The grey hair power!

The hospitality sector is currently in crisis and have several challenges to resolve in coming months and years. One of the most important factors directly affecting the sales of any business is the staff shortages we are facing. We are in a business of sales, and if you miss the workforce, you will end up losing revenue.

The restriction imposed by Brexit, the change of attitude resulting from Covid and a permanent search for a more balanced lifestyle, has resulted in a massive shortage of staff for our beloved industry. The industry has lost 121,000 EU workers in the last 2 years and the vacancy rate well exceeds the application rate.

Decision-makers are now looking at alternative ways to fill vacancies and one very untapped workforce category is the senior (I will admit that I am a bit biased, being in that category myself). It is a great source of manpower as economic inactivity has been on the rise among Britons aged between 50 and 64 years old over the past two years. Nearly 28 percent of that age group are economically inactive, compared with 25.5 percent before the pandemic.

Workers aged 50 and above now account for 25.2 percent of the 2.2m -strong hospitality workforce, according to estimates compiled by recruiter Employers are now broadening their criteria of recruitment and looking at each position and how suited it could become to a more senior population.
Employing senior staff has a lot of benefits from an employer’s point of view:

  • Stability: senior employees do not tend to change jobs and are looking for stability.
  • Knowledge: experience brings immense knowledge. This knowledge can then be used to train younger employees or find the correct resolution to problems.
  • Composure: seniors have seen a lot in their life and faced many difficult situations. That gives them composure to deal with issues. This crossed with the knowledge that they have acquired, it makes them perfect trainers or “buddy” to welcome any new employees.
  • Sense of establishment: as a customer, we feel that the establishment we are in has been running for a long time as the staff is mature. It also gives us a sense of being in safe hands.
  • Energy: most of the seniors have a strong work ethic and they have been educated with work success as a core value. They will often show a lot of energy and dedication to their role.


Some companies have already realised the potential of seniors. Jeremy King has been a strong advocate for employing older employees and has shown the way for many others.  More recently and at the other end of the spectrum, McDonald’s UK restaurants launched a recruitment drive targeting older workers, featuring an advert with a silver-haired employee who was not “the retiring type”.

Grey hair power…