Surge in UK workers seeking hospitality jobs

· data shows a tremendous uplift in hospitality job applications per vacancy (APV), with the biggest rises seen across Barista Management, F&B staff and hotel roles

·         The number of workers moving into hospitality from other sectors has jumped by 18% year-on-year and 2.9m UK workers are currently considering a move into hospitality from another sector

·         Despite growing numbers of UK applicants, the sector’s long-standing labour shortage exacerbated by Brexit and the pandemic means competition for talent remains tough

Tuesday 7th March, London (UK): The number of UK workers seeking jobs in the hospitality sector has surged over recent months, according to new report from which shows how thousands of people are looking to pubs, restaurants and hotels for a new income.

The latest ‘Hospitality Hiring Insider’ from, specialist hospitality recruitment solutions partner, reveals the number of applications per vacancy has risen significantly on the platform.

A new survey of 1,200 workers, conducted by this week, shows that 2.9 million people are currently thinking of making a move into hospitality from another sector, with 2.1 million considering a role in hospitality as an additional job*.

In addition, UK-based Google searches for hospitality jobs rose by 23% between 2021 and 2022, in comparison to overall job searches which showed no increase over the year**.

The common reasons being wanting to start a new hospitality job are; people wanting a more sociable job (30% of people considering); to secure an additional income (27%); for greater flexibility (25%) and for ongoing job security (24%).

The biggest uplift in applications per vacancy seen by has been for Barista Management roles followed by Food & Beverage and hotel roles. Regionally, the data suggests hospitality roles in the East Midlands are most in demand, followed by Wales and the West Midlands.

Sustained demand for hospitality workers

Despite an encouraging rise in the number of ‘homegrown’ workers seeking jobs in hospitality, data shows how its long-standing skills shortage, exacerbated by Brexit and the pandemic, remains a challenge.

ONS research reveals that following a period of relative post-pandemic stability, the number of vacancies has steadied, however remain 63% higher than 2019’s levels.

Despite growing challenges with the rising cost of living, data suggests hiring intent remains resilient in the coming months.

Changing perceptions of the sector

Alongside a decline in available international talent, the sector has also long faced a perception challenge. However, the report reveals initial signs that people may be starting to think of the sector differently.

Analysis of job moves by suggests positive signs of recovery, with an increase in candidates moving into the hospitality sector. Whilst movement in and out has remained relatively steady compared with 2021, those moving into the sector grew from 22% in 2021 to 26% in 2022. This represents a real-terms increase of 18%.

With young people in particular less likely to choose a career in hospitality, recently launched a campaign in association with Choose Hospitality and top hospitality brands to inspire the next generation of talent via a series of inspiring videos, content and resources, featuring some of the UK’s leading hospitality celebrities, including Tom Kerridge. The campaign reached over 40k people across Tik Tok and Instagram, with seeing 4m applications to jobs on the platform in the last quarter of 2022 alone.

The recruitment solutions partner has also launched a candidate targeting tool, Equality Boost, which utilises programmatic advertising to reach and engage talent across a broad range of backgrounds. The tool is being utilised by a wide range of hospitality employers to reach into untapped talent pools.

Kathy Dyball, Director at, comments: “It is very positive to see that more homegrown UK talent is turning to the hospitality sector for work. It demonstrates just how valuable the hospitality sector is to UK employment, and how much it has to offer employees.

“A huge part of the success of any hospitality business depends on its people, so to continue on this positive trend, it’s crucial that in 2023 employers focus on delivering the outstanding workplace experience that talent want, to encourage more candidates to the industry and be retained within it.

“An important part of this is maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce which is key to strong business performance; research shows that companies that embrace gender and ethnic diversity can expect a financial performance boost of 25% compared to industry peers. Our Equality Boost tool, is designed to help employers improve their DE&I, with access to diverse talent pools and new approaches to candidate targeting, allowing employers to broaden the range of skills that they attract to their business.”

The full Hospitality Hiring Insider can be found here.

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