Why 2023 is Looking Good for the Liverpool Hospitality Sector

As March approaches and the first quarter of 2023 is in full swing, we think it’s important to look ahead at what’s looking like a great year for the Northwest region’s hospitality industry. Understandably, rising costs, skills shortages, and changing lifestyles post pandemic allow for a lot of doom and gloom when reviewing the sector, but a number of national/internationally renowned events this year suggest a real boost is coming to the area.

Some of the worlds biggest events are coming to the region this year.

Starting with March, this year sees the return of The Liverpool Hospitality Awards as a celebration of the brilliant and talented people working in our thriving regional hospitality industry. The awards will be held at the Rum Warehouse, Titanic Hotel, and we are proud to be the headline sponsor. Last year saw crowds return to Aintree Racecourse’s annual Grand National event, with thousands of people expected to descend again in April 2023. It’s estimated that the value to the local economy of the three day event is in the range of £30 million, and is synonymous with the area as one of the best steeplechase’s in the world. The much-anticipated Eurovision Song Contest, an internationally respected competition featuring 37 countries, then comes to the M&S Bank Arena in May with an anticipated 100,000 fans travelling to experience the occasion. The contest held in Torino last year generated an estimated £20 million for the local economy. Fast forward to July and The Royal Liverpool Golf Club will then play host to the 151st Open; the oldest and arguably most prestigious golf event in the world. Reports from recent tournaments suggest anything from 300,000 tourists and an injection of £60 – £110 million into the region.

These events and the huge amount of business they are expected to bring won’t staff themselves however, and it’s refreshing to see the proactive approach to ensuring people are in place to provide the best possible experiences. Emily Spurrell, the Merseyside Police Commissioner, is spearheading a move to train 600 staff across 70 venues towards the “You’re Safe Here” mark. This initiative ensures that people in the hospitality industry have the relevant training to identify instances of abuse or harassment amongst the public and highlights a consideration for both physical and mental wellbeing. Also, an upcoming recruitment fair at the ACC Liverpool will allow around 45 employers to advertise and discuss hundreds of hospitality roles in preparation for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. This is part of a wider initiative by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority the Department for Work and Pensions, Liverpool City Council and Growth Platform working together to encourage people to consider a career within hospitality.

Another key element in addressing the skills shortage in the industry, especially within the local area, is the establishment of the new, not for profit social enterprise company La Salle Hotel School. This training academy for the hospitality sector was born partly out of the findings of a June 2022 survey.

“A joint survey by UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping, and the British Beer and Pub Association, published in June 2022 highlighted how staff shortages have caused nearly half (45%) of operators nationally to cut trading hours or capacity in order to cope, whilst there are a record 174,000 jobs available – 83% more vacancies than in 2019. The highest shortages are for front of house roles (sought by 81% of operators), chefs (76%), kitchen porters (67%), and assistant managers (53%).”

Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Hotels Update, November 2022 

Whilst these figures might not be too shocking given the exposure the lack of candidates has received, it’s admirable the amount of investment the region is showing in helping to address the problem. Not only are employers recognising the need to train the next generation of hospitality staff in the required skills, there is an onus via initiatives like the “You’re Safe Here” mark to also make sure that guests and customers have a well-rounded experience.

The next 8 months’ show the potential for the regional hospitality sector to really bounce back, but the commitments to investing in these events and beyond suggests it’s not just a short term boost. It’s a great time to be living and/or working in Merseyside; lets embrace the upwards trajectory.

If you’d like any support with any hospitality staffing, get in touch to see how Saffron Vanilla can help.