Hospitality Professionals: Returning to the Sector

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, here at CPL Learning along with data consultancy CGA have been doing all we can to help support the hospitality industry and provide relevant training, data and insights.

One of our commitments as we all continue to manage the changing industry landscape is to provide people-driven data to drive change in our businesses. Our Hospitality Professionals panel gives a key insight into those working within the hospitality sector, who have a passion for the industry and a desire to be heard, along with a wealth of experience and expertise which can be learnt from when planning for recovery.

Our previous survey results have highlighted how hospitality team members felt about reopening after furlough and the impact of learning and development during lockdown.

Our latest Hospitality Professionals survey was completed by our panel of frontline hospitality workers between the 31st July and 5th September and focuses on the return to working in the sector.  

Back to work?

Our survey revealed that at the time of the survey, when asked if their venue had reopened since the 4th July 4 in 5 of our Hospitality Professionals surveyed were back working in venue. We also asked how our survey respondents how they felt about their job security. The return to work has led to a slight polarisation in concern around longer-term job security. For a quarter of Hospitality Professionals, a return to work abated concerns about their long term job security (up 6pp since June), whilst at the other end of the spectrum, a quarter are now “very concerned” about their long term job security.

As lobbying groups continue their efforts to demand the continuation of support for the sector, it is important to consider the feelings of your teams and appreciate any concerns around job security. If you are able to help support your teams through learning and development, this will both help your employees feel more confident in your business as well as allow them to continue to develop their own prospects.

Hospitality Professionals: Returning to the Sector

COVID secure

Whilst long term job security remains ambiguous, one thing that Hospitality Professionals were unified on was their overall satisfaction and comfort with the COVID measures that have been implemented in their workplaces. 89% of our survey respondents were satisfied with the COVID measures in place. Further to this, the measures appear to strike a good balance between safety and experience with 85% of our Hospitality Professionals feeling that measures “were just enough to make guests and colleagues feel safe”.

The satisfaction with COVID measures appears to be mirrored by consumers with 85% reportedly satisfied with the safety measures in the venues they visited.

With the latest government restrictions affected hospitality, the newly rebuilt confidence in consumers may be affected, and operators will have to continue their efforts to reassure guests. It is encouraging then to see the results of this survey which reflect the hard work and efforts of operators in the weeks following reopening.

COVID Secure

The role of training

Striking the right balance for both guests and team members between safety and experience has been achievable through the careful planning and implementation of COVID training by operators in their recovery planning. Almost 9 in 10 Hospitality Professionals reported that they received COVID specific training before returning to work, with 87% satisfied with the training they received.

This training has paid dividends in consumers’ satisfaction with hygiene and cleanliness procedures and practices when visiting outlets, resulting in increasing consumer confidence and a greater propensity to revisit, with 2 in 5 consumers feeling that their overall experience made them feel reassured enough to visit again.

Delivering service and safety    

58% of the Hospitality Professionals surveyed feel that the COVID measures implemented have had an impact on the level of service they can provide customers. Interestingly, this concern was not reflected in the opinions of consumers, almost half reported that their visits to the on-trade had been better than expected. However, as an industry that prides itself on offering a high-quality standard of service, our frontline workers feelings should not be dismissed. Your teams may need assurance and new guidance on how to successfully deliver the highest possible standard of service despite safety measures.

Conflict and compliance   

The survey returns some really positive messages about the return to trade from our frontline team members. However, concern remains high over future instability caused by another rise in cases or local lockdowns in 87% of respondents.

And this concern is valid, with new guidelines and restrictions being imposed routinely, many professionals shared concerns about guests not adhering to COVID rules or following social distancing guidelines or difficulty in enforcing guidelines.

Again, reinforcing training around conflict management and guest communications can help build confidence in your teams if they are concerned about customer behaviour and how to manage it.

Our Hospitality Professionals panel gives a hugely valuable insight into the thoughts and opinions of frontline hospitality team members. This insight can help you support and guide your teams through the ongoing challenges we’re all facing.

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Read the full survey results here.

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