The UK hospitality industry is one of the UK’s biggest employers, providing jobs to seven percent of the working population. Businesses are rightly proud of the service they provide and their quality of output. However, hospitality is not largely seen as an appealing career choice for those entering the workforce, and this, combined with the uncertainty of Brexit and the lure of other sectors, is leading to a talent crisis for the sector.

For any employer, recruitment is a serious challenge. Hiring great employees is still entirely possible however, and undeterred, businesses large and small are putting in place programmes that not only attract the talent they need, but also develop and retain it.

At, we’re focused on helping people find good jobs in this fantastic industry, and supporting employers in hiring the talent they need, in order for their businesses to thrive. Gettingit right is no easy task, but successful employers are focused on developing and delivering talent strategies and approaches that really deliver and retaining the people they want to hire.

Many employers are now concentrating on showcasing their employer brand to attract the people they need. This is something that any employer can embrace, whatever their size. Popular hamburger chain, Byron listened to their existing employees to develop an easily identifiable brand that worked to attract strong candidates. They adapted job adverts accordingly, selling the ‘people and fun’ side of Byron Hamburgers. Overall staff turnover dropped, and Byron recruited 128 new managers into the business, as a result of this campaign.

When it comes to retaining great employees, LEON Restaurants are leading the field. Eating well and living well are at the heart of the LEON brand, and to that end, the company opened a well-being space where staff can drop in and take training sessions free of charge, often from instructors who are also day to day LEON employees. Not only does this allow team members to express themselves as the people they are beyond their jobs, it further immerses employees in the culture of the company. This, together with other innovative programmes, has resulted in a range of benefits for the business including high staff retention rates.

Welcoming employees to the business in a professional and meaningful way, whether through a full on-boarding programme or on the job training, has a direct impact on retention rates, and productivity. So often, the first weeks in a role are hectic and unstructured, leaving the employee feeling unsure of their objectives and unsupported. Taking the time and effort to on-board new employees well is a worthwhile investment for any business. To combat this, National Theatre deliver a strong three-day training session and employ a variety of methods including hands-on interactive activities, quizzes, roleplay and games to welcome candidates and immerse them into the culture of the business. They also train staff across catering departments, giving new hires a 360-degree view of the business.

LEON, Byron and National Theatre are among the winners of our prestigious People Awards. These annual awards applaud and reward the bravest and best talent initiatives in the UK hospitality recruitment, retention and development. 13 awards are judged by panels of industry experts, who are continually impressed with the ground- breaking quality and imagination of talented employers from across the UK. These are employers of all sizes and from all regions. When it comes to hiring the talent the industry needs, hospitality employers are facing uncertain times. Those who innovate, learn from each other and seek to stand out to candidates, no matter what size their business may be, will continue to attract and retain the best talent. The awards ceremony and dinner is attended by over 500 hospitality professionals from UK hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars and food service employers. This year the event takes place on October 1st, 2018 at Park Plaza Westminster, London. Entry to the awards is free and easy to complete via the website. People Awards 2018 open for entries in May. For further details contact

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