Research from global software provider for the hospitality and leisure sectors Fourth also found the new National Living Wage (NLW) rates will mostly benefit front-of-house workers as their hourly wage rise will be more in line with that of back-of-house workers.
It went on to find back-of-house workers are already earning above the new NLW of £9.50 an hour, that came into force on 1 April while front-of-house team members are currently paid under the new NLW amount.
The data, which is aggregated from analysis of more than 700 firms revealed wages for back-of-house staff have increased significantly over the past 12 months due to the ongoing recruitment crisis as businesses look to fill the roles by offering higher wages.
Those working in pub kitchens have seen the biggest increase with rates of pay up 6.8% over the same period while wages for back-of-house restaurant workers were up 3.7%.
Furthermore, wages for pub workers aged 23 and above have also increased by 6.7% over the past 12 months.
When it comes to the number of workers in the sector, overall hospitality staff headcount is up by more than a quarter (27%) compared to March 2021 but down by 12% against March 2020 and down 15% on March 2019.
The number of hours worked in March 2022 was 12% higher than February 2022 but still 12% down on pre-pandemic levels recorded in February 2020.
Have you increased prices to mitigate rising costs?
Yes - up to 10%70%
Yes - up to 25%19%
Yes - up to 50%4%
Yes - up to 75%0%
Yes - up to 100%0%
Yes - more than 100%0%
Fourth managing director EMEA Sebastien Sepierre said: “As the hospitality industry continues on the road to recovery, it is evident major obstacles still stand in the way.
“The Government’s decision to go ahead with the VAT increase from 12.5% to 20% has been met with distain and the increase in the NLW rate, while good for workers, is set to put even more pressure on already squeezed margins.
“The sector still requires as much support as it can get, in the face of the cost of living crisis for consumers and soaring operating costs for businesses – the VAT hike in particular, couldn’t come at a worse time and will force businesses to regrettably increase menu prices.
“Given these challenges, it’s more important than ever operators continue to plan ahead to protect their bottom line and maximise efficiencies when it comes to labour and inventory management.
“Technology and digital solutions play a key role in ensuring businesses can hire, train, engage and retain workers, providing smart solutions to work within their means and manage consumer demand in these testing times.”