90% of sector employers pay above living wage

Half of people in the UK (50%) believe hospitality wages are low and 17% consider hospitality jobs as only temporary before people move into another profession.

Despite these views, the survey has found that 90% of hospitality employers pay above the living wage and, in response to shifting demands from the labour market, 58% have increased their benefits package in the last year.

Other pay and work-life benefits currently offered by the vast majority of hospitality employers include bonuses (80%), personal development programmes (81%), flexible shift patterns (83%) and free meals (77%).

The figures are part of a new report from Caterer.com, highlighting a shift in the industry's workforce since the pandemic and Brexit, which has seen more than 93,000 EU workers leave the UK’s hospitality sector in the last year.

Job roles on the rise

There has been a 342% rise in vacancies since March and 60% of employers in the hospitality industry are now seeing more applications from UK workers than ever before.

The first quarterly Caterer.com Hospitality Hiring Insider, which analysed thousands of vacancies and applications as well as gathering the views of 250 hospitality employers and 2,0000 consumers, highlights how the industry has adapted and boosted company benefits to attract different talent after a steep rise in available jobs since the reopening of the sector.

“There has certainly been a downturn in EU applicants over the last year and we have noticed a shift to recruiting more UK nationals," says Gavin Smith, director at Pizza Pilgrims.

“We have a wonderful industry that offers the opportunity to build a career and it’s important that we are elevating this message as a collective industry. There is a poor perception of the industry with old stories of hard work, long hours and poor working behaviours, alongside the view that the industry is not a career but a stepping stone while people explore what they want to do.

"At Pizza Pilgrims we don’t buy this, and we have an Academy to change this, supporting recruitment, training, education and inspiring our team members.”

Immigration rules

While the hospitality sector will undoubtably play an important role in tackling unemployment in the UK, Caterer.com is calling on the government to relax immigration rules and widen the talent pool.

Sixty-four percent of employers are concerned that EU workers who left the UK during Covid will not return and a recent report from UKHospitality found that 66% of the sector call for short-term visas for overseas workers.

Twenty-two percent call for travel restrictions to be lifted completely.

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