UK Home secretary Amber Rudd is reportedly examining proposals to prevent staff shortages in coffee shops, restaurants and bars. While Whitbread, boss of Costa Coffee, has welcomed the proposal to avoid labour shortages, in cafes and restaurants, following Brexit.
Whitbread has heavily invested in Costa by installing MerryChef ovens and microwaves. It has introduced a deal for a pound for a bacon roll if it is bought with coffee at breakfast time. They have also introduced new salads to be added to the menu in the summer and hot food in the autumn.
Whitbread’s chief executive Alison Brittain, former Lloyds banker pointed out that the hospitality industry in the UK is the fourth largest industry employing 5 million people and accounts for 10% GDP to the UK economy. Costa alone employs 14,500 people. The British Hospitality Association has warned that a couple hotels and restaurants will go bust in reference to irregular stream of migrants. She also said, “What is really encouraging is that people are starting to talk about solutions and options. It will take months before a formal proposal will come through.”
Brittain also said, “We are starting to see some changes in consumer spending patterns. We will also witness a tougher consumer environment with household budgets squeezed by a weak Pound causing a rise in prices, constant wages and increasing petrol prices. There is also going to be some constraints on the pound in the average consumer pocket.”
Home secretary has been reportedly considering introducing ‘barista visas’ to ensure that coffee shops, restaurants and bars are fully staffed after Brexit. The proposal was made by Lord Green, the chairman of think tank Migration Watch UK suggested two-year visas for young EU citizens permitting them to travel to Britain for work but they cannot claim any benefits. This proposal has been based on the current Youth Mobility Scheme for travelers from Australia, New Zealand and Canada.