A survey of operators in the UK hospitality industry has found that 49% plan to vote Leave in next week’s EU Referendum, while 43% plan to vote Remain and 7% are still undecided.
The survey by RPBi, the hospitality data and news specialist, found that the majority of recipients – whether voting to leave or to remain – believe a Leave vote would have a ‘negative impact on the economy.’
The survey which was conducted from 10-15 June 2016, received 1,915 responses from operators across all sectors of hospitality.
All respondents taking part in the survey were asked the official referendum question: ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’
Hospitality professionals in Wales were most in favour of voting to Leave (64%), while those in London are the most likely to vote Remain (62.5%). Furthermore, the figures suggest that there will be more operators in Scotland voting to Remain than Leave; in all other regions, a higher percentage of hospitality professionals intend to vote Leave.
Respondents were also asked: ‘If the UK votes to leave the European Union, do you think it will be easier to recruit staff?’ The majority of recipients said there would be no impact (515), with 34% stating it would be harder to recruit, 7% said it would be easier to recruit and 8.5% said ‘Don’t know’.
Keith Britten, director of RPBi, said: “The results of the survey mirror recent national opinion polls. Surprisingly, for the hospitality industry, the majority of respondents said that there would be no impact on recruitment in the event of a Leave vote; with only a third saying it would be harder to recruit.”
Finally, when asked: ‘What do you believe the effect will be on the UK’s overall economy, if the UK votes to leave the European Union?’ the majority of recipients said there would be a negative effect (44%) – 36% stated there would be a positive effect, 10% stated there would be no effect, and a further 10% again stated that they did not know.
Britten concluded: The industry will need to watch closely what happens next week. It will be important for companies and trade bodies to watch the developments and the potential impact on hospitality and to react as one industry as not, as has too often happened in the past, as individual sectors.”