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More than half of restaurant workers in the UK are from overseas

19 December 2016 by
More than half of restaurant workers in the UK are from overseas

More than half (57%) of restaurant workers in the UK are from overseas, says software firm Fourth, which has highlighted the extent to which UK hospitality industries rely on foreign workers.

The statistics were mined from Fourth Analytics and based on a sample comprising 25,000 employees working in the hospitality industry, with an even split across the restaurant, QSR, hotel and pub sectors. The study also revealed:

  • The average length of tenure hospitality workers spend at a business is 12 months.
  • BOH employees take an average of 9.5 sick days a year - up from 8.5 in 2015.
  • FOH employees take an average of 6.9 sick days a year.
  • The gender split front of house is 41% male, 59% female.
  • The gender split back of house is 58% male, 42% female.
  • 86% of hospitality workers are paid by the hour.
  • The average hourly pay of hospitality workers is £7.71 - 51p higher than the National Living Wage.
  • The average ages of hospitality workers, split by sector, are: hotels, 35.5; QSR, 30; restaurant, 29.8; pubs, 28.6.
  • Back of house employees work an average of 34 hours a week - 12 hours more than front of house employees, where part-time work is more prevalent.
  • 9% of back of house employees are under 21, compared to 20% for FOH.

Fourth's findings come at a critical time for hospitality, as the British Hospitality Association's (BHA) chief executive Ufi Ibrahim warned that curbs on immigration as part of Brexit could push the industry to a "cliff edge".

Mike Shipley, analytics and insight solutions director at Fourth, said: "These figures clearly demonstrate how heavily reliant hospitality is on foreign nationals, especially in the restaurant sector, and especially back of house.

"As we know, there is already a battle for talent, with companies working extremely hard to attract, retain and engage staff. It's an issue that is exacerbated in restaurant kitchens and it's driving up wage levels well beyond legislative thresholds, such as the national minimum wage. With Brexit uncertainty looming over the industry, the sooner the government can deliver clarity and reassurance, the better."

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