Five Biggest Challenges Facing The Hospitality Industry in 2023

From COVID-19 to the Cost of Living Crisis, the hospitality industry faces significant challenges in 2023.
Amy Dignon
Nov 2023
4 min read

Consumers are returning to hospitality after a difficult few years for the industry. That said, even with the promising signs of recovery the sector still faces a perfect storm of challenges in 2023.

1. Staff Shortages and Retention

Staff shortages have impacted the hospitality industry over the last few years and now more than ever present a significant issue for businesses. In their recent report the ONS state that shortages are at an all time high, with an increase of 83% more vacancies advertised and a shortfall of 170,000 hospitality jobs currently available in the UK.

A further report noted that 45% of hospitality operators in the UK have been forced to cut capacity or opening hours due to shortages in staff.

To tackle staff retention, investing in team training has never been more important. To further attract staff various lobby groups are campaigning for fair wages, flexible set-ups to working hours and are also asking the Government to review its occupation shortage list in a bid to attract more overseas workers.

Read our tips on how tech can help bridge the staff shortages gap.

2. Cost of Living Crisis

The exponential rise in prices impacts the hospitality industry two-fold. First from a consumer perspective where the public have less money to spend eating or drinking out, then also for their businesses’ own rising costs.

After two years of pandemic-impacted trade, recent trends indicate that consumers are returning to hospitality in promising numbers.

Hospitality businesses now face the challenge of an increase in 55.2% in operating costs, with industry groups lobbying the government for extra financial support for the industry.

Find out how Trail can help you cut your operational costs in our latest webinar.

3. Increase in Hospitality Tech

Over the course of the pandemic we saw a huge shift in the use of technology throughout hospitality. This tech helped businesses adapt to changing needs and also to improve customer experience.

As we enter into a post-pandemic stage customers have a higher expectation when it comes to experience and technology, with those who fail to address this risking efficiency and customer loyalty.

Technology also offers opportunities for hospitality. Tech solutions like Trail help to save time, improve efficiency and cut back on costs.  Other back-office tech options can support all areas of the business - here are our top picks for 2022.

Read our guide to the best Back of House software in 2022.

4. Environmental considerations

The climate-crisis is at the forefront of the public’s mind and conversation.

In 2023, hospitality businesses must not just be conscious of their environmental impact due to the financial implications of rising energy costs, but also of consumer expectations and behaviour too.

In’s Sutainability Report it was found 83% of global travellers value sustainability as something vital. This is a growing trend and challenge that hospitality businesses will continue to face for the foreseeable future.

A single stream of paper costs £32.50 per month. Switching to digital is just one way you can save on costs while also being more environmentally-friendly.

5. Meeting demand

In recent reports there are promising signs that hospitality sales are returning to above pre-pandemic levels in most areas of the UK.

Meeting this demand when businesses face rising costs and staff shortages is a significant challenge for the sector. As hospitality businesses tackle these challenges, industry leaders are also calling on the government for urgent support.

Using supportive tech like Trail cuts operational costs and increases efficiency across the business. This means more time spent addressing the external issues the industry faces.

For a free trial, sign up here.

What customers are saying

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