Average wages for UK pub and restaurant workers surge amid staff shortage


  • The average wages of pubs and restaurant workers rose by up to 14% due to the staff shortage.
  • Greater Manchester and Cheshire topped the rank, reporting the biggest rise in their average wages.
  • The food services and accommodation segment has recorded the most significant rise in openings since March 2021.


UK hospitality sector is witnessing a staff shortage, which has led to the average wages of pub and restaurant workers surging by up to 14%, as per the research data released by Indeed Flex, a flexible work finding platform.

The businesses are hiring temporary staff to meet the demand as they offer great flexibility. According to Indeed Flex, the weekend workers are the ones getting the most benefit from this hiring crisis among the temporary staff. The workers in the weekend shifts are getting 9% more wages than they were getting in the pre-pandemic era. 

At the same time, the weekday pays also reported on an average a rise of 5% in wages across the UK, compared to an increase of 1.8% reported in the minimum wage between 2019 and 2021, as per the Indeed Flex data.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, the food services and accommodation sector reported the most significant surge of 265.5% in vacancies than any other industry in March since the lockdown restrictions began to ease.

While some companies are offering financial incentives to tempt staff such as bonuses or gift vouchers, others have started refer and earn scheme for their employees under which whoever recommend new staff gets rewarded.

While the rise in wages was reported everywhere in the UK, Greater Manchester, and Cheshire, topped the chart, reporting the biggest increase of 12.51% in average wages, with an 11.15% rise in the weekday pay and 13.87% rise in the weekend pay.

Yorkshire reported the second-highest rise of 11.21% in its average pay, followed by Wales and South West, which saw an average pay increase of 7.63%. Merseyside reported the lowest rise of 0.84% in its average pay.

The industry has urged the government to relax immigration rules so that low-skilled workers from other nations can come to work in restaurants and bars across the country. Otherwise, to sustain the pressure of this increased hiring cost, the hospitality businesses will ultimately pass on the cost to the customers. 

Also Read: What Is the Long-Term Future of Restaurants in the UK? 

Let us look at 3 FTSE stocks from the Pubs and Restaurant segment and see how they are performing:

Restaurant Group Plc (LON: RTN)

Restaurant Group Plc is one of the leading hospitality businesses in the UK. The company owns more than 650 restaurants and pubs across the UK and owns a diverse portfolio of brands such as Wagamama, Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito, Coast to Coast, Garfunkel’s, Firejacks. 

On 22 June 2021, Restaurant’s shares were trading at GBX 125.20 as of 09:04 GMT +1, up by 2.29%. The stock has given over 89% return in the last one year and holds a market capitalisation of £936.40 million. 

Marston’s Plc (LON: MARS)

The leading brewer of premium cask and bottled beers, Marston has been in the industry for more than 180 years.  The company operate six breweries in Burton on Trent (Marston’s), Oxfordshire (Wychwood & Brakspear), Cumbria (Jennings), Hampshire (Ringwood), Bedford (Eagle) and the West Midlands (Banks’s) and produce more than 60 of the country's best-loved ales.

On 22 June 2021, Marston’s shares were trading at GBX 91.75 as of 09:03 GMT +1, up by 1.38%. The stock has given over 46% return in the last one year and holds a market capitalisation of £573.90 million. 

Wetherspoon (J D) Plc (LON: JDW)

An FTSE250 constituent, Wetherspoon J D Plc owns and run pubs across the UK. The company focus on serving quality food at affordable prices.

On 22 June 2021, Weatherspoon’s shares were trading at GBX 1,230.00 as of 09:02 GMT +1, up by 1.49%. The stock has given over 15% return in the last one year and holds a market capitalisation of £1560.45 million.

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