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Staff at a popular restaurant chain are being offered up to £2,000 in bonuses for recommending friends for jobs.
Hawksmoor - which has steak restaurants in Manchester, London and Edinburgh - is offering the incentive amid a staff shortage.
Hospitality was allowed to reopen indoors in England as of last Monday (17 May), when the country began Step 3 of its roadmap out of lockdown; but getting staff numbers up to pre-pandemic numbers is proving a challenge for many pubs and restaurants.
Hawksmoor co-founder Will Beckett told the BBC it needed to 'turbo charge' its recruitment efforts - and he hopes the new bonus scheme will do just that.
Staff will receive £200 for the first friend they recommend who is hired after a one-month trial period, £300 for the next one, and up to £2,000 for five friends.
Imagine that - getting five pals a job, yourself two grand and five pals as colleagues.
For recommending someone (who is hired and passes their 1 month trial) you will get:- Hawksmoor (@HawksmoorLondon) May 23, 2021
£200 for your first friend
£300 for the next one
£400 for the next one
£500 for each one after
So, if you recommend 5 people you could make just under £2000 pic.twitter.com/Y7jT5SIoCa
Will said: "Hospitality is struggling with recruitment at the moment.
"It's a little hard to tell whether this is because there aren't enough people due to them leaving the country or leaving the sector, or because everyone is recruiting at the same time."
He added that he wanted to re-direct the recruitment budget "at our own staff, who've had financial problems while on furlough. So instead of a huge amount spent on recruitment websites or agencies, we did this policy."
It comes after pub chains Marston's and Mitchells and Butlers also revealed that they were struggling to find staff.
Phil Urban, the head of Mitchells & Butlers, said he feared the uncertainty associated with the industry might have put people off for good.
According to Reuters, he said: "I think because of the start-stop nature of lockdowns, a lot of the people who have left the sector and gone and got other jobs probably won't return until there is more certainty that we are out of this."
Ralph Findlay, CEO of Marston's, pointed the finger at Brexit.
He said: "There is a labour shortage in the UK, but I don't think people are worried about coming back because of the virus or because they feel the career is unstable," said Ralph Findlay, CEO of pub company Marston's.
"The issues are more about Brexit and the shortage of EU labour."
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