Scarcity, instead of rapid recovery? Survey shows: Hospitality industry loses experienced staff

Scarcity, instead of rapid recovery? Survey shows: Hospitality industry loses experienced staff

Since May 31st, Swiss restaurants are allowed to open indoors again. That should be good news, but many venues are unable to increase their capacity as planned. Some are even staying closed. This is all due to a lack of staff, both front of house and in the kitchen. In a recent survey, Coople asked over 1,300 flexible workers, who worked in the hospitality sector before COVID, how they assess their current career prospects compared to before, and whether their career goals have changed.

The Swiss hospitality industry has been more or less closed for months. Amongst other things, this led to foreign professionals returning to their home countries and Swiss hospitality staff finding jobs in other sectors. Even though restaurants and hotels can open both indoors and outdoors again there is still uncertainty, and many fear another lockdown.

More than one in eight could turn their back on the hospitality industry

At the end of May, Coople conducted a large survey with more than 1,300 flexible workers* who used to work in hospitality either part- or full-time before COVID. Results show that many workers find hospitality jobs less attractive than before.

When asked whether they would like to continue working in the hospitality industry, 45.3% (597 people) of 1,319 flexible workers ‘can’t wait’ to work in the hospitality industry again. 41.3% answered that they ‘can see themselves going back’, while 13.5% were not sure or ‘can’t really imagine’ going back. This means that around one in eight flex workers with experience in the hospitality sector could turn their backs on the industry, temporarily or permanently.

When asked why they are unsure or can’t see themselves returning to the hospitality sector, the four most common answers were: Desire for better pay (20.8%), better job security (20.2%), more flexibility (16%) or better working hours (12.8%).

Concerns about career prospects

The survey also asked participants how COVID and restaurant closures affected their professional situation and their expectations for the future. Most respondents (77.19%) indicated that Corona has impacted their career moderately to very much (6.7 Ø value, 0 = not at all / 10 = very much).

Corona’s impact also influences hospitality workers’ assessment of their career prospects: Only 21.8% of survey participants are not worried about their career prospects (“Are you worried about your future career prospects?”; 5.5 Ø-value, 0 = not at all / 10 = very much). On the other hand, 8 out of 10 survey participants are worried or very worried about their career prospects.

Job losses in hospitality often result in a career change

When asked about their current employment, 29.2% of respondents stated that they lost their job and are looking for work. 23% receive short-time work compensation. 13.6% had lost their job but have since found a new one. Out of this group of 159 people, the majority (63.7%) said that they have changed to another industry and no longer work in hospitality.

Attractive working conditions could help to mitigate the loss of hospitality staff

Yves Schneuwly, Managing Director of Coople (Schweiz) AG says:

“Our survey clearly shows that it is currently difficult for hospitality businesses in Switzerland to bring back their experienced staff. This can slow down their recovery after the crisis or, in the worst case, make it impossible. On the one hand, this has to do with a change in workers’ attitudes. On the other hand, it could be at least partially mitigated by improved working conditions. The question is whether businesses are financially and organisationally able to do so following the long lockdowns.”

The survey shows that many hospitality workers would like better pay. Average wages in this sector are comparatively low today. However, many companies cannot afford to raise wage levels in the current situation. Additional incentives such as bonuses or commission, which could counteract the lack of staff, are also difficult to implement in this case.

However, the survey also shows that increased flexibility and adjusted working hours could keep at least some of the hospitality staff in the industry. The option to return to work at one’s own pace and to have a say in the length of jobs, workload, working days or even work locations are all attractive to many workers.

The future of work will be characterised by flexibility and autonomy. This is no different in the hospitality sector. Companies that meet the increasing demand for flexibility and consistently rely on a high proportion of flexible workers set themselves up for long-term success. With digital marketplaces like Coople, personnel planning can be done bottom up. Done this way, workers can select the jobs that suit them and motivation remains high as a result.

View infographic

* Survey participants:

1‘319 participants, not representative for all flexible workers in the Swiss hospitality sector

All survey participants were active users of the Coople platform in the last 8 months

They have completed flexible shifts as bartenders, front of house staff, chefs, waiters, kitchen porters, and more

Average age: 37.3 years

On average, they have worked 257 hours on the Coople platform

Largest number of participants comes from the Canton of ZH, followed by BE, GE, AG, VD, SG

Product update: a new calendar and improved job descriptions

Product update: a new calendar and improved job descriptions

Read the article to discover how we have improved Coople, including how you see your future shifts.

Last month, we announced a re-brand that reflects our commitment to flexible workers like you. As part of our efforts to improve Coople, we have also made changes to the way the Coople Job App looks and feels. 

We listened to what you need and are working on making it easier for you to find work where and when you need it with companies who value your unique skills. In order to keep you informed of how Coople works now and in the future, we will publish regular articles like this one on our blog.  We hope that this will help you to make the best use of the Coople Job App.

Here is a sample of what is new:

A cleaner, clearer job details’ screen

  • Get better job descriptions: we know that great job descriptions attract great workers. This is why we have redesigned the job details’ screen and included more information. Now you can see a list of experiences and skills that the company expects you to have.  This way, it will be easier to quickly understand if the job is the right fit for you. 

Your calendar at your fingertips

  • View your future shifts on a calendar: with this new feature, it is now much easier to quickly see when your shifts are happening and to organise your time accordingly.

Stay tuned

We are actively working to improve the experience in our app. While we do this, take a moment to learn how things work in-depth in our Help Centre. If you have not done so already, please download the Coople Job App.

Product Update: simplified hiring, time tracking and candidate screening

Product Update: simplified hiring, time tracking and candidate screening

Find out the recent product updates for companies we have made to the Coople platform, including a smarter algorithm to match you with the right workers and a more intuitive hiring experience.

Last month we introduced Coople’s new brand. This milestone marks months of work listening to customers like you to understand what you need from flexible work. Like our brand, our product is also changing to better meet your hiring needs.  We heard that you wanted to feel it was easier to hire people, so we have been hard at work to improve the hiring experience. We are also making the platform smarter so that the applicants you see when you post a job will become more and more relevant for you, the more you use Coople. Finally, we want to share with you our news about product update for businesses more frequently. From now, we will send regular product updates to your app and we will also publish articles like this one on our blog.  We hope that this will help you to make the best use of our platform.

Here are the changes we made over the past months:

A more intuitive hiring process

  • Get things done, faster:  we redesigned the hiring experience so you see exactly how many shifts you need to cover, edit the job when you need to, view all applicants clearly, and stop hiring when you have enough applications to review.
  • Choose the right applicants: when you review your open shifts, we now show you the applicants you have hired first, followed by those who you have preselected, then your favourites, and then your previously employed. This way, you can view the applicants you like or know first so you can build long-lasting relationships with them.
  • Hire directly from the profile: we gave the Cooplers’ profile a new, cleaner look so you can quickly understand if their skills and experience are a good match. You can now hire, pre-select and decline applications directly from the Coopler’s profile.

Tracking hours, easier than ever

  • Track hours with a QR code: we know how time-consuming it is to review the reported hours after a shift. To help you, we have created an automated check-in and check-out process, using a QR code. You just need to display this code on a digital device when your workers arrive or leave, so they can scan it with their apps to register their working hours on the fly, including their breaks.
  • Report no-shows: We hope you never have to report that a worker didn’t turn up to a shift. If this happens, you can now remove the worker from the shift immediately and report their no-show. Your feedback helps us ensure this behaviour happens less and less on our platform.

A better way to check skills

  • Add skills to your job posts: we added skills to the most popular job profiles, including waiters, chefs and warehouse assistants. When you create a job, you can now choose the most relevant skills for the position so that you attract candidates with the right experience.
  • Rate the skills of your workers: after a worker finishes a job, we ask you to rate their skills. Your ratings appear on their profile to help the best candidates be more visible on the platform. 
  • See how many companies endorsed the skills of a candidate: you can now see how many companies have endorsed the skills of a candidate. This will help you understand if they have the skills you are looking for and decide whether a particular candidate is the best fit for the job.
  • Leave us comments for bad ratings: let us know what happened in the comments when you need to leave a negative rating. Your review is only going to be visible to our team members. We use it to ensure only the best workers are on Coople.

More coming soon

We are working hard to bring you the best experience in hiring flexible workers. We will share the product updates with you as soon as we release new features. Stay tuned!

If you want to learn how things work in-depth, please check our Help Centre. Also, if you have not done so already, download the Coople for Business App to find staff on the go. 

How flexible staffing helped an online pharmacy overcome an emergency

How flexible staffing helped an online pharmacy overcome an emergency

With the Coople platform, the team of an online pharmacy, had direct access to high-quality flexible staffing around the clock.


Challenge: Arranging flexible staffing fast

Just after the COVID-19 outbreak, online medicine orders skyrocketed. As a result, one of the biggest online pharmacies in Switzerland struggled to deliver orders to their customers and had to arrange flexible staffing quickly. However, their traditional staffing agency couldn’t deliver on the high increase of staff required at such short notice.

  • Delivery of a large number of normal orders after an unprecedented increase due to the COVID 19 outbreak
  • Recruitment of 10 additional employees per day within 12 hours
  • Change of internal processes to switch to a digital solution
  • Maintain flexibility in order to be able to adjust staffing requirements again after the COVID crisis

How did Coople help with flexible staffing?

With Coople, the largest digital flexible staffing platform in Europe, the pharmacy was able to advertise jobs that were immediately seen by thousands of motivated and qualified workers. They were able to hire the right people within a few hours, because Coople’s algorithm quickly matched and notified the most qualified and skilled flexible staff.


The pharmacy found a solution by stepping away from a traditional agency and embracing the Coople platform, which is available online and via an app. By making the change, the company could tap into a large pool of flexible staff at any given time. This is what the process looked like:

  1. Job creation: The online pharmacy used the simple job creator in the app to create and post a job in minutes. They set the wage, role and experience they required.
  2. Discovery process:The job is automatically matched by the Coople algorithm with available, qaulified employees. The employees can apply and appear in the employer’s list of applicants.The employement is completed with just one click.
  3. Confirm hours:After the job is completed, the employee enters the hours worked and submits it to the online pharmacy for approval. The platform then takes over and completes all administrative work, including payroll.


  • Fully vetted workers: Over a hundred qualified candidates applied for the job within a few hours
  • Fast delivery: 10 workers were ready to start within 12 hours
  • Time saved: Recruiting was quick and easy, flexible and scalable

What our Coopler said about the collaboration:

Coople is always there to support us. I find it motivating that I can choose the jobs that I actually want to do.

Lanre, Super Coopler