Hospitality Wages Outstripping Minimum Wage
A new study by data agency Fourth Analytics and Big Hospitality Magazine has indicated that the wage prospects in the UK hospitality industry are better than ever. According to the study, the average hourly pay rate for hospitality workers (including those under 25 and 21 who are subject to lesser salary rates) is £7.71 an hour which is 12.6% more than in 2014.
Commenting on the study, Analytics and Insight Solutions Director at Fourth Analytics Mike Shipley said:
“With actual pay significantly outstripping the minimum for all age thresholds, businesses are clearly experiencing very strong employment-cost inflation.
Clearly it is very difficult to predict whether this momentum will continue but there’s no sign of a levelling off at the moment. We expect to see the hourly rate in hospitality hitting £8 in January 2017 and we could well see average rates approaching £8.50 by April 2017 when he next incremental increase comes into force. This could see the minimum legal living wage (for over 25s) move up to between £7.50 and £7.65.
What is particularly striking is is that the under 21s are fast catching up, earning on average £1.53 or 29% above the legal rate. This could be driven by wage parity policies and also general competitive pressure for good people.”
This competitive pressure good people has been highlighted by another study done by The Caterer Magazine as part of the Think Again campaign which has been conducted in association with Sodexo, the food service company. The study found that the overwhelming majority of hospitality employers when questioned thought it was now harder than ever before to find the quality of employees they are looking for.
82% of those questioned said that it was harder than ever before to find staff that had a suitable amount of experience and qualifications with an unprecedented 93% of those questioned saying they found it ‘somewhat difficult’ (44%) or very difficult (49%).
Those questioned included employers in a wide range of hospitality businesses including restaurants, hoes and other catering establishments. The study indicated that were two main factors that made recruiting good quality hospitality workers difficult. Firstly, there was a perception that there was a lack of career progression and secondly there was a section of low pay. It’s clear from Big Hospitality’s study (and our own experience) that employers are now engaging with the low pay issue and salaries in the sector are getting better when looking at comparable industries. The lack of career progression is more of a case of perception as with a lack of high quality talent coming into the industry, there is actually a lot of opportunities for ambitious inductions in the hospitality sector.
According to the study, the most difficult hospitality vacancies to fill were:
Chef de Partie roles – 53% of respondents
Commis Chefs – 46%
Sous Chef’s – 43%
Waiting Staff – 40%
Pastry Chefs – 36%
If you’re struggling for hospitality staff in London or would like to discuss our latest vacancies, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced consultants.