The actual pay of hourly-paid hospitality workers has risen by 12.6% to £7.71 in the past two years.
When those under 21 are removed from the equation hourly remuneration rises to £7.92, significantly ahead of the National Living Wage of £7.20, according to figures from Fourth Analytics.
The figures also reveal that the gender pay gap for hourly-paid workers has disappeared. It found that men earn more on average in the pub and restaurant sectors, while women earn more in the QSR and hotel sectors. The figures seem to contradict similar recent research which claimed that male head waiters earn almost 20%, or £4,300 more per year than their female counterparts.
Mike Shipley, analytics and insight solutions director at Fourth, said: "With actual pay significantly outstripping the legal minimum for all age thresholds, businesses are clearly experiencing very strong employment-cost inflation.
"Clearly it is 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 average in hospitality hitting £8 in January 2017, and we could well see average rates approaching £8.50 by April 2017 - when the 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."