Hospitality salaries on the rise as staff shortages threaten growth

24 June 2022 by
Hospitality salaries on the rise as staff shortages threaten growth

Nearly one fifth of hospitality employers have boosted wages in attempt to combat the staffing crisis.

New research from Barclays Corporate Banking showed that senior managers have received the biggest salary lift, with an average increase of 7.7% this year.

This is equivalent to £2,014 a year for a full-time worker, based on data from the Office of National Statistics.

Delivery riders and drivers have received an average pay rise of 7.5%, equivalent to £1,616 per year for a full-time worker.

Wages have increased by an average of 7.4% for housekeeping staff (£1,642), 7.3% for bar staff (£1,145) and 7.3% for finance staff (£1,936). Kitchen staff have been given a 6.9% rise on average, equivalent to a salary bump of £1,196 for a full-time role.

London's Bob Bob Ricard Soho restaurant recently filled a £91,000 head chef vacancy, and owner Lenoid Shutov told The Caterer salaries across the group were "substantially up" on last summer.

Barclay's study, UK Hospitality's Next Challenge, found that despite 96% of restaurant operators being confident that pent-up demand for socialising and eating out will drive growth this year, with a predicted 26% uplift in revenue compared to pre-pandemic levels, there is concern that this will be hampered by the lack of staff and cost-of-living crisis.

If the increase in revenue is achieved, the restaurant sector would see an increase in annual turnover of £12b over 2019 and a £22b increase on 2021.

Some 84% of restaurants are struggling to recruit personnel with the most vacancies among front of house staff (22%), cleaning staff (20%) and staff with environmental, social and governance (ESG) expertise (18%). There is a particular shortage of cleaners in the East Midland and east of England (28%).

In order to attract staff restaurants are offering super-flexible shifts and increasing signing-on bonuses, alongside raising salaries.

Mike Saul, dead of hospitality and leisure at Barclays Corporate Banking, said that strong sales at the start of 2022 had boosted confidence among operators about future growth.

He added: "The worsening cost-of-living crisis is now a serious threat to that growth, with the latest Barclaycard Consumer Spending Index showing that restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs have all seen a slight decline in May 2022, compared to the month before.

"Crucially for the industry, our research shows that talent shortages are also a major concern, with front of house staff, cleaning staff and those with experience in ESG and sustainability particularly in demand. It means there is now an added imperative for restauranteurs to find new and novel ways to recruit, reward and retain their staff."

Image: Alena Marchuk / Shutterstock

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