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Number of employees in UK contract catering market

10 June 2010 by

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

UK contract catering turnover >>

Number of meals served by UK contract caterers >>
Key ratios in contract catering >>
Types of catering contract >>

Structure of the UK contract catering market >>

Number of staff employed in the UK food and service management market

Full- timePart- time Casual\*Total number of staffNumber of F/T equivalent staff \*\*Number of F/T- equivalent staff per outlet
200979,189 60,647 100,000 139,836109,5126.7
200880,660 67,810100,000 148,470114,565 6.7
200781,310 67,891100,000149,201 115,255 6.5
200682,186 64,121 100,000146,307114,246 6.6
2005^83,304 67,183 100,000150,487 116,8956.9
200490,251 66,021 100,000256,272 123,261 6.7
200391,444 68,967100,000 260,411 125,9276.7
200293,250 68,391100,000261,641 127,445 6.6
200190,645 66,547 100,000 257,192123,918
200095,89356,513100,000 252,406 124,149
199995,000 54,936 100,000249,936122,468
199392,455 25,293 100,000 217,748 108,874 8.1

* Estimated
** 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.

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