Latest figures from global software company Fourth, , highlight the extent to which UK hospitality industries, most notably restaurants, rely on foreign workers. The research graphically illustrates the impact a ‘hard’ Brexit would have – if Britain’s exit from the European Union served to limit hospitality businesses’ ability to recruit non-UK nationals.
The statistics reveal that, currently, 43% of workers in the restaurant, QSR, hotel and pub sectors are foreign nationals. However, the numbers spike dramatically for restaurants, with 57% of workers originating from outside of the UK; split 51% for front-of-house (FOH) and a massive 71% more than two thirds – for the kitchen and back-of-house (BOH) roles.
The statistics were mined from Fourth Analytics and based on a sample comprising 25,000 employees working in the hospitality industry, with an even split across the restaurant, QSR, hotel and pub sectors. The study also revealed:
- The average length of tenure hospitality workers spend at a business is 12 months.
- BOH employees take an average of 9.5 sick days a year – up from 8.5 in 2015.
- FOH employees take an average of 6.9 sick days a year.
- The gender split FOH in the hospitality industry is 41% male, 59% female.
- The gender split BOH in the hospitality industry is 58% male, 42% female.
- 86% of hospitality workers are paid by the hour.
- The average hourly pay of hospitality workers is £7.71 – 51p higher than the NLW.
- The average ages of hospitality workers, split by sector, are: hotels, 35.5; QSR, 30; restaurant, 29.8; pubs, 28.6.
- BOH employees work an average of 34 hours a week – 12 hours more than FOH employees, where part-time work is more prevalent.
- 9% of BOH employees are under 21, compared to 20% for FOH.
Mike Shipley, Analytics & Insight Solutions Director at Fourth, said: “These figures clearly demonstrate how heavily reliant hospitality is on foreign nationals, especially in the restaurant sector, and especially back of house.
“As we know, there is already a battle for talent, with companies working extremely hard to attract, retain and engage staff. It’s an issue that is exacerbated in restaurant kitchens and it’s driving up wage levels well beyond legislative thresholds, such as the national minimum wage. With Brexit uncertainty looming over the industry, the sooner the Government can deliver clarity and reassurance, the better.”