Pubs and restaurants have hiked workers’ pay by an average of 11 per cent in recent months.
A staffing blight continues to plague the hospitality sector, according to data from the latest CGA and Fourth’s Business Leaders’ Survey.
Almost four in five businesses told the survey that they had increased wages in a bid to retain staff.
Some nine per cent of roles are vacant and open for applications, a drop from the late 2021 figure of 14 per cent.
It comes as The Telegraph reported that some businesses were gifting workers prosecco on their birthdays and offering new recruits gym discounts.
Only half of pub and restaurant bosses said they felt confident about their recruitment and retention for the coming 12 months.
A “scramble for staff” was causing dramatic levels of concern across the sector, according to Phil Tate, CGA Group CEO.
He added: “While there are some signs of improvement in the first quarter of 2022, major shortages and severe upward pressure on pay are likely to continue throughout the year.
“On top of other rising costs, supply issues, the end of VAT relief and fragile consumer confidence, it is yet another challenge to the recovery of the sector, which needs and deserves sustained support from government.”
Some 85 per cent of bosses said they were also increasing communication with staff while some 72 per cent said they were focusing on staff wellbeing and mental health, in order to prevent resignations.
High numbers of hospitality workers left the country during the pandemic and in the wake of Brexit, with central London especially hit hard.
Some restaurants have been forced to close or slash hours due to a shortage of available workers, with Covid-related absences also piling pressure on firms.