and owners believe the UK falls behind on are:
- A strong work ethic and commitment (53%)
- Interpersonal skills, including empathy and the ability to work as a team (46%)
- Commitment to and knowledge of safety and hygiene (44%)
- Problem solving, negotiation and conflict resolution (40%)
- Accountability (28%)
- Enthusiasm (24%)
- Customer service and communication skills (22%)
- Personal grooming (19%)