Hospitality firms to offer UK staff relocation bonuses as they struggle to fill Brexit recruitment gap, claims report

  • According to, 69% of catering companies have difficulty recruiting staff
  • Almost two-thirds of catering companies have difficulty filling chef positions
  • Some respond by offering flexible services, bonuses and subsidized housing

Most hospitality firms say Brexit is still having an impact on their ability to hire staff, research shows – with companies now looking to lure workers from other parts of the UK with lucrative relocation packages.

In a new report, catering jobs website Caterer says that 69 percent of catering companies are having difficulty recruiting staff due to Brexit.

Executive positions are the most challenging to fill, the report says, with almost two-thirds of companies struggling, followed by general management and front-of-house roles.

Recruitment challenges: In a new report, says 69% of hospitality companies are struggling to recruit staff due to Brexit

According to Caterer, 70 percent of hospitality businesses believe that actively seeking to recruit British workers from outside their immediate area will help address the shortage.

Some are attractive to staff with flexible shifts or relocation packages with bonuses, moving expenses or subsidized housing.

Calvern James, director of hospitality management at Caterer, says companies have ‘swapped the EU for Edinburgh and Essex as they become increasingly creative in finding talent.’

He added: ‘This could be a hotel in Devon advertising for workers in Scotland, or a café in Yorkshire targeting people thinking of leaving London.’

Other hospitality groups recruit from traditionally overlooked demographics, such as refugees, students, the homeless and ex-offenders.

Britain’s departure from the European Union four years ago led to extra red tape and costs for groups looking to employ people from mainland Europe.

Many EU citizens also returned to their home countries, a trend accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic and temporary restrictions on non-essential locations such as pubs, bars and restaurants.

Caterer said the coming months are a crucial time for the hospitality sector, which estimates it will hire almost a million Brits to support this summer’s events calendar.

It referred to the Olympics in Paris, the European Football Championships in Germany and Taylor Swift’s Eras tour, whose 15 UK dates are expected to boost consumer spending by almost £1 billion.

The website’s report also states that hospitality businesses need additional workers to serve the three-quarters of British families planning ‘staycations’.

Eighty percent of hospitality businesses plan to increase their workforce in the coming months to accommodate the potential increase in trade.

Between January and March 2024, vacancies for roles at Caterer increased by almost a quarter, with positions in Scotland increasing by 68 per cent, the biggest increase of any region.

Caterer’s research surveyed 100 businesses and 2,000 British adults in April by polling organization Opinium.