Average hospitality salary drops

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

(image: Getty/georgeclerk)
(image: Getty/georgeclerk)

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The average salary of hospitality workers has decreased this year when compared to 2023 a report has uncovered.

The UK’s Largest Hospitality Salary Survey 2024​ from Access Hospitality was conducted from January to February 2024, featuring a sample of 1,328 UK hospitality employees.

It included a mixture of experience and roles from right across the hospitality industry with several different operations such as pub/bar/club sector, hotels, restaurants, suppliers and caterers of varying sizes and across the England, Scotland and Wales featured.

The research showed in 2023, three in 10 (30%) of workers involved in the survey had an annual salary of £30,000 or less however this year, it had increased by seven percentage points to 37%.

Some 13% had an annual salary of £60,000 or more last year whereas in 2024, this had risen to 16%.

(image: Getty/andresr)

Furthermore, the report looked at the average salaries, showing the average salary for the pub/bar/club sector decreased from 2023 to 2024 where it was £40,600 last year versus £39,200 this year.

Most (42%) of those involved in the research believed the salary they received was a fair reflection of the job they did, compared to other industries while more than a quarter (27%) said it was to a little extent. Some 16% said it was to a great extent but 15% revealed they thought it was to no extent.

When looking at a variety of roles across the sector, most salaries had decreased with the largest drop in percentage terms for the corporate executive role however, salaries for general management roles was the one area where wages increased – up from £39,800 in 2023 to £45,300 in 2024.

Salary statistics

2024 average salaries compared to 2023:

Corporate executive – £63,500 (down from £80,600)

Director – £68,800 (down from £73,000)

HR – £45,000 (down from £51,900)

Operations – £45,600 (down 8from £49,500)

General management – £45,300 (up from £39,800)

Chef – £34,800 (down from £37,200)

Front of house – £24,300 (down from £26,400)

Furthermore, with regards to male and female roles, the average salary for males in 2023 was £42,800 and increased to £43,300 this year.

Whereas for females, last year the average was £37,100 but for 2024, this decreased to £36,100.

Elsewhere within the report, it also found 40% of hospitality workers said they were working an additional seven and a half hours – down from 43% in 2023 although, more were doing up to two and a half hours over and above their contracted hours, from 26% in 2023 to 30% in 2024 with 62% of employees not being paid extra for working additional hours.

Those surveyed (including front and back of house team members) were also asked their thoughts on tips and the majority (44%) said the contribution of tips in providing them with a satisfactory salary for the work they do was very important.

(image: Getty/BrianAJackson)

About a quarter (24%) said it was important and the same (24%) said it was neither important nor unimportant while 5% said it was unimportant.

Moreover, participants were asked how much in addition to their basic salary did they earn annual from tips and bonuses.

Four in 10 (41%) said none – a rise from 25% in 2023. Some 24% said they earned under £2,000 (up from 22%), 15% said between £2,001 and £5,000 (down from 20%), 10% said £5,001 to £10,000 (a drop from 14%), while 6% said between £10,001 and £20,000 (the same in both 2023 and 2024) and 4% said more than £20,000 (marginally down from 3% last year).

Benefits was another area looked at in the report with salary topping the list as the most important (95%) – same as in 2023.

Staff benefits

Employee benefits in order of most importance to staff:

  1. Fair salary
  2. Holiday entitlement
  3. Training and development sessions
  4. Flexible hours
  5. Mentoring
  6. Bonus/tips
  7. Team building/activities
  8. Wellbeing sessions
  9. Food/drink/dining out discounts
  10. Counselling
  11. Shared parental leave
  12. Remote working/work from home
  13. Subsidised gym membership
  14. Onsite accommodation

This was followed by holiday entitlement (92%) with training and development sessions in third (88%).

While receiving a fair salary remained the most important benefit, there was increases in importance in all but two (shared parental leave, which remained the same as 2023 while bonus/tips fell from 79% to 73%) of the other benefits outside of salary.

There were significant increases in what could be considered ‘softer’ benefits such as wellbeing sessions (a 6% rise), discounts with food/drink/dining out (up 10%) and counselling (up 9%), signalling staff want a richer package from employers that taps into their mental and physical wellbeing as well as financial.

Since last year, the report stated there had been a rise in the majority of employee benefits available with an increase in those utilising these benefits too.

Access Group director of learning Jamie Campbell said: “It seems the UK’s hospitality sector has worked at improving those areas it was traditionally weaker on – training and additional benefits.

“While there has been a slight decrease in average salaries across most sectors, improved employee benefits are going some way to make up for this, prompting more employees to be happier in their work.

“It is vital this continues in order to retain and attract staff going forward.”

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