Earlier in April, the Carew Inn near Tenby posted a sign saying: “Please help! We are not able to open seven days a week because we don’t have enough staff.” They were advertising for a competent chef ‘nothing flashy’, a waiter and a kitchen assistant.
The owner of the Carew Inn, who also owns the Tudor Lodge in Jameston said: “We are struggling to get part time or full time staff, they’re just not coming forward.
“And I think all the businesses in the area are finding the same thing, especially in hospitality. But I think it is across other industries as well.
“Being in this tourist area makes it more difficult as well. There are fluctuations in trade and at bank holiday weekend we get inundated.
“And then in two weeks time, all the tourists will have left so we don’t need so many.
“You can’t just keep flogging loyal staff that you have got and we have got quite a core of very loyal, hard working staff so we don’t want to finish them off.”
Speaking to Wales Online, the owner added the challenge also comes from the fact that when new staff come in it takes a bit of time for them to get up to speed.
They said: “They haven’t got the experience. During lockdown we lost a lot of low part time but very experienced staff. I think people re-evaluated life.
“The last few months we haven’t opened on a Sunday evening or Monday for food.
“We’re trying our hardest to open seven days a week because we’ve got to make the money through the summer.
“If you can’t do it seven days a week now then come the winter the bills have still got to be paid so one way or another.”
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Eileen Warren, who runs The Stables restaurant in Tenby, also told Wales Online she is only able to open three days a week at the moment and says that a lot of pubs in the seaside holiday town have “serious staffing Issues”.
Emma Thornton, chief executive of Visit Pembrokeshire, added there are still concerns about staffing this year.
She said: “It remains a major issue for the trade in Pembrokeshire, as it does across Wales and the UK.
“There are less people looking for work and despite the isolation rules changing, absences due to Covid continue to be a real challenge.
“Hospitality and tourism is one of the most diverse and rewarding industries to work in, but I believe we still have a way to go in changing the perception of the sector.”
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However, Ms Thornton added businesses in the area are looking forward to the Easter and summer season with “cautious optimism”.
She said: “There is eager anticipation for this Easter break from the trade In Pembrokeshire given that the past two Easters have been significantly impacted by Covid-19 and it’s a critical couple of weeks for our tourism businesses.
“We are expecting it to be busy but possibly not quite as busy as last year; inevitably with the world opening up people have increased choice about where they take their holidays and rising fuel, and energy costs are impacting on household discretionary spend.
“That said we have had a wonderful opportunity to really raise awareness of Pembrokeshire over the past couple of years as a beautiful all year round destination and we are continuing to build on this.”