Hospitality: Are You Ready for the Olympic Games?

 

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The following is a guest post. Enjoy! 

Hospitality: Are You Ready for the Olympic Games?
 
The stadiums are built, the running tracks are ready, and even Boris has had his hair cut – finally. But, with the influx of tourists coming into the United Kingdom for the London 2012 Olympic Games, questions are being asked of the hospitality industry, from the maids who clean the hotel rooms to the restaurant staff in thousands of businesses throughout the country. Under increasing pressure to provide accommodation and food to the Olympic community, travelling from all over the world to experience the best of British, will our hotels and restaurants triumph, or will they struggle to feed the masses?
 
With less than a year to go until the Olympic Games, is it becoming increasingly difficult to determine whether the hospitality industry will be able to cope with 14 million extra meals that have to be served, and an extra 1 million visitors in need of place to stay.
 

Employment

 
Notoriously known for its high turnover of staff, the hospitality industry is one of the core infrastructures of the British economy. With over 800,000 new applications to work in the many areas hospitality has to offer, job opportunities are becoming more and more frequent. In fact, there are more jobs currently available in hospitality than the last two years combined.
 
In view of the Olympics, it’s expected that businesses are going to need an extra 100,000 full-time staff in order to cope with the work load. However, many of the 800,000 applications have been for roles not related to the turnover of customers. For example, there are extremely high numbers of applications for hotel porters, cleaners, and night staff.
 
Applications for more skilled roles, such as reception managers, restaurant managers, and senior chefs have seen a hefty decline. Some highly skilled positions are receiving less than 10 applicants, compared to over 60 for a hotel porter role. The Olympic Games are identifying a large skill gap in our employment sector. Surprisingly, the majority of businesses have yet to take steps to plan for the Olympics, and some are refusing to prepare at all.
 

Legacy

 
Surface concerns about hospitality’s ability to provide for the Olympic Games, from arranging drink suppliers to organically-sourced meat, this industry will need to think towards the future with regards to the benefits the games will provide. By providing a good and well-managed service, the hospitality industry will secure international custom from tourists for many years to come.
 
Although the Olympic Games are a chance for the United Kingdom to test the true capabilities of its infrastructure, from public transport to food service, it is also an opportunity to leave a legacy. Even with all the customer-related issues brought on by the sheer scale of the games, projected revenue for the hospitality industry is through the roof. The advantages of this exponential source of income continue to outweigh understaffing and experience issues. However, if the hospitality industry has any hope of maintaining this wealth of income in the future, planning needs to be precise in order to sustain such an important part of the United Kingdom’s infrastructure.

How about you all? What industries do you know of are currently running short on workers? Are there any left in this slow economy?


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