Via its freelancing marketplace, Brigad, which is now functioning between the UK and France, is assisting in resolving the hospitality staffing shortage. The startup from Paris has just received €33 million for growth.

Staffing has been a significant issue for the hospitality sector in recent years. Many businesses in the hotel and restaurant sector are at their wit’s end, unable to locate the quality and quantity of workers they require to function and deliver visitors what they expect due to a lack of staff, a talent deficit, and the casualization of the industry.

According to reports, worker shortages reached critical proportions in 2022, particularly in the UK, where nearly half of all operators reduced their trading hours or capacity as a result, costing the sector £21B in lost revenue.

Brigad, which was established in 2016 in Paris, seeks to find a solution. The firm provides a marketplace that, to alleviate the labor shortfall and boost employee happiness, links hospitality talent and enterprises on a freelance and flexible basis.

To drive growth across Europe, the company has now secured €33 million in a fresh round led by Balderton Capital. The round also included participation from Wendel Group, Serena Capital, and Square Capital, bringing Brigad’s total funding to €50 million.

Co-founder and CEO Florent Malbranche: “The hospitality business is dealing with the impact of the labor market’s substantial shifts over the past two to three years. We can avoid losing a generation of knowledgeable workers in the hotel business thanks to Brigad’s platform.

With more control over their working schedules thanks to Brigad’s platform, talented and seasoned cooks, waiters, bartenders, and front-of-house employees may now take advantage of the freelancing economy.

At the same time, it makes hospitality organizations more dynamic and adaptive by enabling them to discover the talent they need, when they need it, and for how long they need it.

The platform is currently available in eight European cities, among them Paris, London, Manchester, and Birmingham. The Berkeley Hotel in London, The Ritz, Isabel Mayfair, Mosaic Pubs, Sketch, Nobu, and other prestigious establishments all utilize Brigad.

Wolfe Conyngham, a Brigad star and head chef, said: “I used to work crazy hours. I was constantly exhausted, but now that I have the option, I have a proper work-life balance. In the morning, I get to drive my kids to school! Before, this had never happened.

Brigad is quite adaptive, a Berkeley Hotel spokeswoman remarked. The specialists are knowledgeable, active, and trustworthy, and using the app is so easy!

The Parisian startup wants to reinvent the way that people are hired in the hospitality sector, adapting it to the casualization of the sector and raising employee happiness.

Florent Malbranche: “Brigad’s objective is to make employment appealing and accessible to everyone, which means we appreciate and recognize the professional talent on our platform, giving them assignments that are more lucrative and more suited to their skill sets.”

Florent Malbranche further added, “The top restaurants, whether family-owned or international brands, want highly qualified personnel on their teams to ensure that their high standards are upheld, that their clients are satisfied and return, and that their companies are successful and sustainable over the long run.”

Talented people are turning away from the lengthy and isolating hours that hospitality jobs have historically required in favor of greater flexibility and life balance. Brigad has a sizable addressable market because it presents a challenge for both large companies and small independent operators.

Hospitality companies can publish missions with a date and time on the Brigad platform. The roles that best suit a worker’s goals or schedule can then be accepted. In this approach, almost 80% of tasks are accepted within two hours by skilled professionals.

With Brigad, employees should be able to take back control of their schedules and benefit from greater income and career opportunities. From 2021 to 2022, the firm reports a 170% rise in missions posted.

The business intends to use this money to grow into more European locations, concentrating especially on the UK market. Additionally, it will provide community members with tools and events via the platform, making it a crucial tool for management teams looking to handle their payroll and staffing administration in one location.

‘We are happy to be supporting this team and their vision for the future of work,’ said David Thevenon, Partner at Balderton Capital. Finding skilled staff to fill rotas can be a complete nightmare for many organizations. Brigad provides employees with the flexibility and respect they deserve while resolving this issue on a large scale. We eagerly anticipate the road ahead.

Image Credit: Brigad


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