Is a Lack of Flexibility Costing the Catering Industry?

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In many sectors, flexible working arrangements have increased in recent years in the UK. However, a recent report from Quinyx working in collaboration with Censuswide and Development Economics has revealed that there is a high level of dissatisfaction regarding the flexibility of working arrangements in the catering industry.

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Costs to the Catering Industry

Failing to embrace the demand for increased flexibility could, it is claimed, cost the sector as much as £448 million a year in economic output. At present, there is an output of £20.797 billion per year with the existing flexible working trends, but this could be increased to £21.245 billion per year by 2023 if the catering industry embraced and implemented more flexible working arrangements. According to the Office for National Statistics, there was an overall increase of 1.3 million workers enjoying flexible working arrangements in 2017 compared to those in 2011, but the catering industry seems to be under-represented in these figures.

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How Could Output Be Increased?

Factors such as higher productivity and reduction of staff churn (or turnover) would result in increased output. This could be achieved by tailoring working schedules to the employees’ needs so that staff would be more motivated and more content. According to Real Business, the majority of workers in the UK would appreciate their employers offering them flexible working arrangements, and many would actually prefer this to an increase in pay.

Twelve per cent of hospitality and catering workers in the UK claim their productivity would increase if they had more flexible working arrangements. They say that that lack of flexibility in their working arrangements can have a negative effect on their health and well-being, and sixteen per cent say that it causes them to feel isolated from family and friends.

Challenges Facing the Catering Industry

Today it is relatively simple to ensure that equipment is always in good working order. Online ordering from means you can obtain anything from refrigeration equipment to a medium duty 6 burner gas range oven at extremely short notice.

Recognising the importance of keeping employees happy and motivated is at least as important to profitability as keeping catering equipment in good condition, so unless requests from employees for increased flexible working opportunities are addressed, the industry is in danger of losing output.

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