A study of more than 1,300 UK hospitality workers found that 62% were not paid for overtime hours in 2024, compared to 64% in 2023.

The number of staff working up to 2.5 hours above their contracted hours has risen from 26% in 2023 to 30% in 2024.

However, the number of hospitality employees working more than 7.5 hours of overtime per week dropped slightly, from 43% in 2023 to 40% in 2024.

The findings were reported in a study, ‘The UK's Largest Hospitality Salary Survey 2024', created by KAM in partnership with Access Group, the BII, Hospitality Jobs UK, Montgomery Group and Otolo.

When hospitality workers were asked whether they had received sufficient training to feel fully qualified for their roles, the results were split 50/50.

This year's results also indicated a squeeze in the mid-level salaries, with a rise in the number of hospitality staff earning £30,000 or less (30% in 2023 to 37% in 2024) or £60,000 or more (13% in 2023 and 16% in 2024).

Average salaries across the industry also dropped this year from £42,700 to £37,000 in fast food/cafes, from £41,200 to £40,200 in full-service restaurants, and from £40,600 to £39,200 in pubs and bars.

The only sector to see a rise in average salaries was hotel and accommodation, which saw a jump from £42,100 to £44,800.

However, employee satisfaction among most respondents has risen, with 59% reporting a healthy work/life balance in 2024 compared to 51% in 2023.

Over four in five (82%) said they would recommend a career in hospitality, up from 74% last year.

Popular employee benefits, besides an overwhelming preference for a fair salary (95%), included holiday entitlement (92%), training and development sessions (88%), flexible hours (83%) and mentoring (75%).

Ahead of the incoming tipping legislation, the survey also asked respondents for their insights on tips and bonuses and some 68% said tips were important in providing them with a satisfactory salary.

Jamie Campbell, director of learning at Access Group, said: "It seems the UK's hospitality sector has worked at improving those areas it was traditionally weaker on – so 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's vital this continues in order to retain and attract staff going forward."

The National Living Wage is set to increase to £11.44 per hour from April.

by Jungmin Seo