Hospitality Salaries Jump by as Much as 12% with 100s of Jobs Over £50k

A new report from Caterer.com reveals that salaries for hospitality jobs have risen over the last year, increasing by up to 12% for some roles with a record number of hospitality jobs offering a salary of more than £50k.

Caterer.com’s Hospitality Hiring Insider finds that front-of-house salaries have risen fastest as the industry adapts pay and benefits to improve staff retention and attract talent. Roles which benefitted from the salary increase include Bar Attendants (8%), Maitre D’s (9%), Head Waiters (8%) and Sommeliers (12%).

The report, which analysed trends across job postings and applications, as well as gathering the views of 250 hospitality employers and 2,000 consumers, shows how a targeted approach to recruitment is key to success and how employers are changing their offerings to suit candidates’ changing needs in order to rebuild the hospitality workforce.

Rising pay and public misconceptions

For employers and hiring managers looking to attract and retain talent as the cost of living rises, compensation has become key. In fact, Caterer.com’s report reveals that 8 out of 10 (86%) consumers say that salary is of utmost priority when looking for a new role. Despite over a third (37%) of UK consumers believing jobs in the sector aren’t paid well, the survey found that 65% of hospitality employers pay all staff above living wage. Caterer.com also analysed the roles and salaries advertised on its platform and discovered that the number of chef roles with a salary of £50k+ has increased by 373% – making them some of the highest paid roles in the sector.

The report also highlights outdated public perceptions about the average salary of hospitality workers and, in many cases, this is highly underestimated. On average, people expect sous chefs to earn £26k when in fact data from Caterer.com suggests the average salary for this role is £31k. Similarly, people believe the average salary for waiting staff is of £18k whilst in reality this is 25% higher and consumers expect bartenders to be paid £19k yearly whilst the average salary is £25k. Overall, hospitality employees earn 30% higher than public perception, demonstrating there is still work to be done in debunking myths surrounding the sector.

Key drivers to attracting talent

In addition to an attractive salary, employers must present comprehensive benefit packages to appeal to new talent and have been updating their offerings to put this into action. The survey reveals consumers’ top sought after workplace benefits as:

  1. Flexible working hours (52%)
  2. Pay above living wage (36%)
  3. Bonuses (30%)
  4. Competitive pension programme (28%)
  5. Flexible shift patterns (28%)


Employers surveyed showed that they are in tune with what talent is looking for, and are responding to make the necessary changes to attract them, listing their most attractive benefits as:

  1. Paying a competitive wage (51%)
  2. Offering flexible working hours (39%)
  3. Paying above living wage (36%)
  4. Offering bonuses (32%)
  5. Offering flexible shift patterns and free staff meals (28%)

Despite the benefits employers are offering being closely aligned to those that applicants are looking for, research amongst consumers shows that misconceptions about the industry hold people back from entering the sector.

Kathy Dyball, Director at Caterer.com commented: “The hospitality sector offers incredible long-term career opportunities and our report shows how rewarding a job can be, not only financially but also enriched by flexibility and work life balance. Beyond salaries, workers are driven by training and development and clear levels of promotions which the majority of businesses already offer.

“We are seeing great measures being taken by employers across the sector to help change misconceptions around the industry, but there is always more that can be done. Working together as an industry to address these will be paramount to develop future talent pipelines.”