UK hospitality wages surpass national average

23 May, 2023

According to the recent Hospitality Hiring Insider report from, UK hospitality workers received an average salary increase of 9.5% in the past year, surpassing the national average of 6.6%.

The most significant pay rises were in London, the North West, and among individuals employed in pubs. Notably, a remarkable number of hospitality job listings on's website currently offer salaries exceeding £50,000, with over 1,700 such positions available.

Pub workers witnessed the highest pay increases with a growth rate of 11.3%; entry-level pub employees saw salary increases of 11.8% while more senior and experienced roles increased by 10.8%.

The increasing wages have emerged as a significant contributing factor to the challenges faced by numerous restaurants in achieving profitability.

Recently, renowned chef Aktar Islam disclosed that his Michelin-starred restaurant, Opheem, located in Birmingham, generated a mere £320 in revenue during the first quarter of 2023.

This revelation underscores the ongoing struggles faced by the restaurant industry amidst rising labor costs. Aktar Islam said:

"Food and energy costs have increased dramatically but our biggest problem is the skills shortage that has been caused by the pandemic and Brexit.

We're having to hire two people to do one person's job and pay them over the odds."

In spite of the ongoing shortage of skilled workers in the hospitality sector, recent research conducted by has revealed a significant surge in the number of UK employees actively seeking jobs within the industry.

Many individuals are looking to pubs, restaurants and hotels as sources of new or additional income. Given the importance of retaining this influx of UK workers, employers have prioritised various strategies...

  • 37.2% of employers have focused on enhancing company culture to provide better support for their employees
  • 33.6% have introduced more opportunities for career advancement
  • 32.4% are offering competitive training, development, and learning programs
  • 29.2% of employers are concentrating on providing attractive rewards and benefits to retain top talent - this includes offerings such as pensions (47.2%), competitive annual leave (43.8%), and bonuses (43.8%).

When it comes to the rewards and benefits desired by hospitality employees, but not currently provided by their employers, the top preferences identified are bonuses (21.3%), mental health and wellbeing days (19.3%), and health insurance (17.8%).

Kathy Dyball, director, commented:

"As the long-standing skills shortage continues to impact the sector, hospitality employers are focused on offering competitive salaries and benefits to attract and retain the people they need.

Despite the ongoing cost of living crisis and other challenges faced by hospitality employers, such as rising energy costs and inflation, the industry understands the value of its people, and has ramped up efforts to provide appealing and rewarding opportunities for employees. Our insights show that hospitality employees are now receiving pay rises well above the UK average worker, amongst other competitive benefits."

Earlier this month, UKHospitality issued a warning regarding the persistent recruitment shortages that continue to hinder growth in the sector, even though there has been a notable decline in job vacancies over the past year.

The organisation highlighted the ongoing challenges faced by the hospitality industry in finding and securing suitable talent.

You might also like: "Recruitment shortages still hamper growth despite fewer vacancies".

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