Is Brexit causing staff shortages in pubs and restaurants in Ledbury?

The hospitality industry is asking for more support due to a collapsing job market.

Pub and restaurant owners across the country have warned they are struggling to attract enough staff, creating a crisis for the industry.

Chris Howell, manager of the Oak Inn at Staplow, said, “Since we reopened we’ve been as busy as ever, but there aren’t any chefs around.

“When we reopened we hired four new employees, but the demand means we are struggling to cope and need more staff.

“Usually when you need a boss, agencies are your back-up, but when they don’t have one, you worry.”

Mr Howell added that they had approached colleges in the area to try to find newly qualified chefs, but still struggled to attract applications.

He added: “There are chefs there, but most of them have been put on leave, and with the program extended until September, they are unlikely to change jobs.

“We placed ads for a chef, sous chef and apprentice chef and had to change the menu to meet demand.”

Last week Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin denied saying he was understaffed due to Brexit.

Mr Martin, who was a strong supporter of the UK’s exit from the European Union, told investors that a Daily Telegraph article “distorted Wetherspoon’s position”.

He said it “clearly is not true” that the pub group is facing a staffing shortage following the reopening of venues across the UK.

On Tuesday, the Telegraph ran an article titled “Wetherspoons boss calls for more migration to EU as bars and restaurants tackle staff shortage”, with other hotel operators also highlighting concerns about staff while the recent reopening has resulted in increased customer demand.

The UK Hospitality business group has said staffing is a challenge, with Brexit adding to the problem as many EU workers return to the continent.

Mr. Martin, founder and executive chairman of the group, said on Wednesday that he told the reporter that the advertising giant was “reasonably well positioned” when it comes to applications for new positions across the country.

However, he added that “recruiting is more difficult in some resort towns – but it’s no different from what we experience every year.”

Mr Martin stressed that he still supports an “Australian-style immigration point system” with the potential for preferential visas for countries close to the UK.

“I was trying to be helpful to the reporter by providing up-to-date anecdotal information on the staff, which clearly demonstrated a very positive situation for Wetherspoon,” he said.

“However, my comments were misreported.

“The false story, expressed in the headline” Wetherspoons boss calls for more migration to EU as bars and restaurants tackle staff shortage “and expressed or implied elsewhere in the article, was that Wetherspoon was suffering from a staff shortage, which is clearly not true, and that I was subsequently pressured to change my stance on immigration, which, as my testimony in parliament clearly shows , is not true either.

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