Salaries among food and beverage professionals in City hotels in London have risen by over 25% in the past year, helped by a boom in fine dining in a city that now boasts 55 Michelin-starred restaurants.
The findings come as part of a new survey by HVS Executive Search, and demonstrate the increasing emphasis hotels place on food and drink revenue, alongside that of rooms.
The average salary for a hotel food and beverage director now stands at £58,350, with a food and beverage manager averaging £37,734.
"Hotel banquets have been feeling the pressure with shorter booking windows and lower discretionary spend," said Chris Mumford, president in Europe the Middle East and Asia at HVS Executive Search.
"Clearly the capital's hotels have been focusing on their talent capability in this area, reflected by a 25% increase in average salary. The capital's hotels have become ever more competitive in their restaurant offerings, going head-to-head with the top standalone restaurants in the city. The result is increased complexity of food and beverage operations, greater revenues, and a rise in the salary of the food and beverage director."
The annual HVS London Hotel Salary and Benefits Report, published this week, includes data from 74 luxury, upscale and mid-scale hotels in London.
Overall, the average salary across 36 executive management and department head positions in London's hotels has risen by 3.5% in the past year to £46,122. In line with the majority of the UK private sector, wage increases were below the Retail Price Index of 5%.
As in past years, the survey reveals that the larger and more luxurious the hotel, the higher the salaries it pays. And for the first time, HVS also recorded employee per room ratio, which demonstrated that smaller luxury hotels employ more people per room than lower class hotels.
Looking ahead, Mumford said: "With London recording strong performance in 2011 and with the help of the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics this year, we expect salary reviews later in the year to at least match, if not exceed, inflation in 2012."
By Neil Gerrard
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