While much has been said about customers failing to honour restaurant bookings, new research has looked into the battle that operators have with employee no-shows over the Christmas period.
According to a new Censuswide survey on behalf of MHR, 71% of managers in the hospitality industry face unexpected employee absences rocketing.
More than two-thirds (69%) believe that employees are more likely to call in sick during busy seasonal periods, despite 66% believing they have the right number of employees available to cover shifts.
When asked what they would change or implement to better manage the fluctuations in staff requirements caused by seasonal demand, 45% said they would hire more permanent people while 11% said they would employ more people on zero hours contracts.
More than half (55%) said that a rise in absences had a negative impact on their profits.
“With Christmas representing the busiest time of the year for the hospitality sector, managers must optimise their rosters to meet seasonal demand and maintain exceptional customer service, while keeping a firm eye on the bottom line by minimising instances of overstaffing,” says MHR business analyst Stuart Price.
“Despite their best efforts to plan ahead it seems managers accept that they are likely to experience a spike in employee absences.
“Most managers would choose to improve their situation by hiring more employees, throwing more money at costly resource, rather than investing in a workforce management system which would enable them to gain valuable insights to create accurate rosters and react promptly to absences the moment they occur.”