Building staff levels whilst meeting demand and managing cashflow: The challenge facing the hospitality and retail sectors

come in sign on the door of a retail space

We recently wished our clients – especially in the retail and hospitality sectors – lots of luck and goodwill as they opened their doors to customers once again, able to fully open up as the Covid pandemic restrictions ease. It has been alarming, touching base with them, to hear that they are struggling with regards to staff levels. Many of their staff have not returned to work as they have sought employment elsewhere since being furloughed. For business owners, this makes the balancing act of meeting customer demand, whilst managing cashflow particularly challenging.

Ethically, the notion of employees receiving an income from furlough and accepting employment elsewhere feels questionable. However, guidance published by HM Revenue and Customs on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme confirms that a furloughed employee can start working for another organisation without the original employer’s claim for their wage costs under the scheme being affected.

Hospitality and retail sectors struggling to recruit as they re-open

Figures from Adzuna highlight this finding amongst our client base as a trend being replicated across the country. Almost one million vacancies are listed on the jobs website, up 18% on six weeks ago amid a rise in jobs in the hospitality sector.

The risk of labour shortages in the UK set to compound staff challenges 

The Chartered Institute of Personal and Development (CIPD) and recruitment firm, Adecco, state that employers plan to hire at the fastest rate in eight years, led by the reopening of the hospitality and retail sectors.  In a sign of growing pressures on the job market, amid rapid growth in consumer spending, the CIPD has pointed to a sharp decline in the numbers of EU workers, fuelling the risk of labour shortages. (1.3million workers are estimated to have left the UK since late 2019).

Northern Tonic can help navigate the balancing act of building staff levels, meeting customer demand and managing cashflow

You don’t need us to tell you the critical importance of having the right people in the right roles at the right time to meet demand and growth. We can help you with your forecasting and planning for this uncertain, and for many business owners, daunting period of rebuilding to help you make sure you make the right decisions at the right time.

Small changes can help too – can we deliver you more time to focus on this if we take on bookkeeping or payroll? Can we help deliver you more time AND money by overhauling your financial systems, putting the right technology and infrastructure in place to set you up for future success?

Free financial direction support

We provide a free Financial Direction Review service to support you in managing cashflow and provide ideas to move your business forward.

If your business is experiencing financial difficulties or you need financial planning to ensure your ideas for re-opening and growth are executed well, then get in touch to arrange your FREE Financial Direction Review on 01937-541 770, or email us on

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