Back of house salaries increase while front of house decrease, research reveals

20/02/2019 - 09:39
Average salaries for chefs and kitchen employees increased by 14.8% in 2018, whilst front of house salaries decreased for the second consecutive year, according to research by The Change Group.

The increase is the equivalent of a £4,215 pay increase in one year, said the hospitality recruiter, adding that as a result average pay for a hospitality employee in London working back of house now stands at £32,674 a year. 

In 2017, back of house salaries increased 3.5%. Front of house salaries are down 3.7% %, or £1,168, to £30,051 per year.

Jim O’Brien, director of The Change Group said: “A recent Change Group survey into attitudes on pay among 257 people working in the industry shows hospitality workers are much more confident about negotiating pay, and many are receiving large annual increases.

“There has been a significant adjustment in chef salaries over the past two years, which is a good thing. Our research shows more and more employees are asking for regular pay increases, and not waiting for a promotion or moving to a new job, before asking for more money.

“The decline in average front of house salaries is partly due to the fact that businesses are creating more opportunities for junior employees. Overall, we are seeing an increase in the number of candidates registering we us.”

Still the lowest of the three groups, at just over £29,672 per year, average annual salaries for bar and pub employees increased 4.5%, or £1,274, during 2018, according to the research.

It claimed that back of house salaries are now the highest in London, £2,623 more than average front of house salaries and £3,002 more than the take-home pay for most bar and pub staff, a contrast to two yeas ago when back of house salaries were the lowest. Chefs typically earned £4,767 less than front of house employees and £794 less than the average wage for pub and bar workers.

The survey revealed that 58% of respondents had negotiated a pay rise with their employer that was above what the employer was planning to offer them. While typically hospitality workers negotiate a pay increase when moving jobs (28.8%) and at a promotion (29.5%), almost one in five (19%) negotiated pay increases at regular intervals. 45.1% had negotiated a salary increase in excess of 10% and 11% had achieved a pay increase over 20%.

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