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Are you currently working in the hospitality sector or are considering it for a future career move? Perhaps you’re managing a team or even pondering your future in the industry due to your own personal pet peeves? As pioneers for making working life that little bit easier, we set out to explore what it is that real people, who are currently working in the industry found most (and least) frustrating about working in hospitality. From hotels and pubs to bars, restaurants and venues (among others), we received feedback from over 200 individuals who shared their biggest pet peeves, and here’s what we discovered…

 

So, what are the biggest pet peeves of all?

Let’s get right down to it. Our survey results uncovered the biggest pet peeve as working long shifts, coming in at 39%. This was closely followed by the unreliability of shift patterns at 33% and working unsociable hours which came in at 31%. Zero hours contracts were also mentioned in the survey results, with 17% expressing their dislike for this set up.

Although many working in the industry may be very familiar with these pet peeves, it’s worth considering the mental and physical effects on employees who might in fact be dealing with all the factors highlighted above.

 

Helping staff members who are working long shifts 

Appreciation. It might seem like an obvious one, but appreciating and recognising the hard work of others has long been proven as an effective way to help not only motivate employees and help manage their mental health, but it also aids significantly where staff retention is concerned.

Appreciation is important in any workplace, and that’s across the board. Whether someone in your team has provided off the chart customer service, the kitchen has received praise for great food, or someone has effectively dealt with a difficult customer, you should be thinking about how to show appreciation. As long shifts have been identified as workers’ biggest pet peeve, think about how you can show appreciation to those staff members to keep the morale high. It’s also worth considering how you can recognise staff that go above and beyond to help with longer shifts, especially when covering staff shortages or sickness.

It could be as simple as giving the whole team a head’s up to someone’s fabulous effort (which is super easy to do through our centralised team communications software), or you could go a little further and think of some more exotic ideas, such as organising team awards, small events or perhaps a gamification system where employees can earn points towards rewards that matter to them personally. We recommend having a chat with your staff to see how they’d like to be appreciated for working longer shifts.

 

Are shift patterns fair, and what about zero-hour contracts?

It’s important to ensure that it’s not always the same person or small group of people who are consistently working the long shifts when others aren’t. Of course, outside factors need to be considered as to the reasons some team members can’t do longer shifts, but it might be the time to complete some rota admin to mix it up a bit.

When it comes to zero hours contracts, it’s a reality for many in the industry. In many cases they’re needed for the benefit of the business, but it’s important to acknowledge that this can take a real toll on workers. Are hour reductions split in a fair way? Has the time come to bend the culture?

When you consider that 44% of London chefs work more than 48 hours a week and 14% work a staggering 60+ hours each week , there’s something to be said when it comes to breaking long shift culture in hospitality. If employing more staff to help out with hours isn’t an option, better organisation is the way to go, and this is precisely where OpsBase can help. Our software provides some serious streamlining to your day, with super intuitive task management and the ability to seamlessly communicate with your entire workforce through one channel being just some of its key highlights. You can check out the features in more detail here.

 

Unreliable shift patterns & unsociable hours

These topics can be tricky to address, especially when the needs of the business dictate the demand for unreliable shift patterns and unsociable hours. If you’re reading this and you’re the one who organises staff shift patterns, we sympathise, as maintaining a balance between what’s required for operational efficiency alongside ensuring staff get the number of hours they want and have a good work/life balance is no mean feat.

But as a top pet peeve for workers in the industry, is there a way to make improvements?

Every hotel, bar, restaurant and venue is slightly different, so there isn’t a one answer fits all solution. We recommend exploring what you can do as a business. To help spark inspiration, we’ve provided some ideas below which may be suitable:

  • Reduce the number of unsociable hours. Will having more organisation in the workplace allow you to do this?
  • Where possible to do so, try and guarantee a fair baseline number of weekly hours for workers who want them.
  • Forecast more effectively to help ensure that staff aren’t let down on shifts or asked to do extra at short notice due to demand.
  • Choose a day of the week where you close earlier so there’s one less late shift for staff to cover.
  • Ensure your staff rota is fair.

Linked to the forecasting point above, predictive scheduling for working hours is gaining more traction, especially in the USA. Some states, such as San Francisco and New York are now required to “provide employees a minimum amount of notice for their work schedule and any changes to an employee’s scheduled shift”. This is to ensure that employees aren’t left not knowing whether they’re working from one day to the next. Employers have to pay a penalty if changes are made to schedules without enough prior notice. This is one to watch as it could be taken into consideration in the UK too.

 

What other pet peeves were revealed?

Temperature was highlighted within the survey, with 26% choosing hot temperatures as one of their biggest pet peeves. The physical effects of working in high temperatures can be incredibly serious, and there’s more to consider than simply dehydration and exhaustion. Heat stress, and even more seriously, heat stroke are other problems which may arise. Between the two, symptoms include lack of concentration, exhaustion and muscle cramps, and with the latter, seizures and disorientation too.

This pet peeve may not come as a surprise (especially where the kitchen staff are concerned), but there are a number of ways to keep your kitchen cool without having to invest in expensive air-conditioning systems.

 

So, what are hospitality workers least peeved about?

Lack of job security (7%) and an intimidating work atmosphere (8%) are two of the lowest factors identified, which gives us a bit of a warm fuzzy feeling in our tummies; it’s great to hear that nearly all of those surveyed feel secure in their jobs and are working with a great bunch of colleagues. Cleaning toilets isn’t really a problem either, with only 9% citing this at a pet peeve of theirs.

 

And finally, the silver lining: what are the best things about working in hospitality?

Coming in at the top with quite a large margin was customer satisfaction, with nearly half (47%) choosing this as one the best things about working in hospitality. This is good news for businesses, as striving for high customer satisfaction nurtures loyalty, positive reviews and helps to reduce customer churn.

There’s a wonderful social aspect to all this too, with 31% highlighting one of the best things as the ability to meet new people. By cultivating a sociable, friendly and customer-service oriented team (who are appreciated for the work they do), you’re well on your way to hospitality greatness! On a final note, we can’t disregard that 37% have pride in what they do too.

Based on the data, it would suggest that making some small changes and supporting your staff through their mental and physical wellbeing could aid in relieving some of their pet peeves. And remember, we’re experts in streamlining task management and staff communications among other things, so why not explore what our software could do for your hospitality business?

Daily task management, issue resolution and team communications, all from one platform.

OpsBase software is designed for busy restaurants bars, hotels and retailers. Manage your day-to-day operations on the move, report any issues with the click of a button, and communicate with your whole team, across multiple sites, all from one easy to set-up, simple to use app.

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