The Case for Reform of the Culture of Hospitality Working in Ireland: Some Preliminary Evidence

The hospitality sector was uniquely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. While some establishments pivoted to food preparation and delivery, many were forced to shut down for over 16 months. Re-opening of in-door dining in July 2021 has led to extensive challenges of staff recruitment across the sector, along with claims by employers that this is stunting their ability to recover. Speculation as to the causes of labour shortages has ranged from the continuation of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), to migrant labour returning home, to the traditional precarious nature of hospitality work. To date, little research has been conducted in Ireland to explore the reality of hospitality work. This research explores the lived experience of hospitality workers in Ireland. The primary motivation behind the analysis is to give voice to workers, and to provoke debate about how hospitality could reform to become a more desirable career option.

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