Rise in pay for UK restaurant workers outpacing other countries

By Restaurant

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Base wages of restaurant workers in the UK are rising faster than in the US and North America

Related tags Wages Staff Hospitality Salary

Base wages of restaurant workers in the UK are rising faster than their US and North American counterparts, new data has revealed.

UK restaurant worker pay grew 6.1% year-over-year, up 16.7% over the two years from January 2022 through December 2023, according to data global technology company Square.

This is the largest growth the company says it has observed across its active markets, although the rise is just enough to keep pace with inflation, with the consumer price index having risen 15.1% since January 2022.

By comparison, growth in restaurant wages in the US and Canada stood at around 8.9% over the same period, while in Japan this figure was around 5.9%.

The rise in wages in the UK also stands in contrast to the US, where growth in the median hourly base wage for restaurant workers has decreased from around 6% in March 2023 to just over 4% by December 2023, according to Square.

“The good news for restaurant workers is that wages are continuing to grow even as inflation has softened in recent months, which could lead to long-term pay gains for UK workers,” says Ara Kharazian, research and data lead at Square.

“We know that hiring and retaining talented staff is a persistent challenge for restaurants. The priority in the hospitality industry to elevate restaurant wages showcases the shift we’ve seen towards ensuring fair compensation for restaurant workers, and highlights the importance of their role in the UK economy.

“For hospitality businesses, investing in their workforce is key to not only retaining talent and fostering employee well-being, but also enhancing overall business success in the hospitality industry and by extension, the UK’s economic growth.”

The Government is to introduce rises to the National Living Wage in the coming months. From 1 April a 9.8% increase is due for those aged 21 and over to £11.44 per hour.

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