6th February 2019
Hospitality wages have risen after months of deflation, according to new research by hospitality software provider Fourth. The average hourly pay of workers over 25 in the UK fell significantly from £8.55 in June to £8.18 in November, before plateauing at £8.16 in December and rising to £8.38 in January.
It is the first time wages have decreased for such a prolonged period since Fourth started tracking salaries in 2015. Since then, the hourly pay of workers has been steadily rising ahead of the annual incremental increases, the latest of which will increase the hourly rate for over-25s to £8.21 in April.
Pubs and restaurants primarily drove wage deflation. Between June and December, the average hourly rates of workers in the pub sector decreased 3.5%, while the restaurant sector experienced a 4.5% fall. During the same period, wages in the quick service restaurant sector, in which 61% of workers are from outside the UK, remained relatively constant, at £9.18. British workers received the largest cut in hourly rates, falling 5% from £8.04 in June to £7.65 in November. During the same time period, workers from the rest of world experienced a 2% decrease to £8.68, while EU workers experienced a decrease of 3.3% to £8.22. The hourly wages of front-of-house workers fell from £8.21 in June to £7.68 in November. Those working back-of-house experienced a 4% decrease in hourly wages, falling to £8.53 during the same period. The fall was predominantly driven by over-25s, with a fall in hourly rate of 5% between June and November compared with a fall of 2.5% for those aged 21 to 25. The rate for those aged 18 to 21 and under-18s both remained broadly flat during the same period.
Mike Shipley, analytics and insight solutions director at Fourth, said: “Since we started tracking the average hourly rate, the actual rate has always been tracking significantly ahead of the incremental legislative changes to the National Living Wage rate. For the first time, the current hourly rate is broadly in line with the new rate due to come into force this April, so it will be interesting to see how the actual figure moves between now and then.”