Hospitality staffing crisis causes temporary closure for local business before Christmas

Staff shortages have led the owner of a Cardiff cafe to reduce opening hours only months after opening 

Although using local brands, Alana's businesses have suffered due to the hospitality staffing crisis
Ridiculously Rich uses local coffee by Coaltown roastery which is blended especially for their stores (Image credit: Alana Spencer)

Owner of the Ridiculously Rich franchise Alana Spencer has temporarily closed several branches and reduced the opening hours of the Cardiff Bay café due to the hospitality staffing crisis. 

The BBC apprentice winner from West Wales described closing the doors on her cafes as “gutting” despite recognising that opening four businesses during the pandemic was a “great risk”.

She thinks making workers feel appreciated and paying more than the minimum wage will encourage more people to work in hospitality.

According to the Welsh Government, before the pandemic the hospitality sector employed over 124,000 people in Wales, making it the third largest sector.

Stint, an employment app for students, predicts the number of job vacancies in the UK hospitality industry will rise from 88,000 in 2019 to 163,000 this December.

Yet Alana argues Brexit has also played a part in the staffing crisis, as it led to 90,000 European Union workers leaving the UK’s hospitality sector a report by found. 

Charles Wakley, a former bar manager from Cathays, feels there has been a decrease in hospitality staff since the pandemic as lockdown allowed people to think about what career they wanted to pursue.

Charles has worked in the food and drink industry for over 10 years but has recently decided to pursue a career in education.

Charles is one of many who have left hospitality, adding to the staffing crisis to pursue a career in education
Charles will no longer have to watch others sip his martinis but instead make cocktails for himself at home (Image credit: Rob Bishop)

He was particularly eager to avoid working another festive season this year.

With office parties, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve, it ends up being a time you dread

“Christmas is a stressful time for everyone, but particularly those in hospitality. With office parties, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve, it ends up being a time you dread,” he said.

Ridiculously Rich is not the only business in Cardiff to close due to lack of employees. Wally’s delicatessen announced it too would close for the rest of the year due to staff shortages. 

To apply for a job at Ridiculously Rich email

Figures sourced from ONS