New data has shown that three quarters of business leaders will be looking to recruit new staff members in 2021, as they prepare for the easing of lockdown.
Insight from CGA’s Business Leaders Survey, sponsored by Fourth, also found that just under half (44%) will be recruiting to the same, or a greater extent, than in previous years, in pooled responses from 726 operators across the restaurant, bar and casual dining industries.
Furthermore, they predict that their workforces will return to 79% of their previous scale by July 2021, and 90% by December 2021.
As businesses embark to rapidly re-grow across their teams, maintaining engagement and reinforcing a positive culture will be a key challenge, with 71% of business leaders stating employee engagement will be a key focus, while a further 29% listed it as a moderate focus.
As operators look to drive efficiencies, the Business Leaders Survey also revealed that one in three business leaders stated that the use of technology will be fundamental in helping operations, with a further 39% suggesting it will be important.
The challenge most leaders predict turning to technology for is managing the cost of labour (49%), which will be partly driven by the uncertainty within the market, as 71% expect fragile consumer confidence to negatively impact business.
Sebastien Sepierre, managing director – EMEA, Fourth, said: “There is cautious optimism returning to the industry, thanks to a clear timeline for reopening the industry and a new round of support measures announced in the Budget. This shot in the arm will act as the starting gun for many businesses, as they seek to drive employment and establish systems ahead of reopening. Make no mistake, this is still a precarious time for operators, with fluctuating consumer demand and fierce competition all contributing to an uncertain and fast-changing operating climate.”