Why it Pays to Avoid Understaffing During Peak Seasons

Christmas is around the corner and we all know it’s the busiest time for everyone working in the hospitality industry. The success...

Indeed Flex

29 September 2019

4 min read

Christmas is around the corner and we all know it’s the busiest time for everyone working in the hospitality industry. The success of your staffing operation is dependent upon your clear management direction and the determined efforts of the people who work for you.

For your business to succeed in its most profitable time of year, it’s critical that you employ enough qualified staff to deliver the service your customers have come to expect. This time last year, Caterer stated that over a quarter (26%) of businesses have been unable to fill Christmas roles due to a lack of available candidates.

Furthermore, with Brexit taking its toll a third (35%) of hospitality businesses admitted they would be short-staffed over the Christmas holiday period. Unfortunately, there may be times when you find yourself struggling to hire enough staff to meet the demands of the business. This could be because; you don’t have the time to recruit people, you are finding it difficult to find qualified workers or cash flow is preventing you from taking on extra staff – making it pivotal that you plan ahead and look to book a contingent staff force early. 

Your business may be able to operate efficiently for a short time with a limited number of employees. However, in the longer-term, understaffing will demoralise your staff, slowly kill your business growth and even whittle away at the core business. Here we will discuss the downside of having an understaffed workforce over the vital Christmas period:

Loss of Profitability 

Research shows there is a direct impact on sales revenue when your restaurant, hotel or event is understaffed. In the restaurant trade, it is nearly impossible to hide the effects of understaffing from your customers. If you don’t have enough front of house staff or waiting staff, it will be difficult to keep on top of the essential operations like taking orders, clearing plates and checking if customers are satisfied.

Decreased Productivity and Increased Turnover

More bookings and spending on food and drink see the hospitality sector with a revenue increase of almost 6% more than any other sector during the festive season making it an extremely busy time of year. With pressure to work harder, the turnover rate in the restaurants-and-accommodations sector rose to a post-recession high of 74.9% in 2018 due to unsociable hours, overworking and low pay.  Through working longer hours your staff could become worn out and may even start to suffer from stress which could lead to a loss in productivity and cause high turnover, which in return, could end up costing your business more to hire hospitality staff.

Negative Reviews Can Cost You £30,000 a Year

If your business is struggling to deliver good services, it could develop a reputation for having poor customer service very soon. Nothing is more damaging than an angry customer tweeting the lack of service of your restaurant. On the flip side, good reviews go a long way and even contributed to £2 billion spending in the UK a year and at a highly competitive Christmas, it can make a real difference.

Higher Recruitment Costs

Syfters have told us one negative experience is enough for them never to return. If your business develops a reputation for being a ‘bad’ place to work, you may find it difficult to attract new talents to join your company. A business that develops a problem with understaffing can easily become stuck in a vicious recruitment cycle: the business initially struggles to attract staff – the existing staff become overworked and stressed – the staff either leave or they complain to others that it is not a good place to work. If you want your business to prosper and grow and ensure your staff stay productive, healthy and happy, you need to invest time in hiring a sufficient number of qualified staff.

No matter which staff you’re looking for this holiday season, Indeed Flex has an experienced and reliable workforce with over 98% off all shifts rated 4 star and above; be it waiting staff, bartenders, baristas, chefs and many more! Indeed Flex offers a variety of quality flexible hospitality staffing roles in London, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Edinburgh. Schedule a call with us!