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Why Are Workers Fleeing the Hospitality Industry?

The Great Resignation has hit the hospitality industry particularly hard. In 2021, approximately 700,000 hospitality workers left the industry each month, and 2022 has continued this trend of individuals choosing to throw in the towel on their hospitality jobs for good. In fact, quit rates for hospitality workers have been higher than in any other industry in recent years.

This creates a serious problem for hospitality businesses moving forward. With staffing issues at an all-time high, record numbers of workers fleeing the industry for different career paths and a dearth of new workers entering the industry, it’s become exceedingly challenging for these businesses to meet their staffing needs. In order to solve this issue, it’s important to first understand why so many workers have chosen to flee the hospitality industry over the last two years.

Employee Burnout

Employee burnout has been one of the largest factors driving the mass exodus of workers from the hospitality industry. A study from Glassdoor identified the hospitality industry as being one of the worst employment options for work-life balance. While this poor work-life balance is one of the primary contributors to employee burnout, there are other factors causing this phenomenon. These include:

Low Wages

The hospitality industry tends to pay poorly. The average wage for hospitality workers at the end of 2021 was $515 a week, including tips. This equates to an annual income of less than $27,000. With the cost of living spiraling out of control, this doesn’t provide a living wage in most parts of the country. It’s easy to understand why individuals making such a low wage would leave their chosen field to pursue other career paths which may provide them with a better salary.

Nontraditional Work Hours

Most hospitality jobs require employees to work nontraditional hours. Due to the nature of the industry, many shifts occur on nights, weekends and holidays. This creates a situation where workers are often working opposite schedules from family and friends, limiting their time to connect with their loved ones and enjoy many activities that these people participate in.

Poor Growth Potential

hospitality staffing solutions The hospitality industry provides a great opportunity for young people to join the workforce. For some, it starts as a job that helps pay the bills while they are in school. For others, it provides the ability to gain employment without going to college. However, what starts out as a great opportunity to join the workforce often becomes a dead end for many hospitality workers.

Many hospitality jobs provide minimal, if any, training and skill development. In most instances, there isn’t a clear pathway towards upward mobility and a track to make this a viable career with solid earning potential. While some people will get promoted to management, many hospitality workers face a reality of a flat career path that only offers lateral moves when new job opportunities arise. Individuals looking for career advancement are often forced to find it in other fields which provide a better pathway for growth opportunities.

Toxic Work Environments

Hospitality jobs are often high-pressure work environments which create elevated stress levels for employees. In addition to a stressful environment, hospitality jobs are often rife with bullying and sexual harassment – roughly 63% of hospitality workers have experienced an incident of sexual harassment at work.

Most people can only endure a toxic, stressful work environment for so long before they will decide to seek other employment opportunities. For individuals who have experienced this type of work environment in numerous hospitality positions, it is understandable why they would eventually decide to leave the industry.

Xclusive Services Can Help Your Hospitality Business Overcome Staffing Issues

The primary factors contributing to workers leaving the hospitality industry are all systemic in nature. As a result, it will take a dramatic overhaul of the industry to eliminate the issues driving these staffing shortages. Unfortunately, systemic overhaul takes time – time that many businesses that are currently short staffed don’t have.

If you’re struggling to stay fully staffed, Xclusive Services can help. We provide staffing solutions for a wide range of hospitality industry positions. We can help restaurants find servers, kitchen staff and managers. In addition, we can fill just about any hotel position you may have, including:

This list is by no means exhaustive. Our hospitality staffing agency can assist with many positions not listed above. You’ll benefit from our Xclusive Excellence™ commitment, which ensures we:

To learn more about how Xclusive Services can help address your hospitality staffing needs, please request a quote or call a local office for immediate staffing needs.

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