Pubs, which tend to employ young Brits, is the least reliant of the hospitality sectors on overseas workers and therefore has less exposure to risk post Brexit, the figures from software firm Fourth, suggest.

Just 15.7 per cent of the pub workforce comes from EU countries, and 4.6 per cent from the rest of the world.

Conversely, the figure shows 73.1 per cent of workers in the QSR (quick service restaurants/fast-food) sector are from overseas. In restaurants the figure is 61 per cent, while in hotels it lies around 41 per cent.

The Brexit white paper issued by the Home Office stated that free movement of people would end in December 2020.

"The narrative in the Brexit white paper is concerning for the industry and if the free movement of workers is removed by 2020, there would need to be a quick and easy visa system, or it would have a very negative impact on UK hospitality businesses," commented Mike Shipley, Analytics & Insight Solutions Director at Fourth.

"In the face of this, it is crucial that employers understand the make-up of their workforce and undertake targeted recruitment strategies to future proof their business."


Fourth EU figs


Fourth, which compiled the stats based on a sample comprising over 30,000 hospitality industry employees, with an even split across the sectors, also found that there currently remains a steady flow of hospitality workers coming from the EU in spite of the referendum result. It has fallen by 5 per cent in the last 18 months, however.

In the same time period the proportion of EU workers leaving the industry has stabilised at 44 per cent having increased from 40 per cent.