A survey of the hospitality industry as a place to work. Our fifth annual Happiness in Hospitality report, sponsored by Toast, looks at the future of the workforce. 


Building on our 2022 Happiness in Hospitality report, which explored why individuals choose careers in hospitality, this year’s edition shifts its focus to the future of the workforce. We’re examining critical aspects of recruitment and retention that will shape the industry for years to come.

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Key Insights

– Millennial dominance: 67% of respondents belong to the millennial generation (aged 27-42), highlighting their significant presence in the industry

– Stable recommendations: 71% of respondents still recommend hospitality as a career, reflecting the industry’s enduring appeal

– Retention progress: 82% of participants plan to stay in hospitality for the next 12 months, a notable increase from 75% in 2022, signaling improvements in staff retention

– Work-Life Balance: Our findings emphasise the importance of work-life balance, flexibility, fair pay, benefits, career development, and inspirational leadership for the future of the industry

– Our 11 point action plan for operators, as well as recommendations for managers and teams


Discover the ongoing challenges and triumphs of the dynamic hospitality sector through the CODE Happiness in Hospitality 2023 Report. In an ever-evolving landscape, this report serves as a crucial resource for industry professionals, offering a comprehensive look at the state of the workforce and the path forward.

Despite the stability in certain aspects of the industry, questions surrounding staff retention and well-being remain. The transient nature of hospitality work demands a renewed focus on employee support and development.While positive changes are happening, such as addressing toxic behaviours and improving staff well-being, challenges persist, such as long working hours, lack of control over schedules, and inadequate facilities. It’s clear that the industry must invest in retaining its valuable workforce.

As the survey suggests, nearly 60% of hospitality professionals are drawn to the industry for the sense of community and the ability to make people happy. This human-centric focus underscores the importance of creating workplaces that prioritise employees’ well-being, development, and satisfaction.The CODE Happiness in Hospitality 2023 Report takes a close look at the key questions that shape working conditions in the industry, revealing both strengths and areas in need of improvement. 

Our report will address topics such as pay and conditions, culture and progression, leadership and communication, tools and recognition, and employee well-being and benefits, with insights from industry voices and leaders including:

  • – Moncef Mansour, Head of People, Kricket
  • – Luci Brierley, General Manager, Mountain
  • – Rachel Masing, People Director, ETM Group
  • – Harry Housen, Chief People Officer, Itsu
  • – Thom Elliot, Co-founder, Pizza Pilgrims
  • – Helen Blower, Director of Hospitality, The House of St Barnabas
  • – Andrea Attard, International Demand Marketing Director, Toast
  • – Jane Sunley, Co-founder, Hendrick & Hyde
  • – Tamantha Nugent, Head of HR, Firmdale Hotels
  • – Melissa Tomsett, Head of Development, Kelly’s Cause
  • – Iré Hassan-Odukale, Co-founder, Ikoyi
  • – Craig Brancroft, Managing Director, Northcote

We aim to spark change, foster innovation, and ensure that the hospitality sector has a vibrant and dedicated workforce ready to face the challenges and opportunities of the future.

Explore last year’s Happiness in Hospitality report

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