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Pay in the UK for hospitality surpasses the national average

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The latest Hospitality Hiring Insider report from recruitment platform Caterer.com shows the highest pay rises are being seen across London, the North West and those working in pubs.

A record number of hospitality jobs on its website are offering a salary of more than £50K, with over 1,700 currently listed.

Pub employees received the highest pay rises compared with any other area of the hospitality sector at 11.3%, which increases to 11.8% for those in entry level roles, compared with 10.8% for those in senior and experienced roles. Employees working in entry level roles within bars received some of the highest pay rises at 11.6%.

Rising wages are a big factor in more and more restaurants struggling to turn a profit.

Last week, high-profile chef Aktar Islam revealed that his Michelin-starred Birmingham restaurant Opheem was only made £320 in the first quarter of 2023. ​​

Food and energy costs have increased dramatically but our biggest problem is the skills shortage that has been caused by the pandemic and Brexit. We’re having to hire two people to do one person’s job and pay them over the odds," he said. 

Job seekers surge

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Job And Salary Abroad

Despite the sector facing an ongoing skills shortage, recent Caterer.com research showed the number of UK employees seeking jobs in the hospitality sector had surged, with thousands of people looking to pubs, restaurants and hotels for new and/or additional income.

With retaining this new influx of UK workers, a top priority for employers, 37.2% have focused on improving company culture to support employees, over a third (33.6%) have provided more progression opportunities and 32.4% are offering competitive training, development and learning opportunities.

29.2% of UK hospitality employers are also focusing on offering competitive rewards and benefits to help remain attractive to top talent, including pensions (47.2%), competitive annual leave (43.8%) and bonuses (43.8%).

When it comes to what rewards and benefits hospitality employees would like their employers to offer, that they are not already, the top benefits cited by employees are bonuses (21.3%), mental health and wellbeing days[2] (19.3%), and health insurance (17.8%).

“As the long-standing skills shortage continues to impact the sector, hospitality employers are focused on offering competitive salaries and benefits to attract and retain the people they need,” says Caterer.com director Kathy Dyball. 

“Despite the ongoing cost of living crisis and other challenges faced by hospitality employers, such as rising energy costs and inflation, the industry understands the value of its people, and has ramped up efforts to provide appealing and rewarding opportunities for employees. Our insights show that hospitality employees are now receiving pay rises well above the UK average worker, amongst other competitive benefits.”

Earlier this month, UKHospitality warned recruitment shortages across the sector are 'continuing to hold back growth',​ ​despite a 'significant' drop in vacancies in the last year.

The latest vacancy figures from the Office for National Statistic show that vacancies in hospitality fell by 22% over the last year and by 9% in the last quarter. However, vacancies in the sector remain at 132,000, which is still 48% higher than pre-Covid levels.


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