The number of employees in the UK contract catering market (calculated as full-time equivalents) dropped by 6.4% to 109,512 in 2009, down from 114,565 the previous year.
The decline, clear evidence of the impact of the recession, was accelerated by the fall in the number of outlets to 16,583 (down from 16,983 in 2008), according to the latest survey into the market by the British Hospitality Association.
Nevertheless, many smaller and medium-szied companies actually reported an increase in employee numbers. This reflects the plunge in the number of part-time staff, which fell by 10.6% to 60,647 (2009: 67,810). By contrast, the number of full-timers declined by just 1.8% to 79,189 (2009: 80,660).
The loss of so many lower-paid part-timers explains why labour costs only dropped marginally (to £1.79b from £1.8b the year before). Labour costs as a percentage of turnover likewise fell marginally to 43%, from 43.8% in 2008.
The total number of staff (counting full- and part-time workers separately) dropped by 6% to 139,836, down from 148,470 in 2008. The industry additionally employed an estimated 100,000 casual staff during the year.
These facts and figures are reported in the Food and Service Management Survey 2010, published by the British Hospitality Association. The full report (which is free to BHA members) can be bought for £95 (for the printed version) or £50 (for a PDF file). For enquiries or orders, phone 0207 404 7744 or contact Philippa Brady.
More facts and figures from the Food and Service Management Survey
Number of staff employed in the UK food and service management market
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** Full-time equivalents are calculated by counting two part-time employees as the equivalent of two full-time employees
^ The figures have been adjusted to take account of Compass’s sale of Select Service Partners in 2006.