STAFF shortages across the Isle of Wight's hospitality industry are continuing to bite.

With some businesses cutting back on services offered, one pub group has drawn up a charter it hopes will help solve the crisis.

The idea of an employment charter was mooted at last week's meeting between Island hospitality businesses and tourism partners.

It is hoped the move will help set out the commitment of employers to provide a considerate and attractive workplace and career for staff.

Inns of Distinction, which has four Isle of Wight pubs, decided to take the first step to produce a charter in the hope many other like-minded employers will join with them to sign up to honour the terms, either of their charter, or an islandwide charter agreed by all parties.

Phil Gilbraith, Inn of Distinction's group general manager, explained: "The point we are trying to make clear is that a career or job in hospitality is an attractive one.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Fishbourne Inn. Right, Phil Gilbraith, of Inns of Distinction.The Fishbourne Inn. Right, Phil Gilbraith, of Inns of Distinction.

"The misconception that every hospitality job entails long hours, hot and uncomfortable working conditions, every weekend, bank holiday etc needs to be corrected.

"With the right employer, such as Inns of Distinction, pay is good, hours are reasonable and flexible, working conditions are excellent and employment prospects are far beyond seasonal and uncertain.

"We are sure we are not alone in the willingness to commit to look after our staff and encourage all like-minded employers to consider joining us in our charter or contacting us to discuss a wider charter.

"We would like to work towards a consensus in the near future for a united approach to hospitality recruitment."

The Inns of Distinction charter outlines the pay and conditions, staff discount card, meals provided while on duty, provision of uniform, distribution of gratuities, and more.

The situation of staff shortages was highlighted by the County Press last week.

Since then, more businesses have had to take steps to address the issue.

The Royal Hotel in Ventnor announced it was temporarily reducing its lunch offering to weekends only (except bookings already taken).

The hotel stated: "The pandemic has created significant challenges in the industry, in particular staffing. This coupled with the new Brexit regulations, has meant there is now a severe lack in hospitality professionals UK wide, but particularly on the Isle of Wight.

"Because of these challenges, The Royal is having to further adapt its way of operating temporarily. Whilst we would love to be operating at full capacity, we have decided to reduce our lunch offering to weekends only for the foreseeable future.

"We will continue to be able to offer Afternoon Tea daily, however bookings are recommended at least one week in advance as demand is high.

"The physical and mental wellbeing of our staff is of paramount importance to us and it is crucial that the team are not overstretched beyond their limits.

"In the meantime, we are putting every available resource behind encouraging new or returning professionals into the industry."

The Fighting Cocks near Arreton announced it would no longer be opening to serve breakfasts due to the same issue.

A statement said: "We are extremely sad to be making changes to our opening hours, but due to the extreme pressures which are currently roaring through our industry, looking after our staff is our highest priority.

"Although we are super sad to be no longer serving breakfast, we are extremely excited to still be able to continue to offer a seamless service every day of the week, serving food daily 12pm until 8.30pm."

Inns of Distinction have had to close the New Inn in Shalfleet, due to staff shortages across the group. Its other three pubs are still open — the Fishbourne Inn, the Spinnaker in Bembridge, and The Boat House in Seaview.