Hospitality ‘salaries are in a rut’ says major UK recruiter

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22/08/2018 - 13:03
Adzuna, the job search engine has released a report on the hospitality and catering market. While numbers of vacancies in the sector have soared – low-skilled jobs and high staff turnover have led to a salary slump.

The hospitality sector represents 10% of UK employment according to UKHospitality. The industry covers gyms to juice bars and pubs to fast-food restaurants – each facing the demands of their own market. A common thread throughout the industry is the type of employee recruited. The roles generally require low skills, have a high turnover and face low salaries.  

The search engine state how the industry is: “one of the largest sectors we see on Adzuna.co.uk in terms of vacancies, with a current average of 63,502 live vacancies, meaning it ranks 6th as a sector.” This figure looks set to continue with the number of vacancies growing by 21% year on year. While London has the highest proportion of vacancies, 37.08% of wages are spent on rent. Therefore working in the city comes at a high price for greater opportunities (thisismoney.co.uk January 2018).

Despite the growing amount of jobs, the sector ranks near the bottom of the scale in terms of salary. Out of 28 industries on the website, hospitality vacancies rank 24th -just above customer service and cleaning. Salaries continues to fluctuate at £22 000 and with a 1.1% decline year on year.

While low-skilled jobs are on the rise, employers are faced with skills-shortages for chefs and kitchen managers. Azuna states: “The pinch is being felt especially at the higher end of the restaurant spectrum. Even employers offering a £1,000 bonus if staff last a year is not enough to induce staff to stay.”

With zero hour contracts, growing numbers of agency staff and competition for jobs at a 5 year low – employers are struggling to keep hold of staff in this fast-moving industry.

The growth in ‘casual dining’ especially among 18-24 year olds has led to a steady 0.5% rise in restaurant sales, despite many choosing to dine at home. Now, the eating out experience is part of a weekly routine as opposed to a special occasion. This stay at home trend is also seen in the pub and brewery industry. Many breweries are now catering for the stay at home market, which has contributed to a quarter of British pubs closing in the past 35 years.

As the sector is set to continue growing over the following years, shifts in consumer habits such as eating in and casual dining poses changing demands that the sector must meet to stay ahead of the market. With many skill shortages and high turnover of staff, employers need to look into ways to keep hold of staff and add value to its workforce.

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