Hospitality salaries grow ‘significantly’ despite pandemic, report finds

Despite the economic impact of Covid-19, average salary levels across the hospitality and leisure sector grew “significantly” in 2020, according to new data released by recruitment group Reed.

From analysis of over 6.5 million jobs posted to over the last three years, the Reed Hospitality and Leisure Salary Guide 2021 found that Covid-19 had not had a negative impact on overall salary levels within the sector.

The majority of positions advertised in 2020 showed an increase in salary instead, with an average 4% growth, resulting in a typical salary of £31,760, compared to £30,535 in 2019.

According to reed, this is “well above” the UK national increase of 2.32% and in the face of slow inflation, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) 12-month rate falling to just 0.3% in November 2020, from 0.7% in October 2020, and the Office of Budget Responsibility predicting it to stay below 2% until 2025.

Roles that had the largest salary increases in the sector include commis chef (8.2%), duty manager (7.6%) and head chef (6.8%).

Sam Baldwinson, Reed Hospitality and Leisure expert, said: “Hospitality and leisure businesses have been forced into mass furloughing and layoffs as a result of Covid-19, but this is in stark contrast to pre-COVID times, when the sector was one of the most promising fields to pursue a career in. However, despite the impact of the past year, salaries within the sector have risen on the whole.

“I am optimistic that, as we progress through 2021, we will see hospitality and leisure businesses return towards these levels. The enforced closure of venues will likely heighten demand when things return to normal, with people relying on the sector to put a smile back on their faces.

He added: “Hospitality and leisure businesses may find that much of their former workforce has moved on to something else. Industry staff are known for their fantastic work ethic and have a range of transferable skills, making them an asset in any sector.

“While some may have stuck it out in the hope of a return to normal, unfortunately many skilled workers have left the hospitality sector for industries less disrupted by the pandemic. This means that firms will need to work hard to ensure their remaining employees feel valued.”

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