A KENDAL hospitality boss has managed to buck the trend when it comes to staffing shortages - but he does not feel there is any great secret to it.

Ronnie Mullin was one of a number of industry representatives in the town to speak out on the worker shortage this week.

Mr Mullin felt his pub, The Factory Tap off Aynam Road, had escaped the impact of the staffing crisis through 'a combination of luck and the fact that we are very good to our staff'.

"During the summer, we took on three young people who were going to uni," he said.

"They have left now and we have replaced them.

"We are still doing table service, which is a little bit unusual, because you need more staff."

Mr Mullin, 69, said the table system prevented crowding at the bar and, he felt, had led to increased beer sales - with a person being more inclined to order another pint, if offered, even if they still have some beer left in their previous glass.

Another of the town's hospitality bosses said he had raised the wages of his staff to try and mitigate the effects of the staffing crisis in hospitality.

Richard Husbands, director and owner of Bowness Bay Brewing, which incorporates The Barrel House off Aynam Road, said his general bar staff had been on minimum wage but that this was raised by around £1.50 an hour earlier this year.

Despite this, business has been a 'struggle'.

"We have got less staff and they are doing a lot more hours," said Mr Husbands, 51.

"At the moment, it's very unstable times.

"Everybody is still finding their feet."

He felt the shortage had been precipitated by people changing careers during the extensive periods of furlough brought about by the pandemic, and staff members returning to Europe over lockdown.

He has, he says, had some staff 'pinched' by rival businesses offering them more money.

"As to a solution, I don't know, we just need more bums on seats in terms of staff," he said.

Phil Walker, landlord of The New Union in Stricklandgate, felt a key issue affecting hospitality in Kendal was the average age of the town's population.

"Young people who want work within the industry aren't here," said Mr Walker.

"They grow up in Kendal, they come to school in Kendal, they finish their A-levels and then they go to university, and then they don't come back.

"House prices have gone through the roof.

"I'm finding that there's a lot more older people in Kendal than there ever has been, especially over the last 18 months."

The New Union has five members of staff, including Mr Walker, 34, at the moment, but the landlord said the team was 'at least' two employees down on optimum numbers.

He believed some people became used to not working nights during the pandemic and had not wanted a return to that when the pubs opened again.

Regarding a solution to the staffing problems, he was unsure what could be done.

"We just have to wait and see," he said.