F&B Salaries Soar by 25%

Phil Benson reviews new data that reveals growth in F&B salaries. Is your salary in line with the industry average?

Latest hotel industry findings have shown that salaries amongst the hardworking food and beverage professionals have soared by more than 25 per cent in the past year for those working in London’s City hotels. This rise has been aided by a boom in fine dining within the capital, which can now boast an impressive 55 Michelin-starred restaurants as UK cuisine continues to make culinary headway.

The figures were released as part of a new survey by HVS Executive Search and reveal that the average income for a hotel food and beverage manager now stands at £37,734 per year and for a food and beverage director the average salary is now £58,350 per annum.

F&B Salaries Reflect Renewed Focus on Talent

With hotel banquets feeling the pressure due to shorter booking windows and a lower share of discretionary spend, it appears that London’s hotels have been focussing on their talent competence in this area, which is why the industry has seen such a rise in the average salary for food and beverage professionals.

Hotels in London have had to become more competitive in terms of what their restaurants can offer, as they now have to compete with individually renowned restaurants within the city. This has increase in competition has led to an increased complexity of F&B operations, which bring greater revenues, resulting in salary rises for the top F&B directors.

This increase in payments to top professionals only reinforces the continuing importance that food and drink revenue now has for hotels alongside that of room earnings.

Salary Rise in Line with Private Sector

The data used for these latest earnings findings in the HVS London Hotel Salary and Benefits Report, includes information from seventy-four luxury, upscale and mid-scale hotels in the capital.

These figures revealed that overall the average salary across thirty-six executive management and department head positions in London’s hotels now stood at £46,122, which was an increase of 3.5 per cent in the past twelve-months. This was in line with the vast majority of UK private sector workers, who saw a wage rise of below the Retail Price Index figure of 5 per cent.

Top F&B Salaries in Luxury Hotels

The survey, which is produced by HVS Executive Search, has in the past decade, consistently shown that the more luxurious and larger the hotel, the greater the salaries being paid are. This year was also the first year that HVS recorded employee per room ratio figures, which revealed that the smaller, luxury hotels were employing more people per room, compared to their lower class competitors.

With the London Hotel industry enjoying a relatively strong performance in 2011, which is set to be boosted in 2012 with the help of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the Paralympics and Olympic Games, HVS estimate that the salary reviews could match and even possibly exceed inflation this year.

Good news for all that will have such a busy summer ahead.

By Phil Benson


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