PUBS, restaurants and cafes ramping up across the country in preparation for welcoming customers back on Monday, May 17, but many are struggling due to staff shortages.

More than 106,400 people were employed in the hospitality sector in Wales before the pandemic with further jobs created in the chain that keeps food and drink businesses supplied.

In 2019, that supply chain was worth £22bn to the country.

Many people, including unemployed people, have seemingly lost faith in the security of being employed in an industry that has a short-term and unpredictable future.

The sector is struggling against issues like this with many hesitant to take a job in case they lose it again shortly after and have to wait for benefit claims to be restarted.

UKHospitality Cymru, the body that represents businesses from Chippy’s to Bed and Breakfasts said that Wales’ economic recovery was being threatened by the staffing crisis.

Atlantic Resource Recruitment Agency’s Simon James said “I have never seen anything like this in 35 years in the industry,”.

“I know of a really respected top chef who has been working as a carpenter and is staying with that rather than returning to the kitchen,”

The added complication of Brexit cannot be underestimated, the hospitality sector in Wales has always relied heavily on staff from the EU.

The pandemic resulted in many EU nationals returning home and not returning to Wales for employment because Brexit has made it harder.