A new report benchmarking salaries in the hotel industry, shed some positive light and interesting insights into pay conditions in the sector.

Moore Stephens, a leading accounting and advisory firm, conducted the research in partnership with Buell Consulting Group and UKHospitality, benchmarking salary data within the hotel trade across a wide range of hoteliers in the South East. Revealing details of the minimum and maximum annual base salaries for a variety of employee roles, the report showed that 9 out of 10 of the lowest grade roles offer salaries 10%-20% above the minimum wage.

The report also found that general managers earn the highest average salaries within the hotel industry, with head chefs earning the second highest, and those working in hotels in rural areas earning, on average, 24% more than chefs working in town centre hotels.

In general, bonuses are only paid to individuals who occupy key management roles. Where offered, bonuses typically range from 7% to 15% of salary – except for general managers who can receive bonuses of up to 57% of their salary. The report showed that bonuses paid by town centre hotels tended to be twice those paid by hotels in rural areas – general managers in town centres were found to be paid bonuses of around 50% of salary, whereas general managers in rural locations were typically paid bonuses of up to 25%.

Roddy Watt, CEO of The Buell Group, Buell Search & Selection and The Hotel Management Company commented: 

“Payroll is the single largest cost for any operator of a full-service hotel.  Yet there is virtually no worthwhile data on salaries and wage levels in the hospitality sector.  This new initiative promises to provide this invaluable information for the first time and we wish to encourage as many owners and operators to participate to enhance the quality of the data and the ability to analyse it by different styles, sizes and locations of hotels”.

Vincent Wood, Head of Hotels & Leisure at Moore Stephens, said:

“The hospitality sector faces a daily challenge of recruiting and retaining staff. This report provides valuable insight for those right at the start of their career or those individuals looking to progress their current hospitality career.

We hope that the results from this pilot study will encourage hospitality staff to not only stay within the sector, but look to develop further with the vast number of opportunities available to them.”

Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality Chief Executive, said:

“Jobs in the hospitality industry often are often dubbed as low paid. However, this report highlights the realities of pay within the hotel sector.

“With our sector facing a well-documented skills shortage in the wake of Brexit, it is vital that we show just how rewarding hospitality jobs can be.

“We are encouraging school leavers, returners to the job market or anyone considering a change of career to apply for a role within the hospitality industry. As this report shows, it is entirely possible to end up earning a salary of £75,000 as a hotel general manager or £50,000 as a head chef, with many more jobs paying above the national average.”