Consumer Preference for Fair Wages in London’s Dining Scene
Survey Highlights A recent survey conducted by the Living Wage Foundation has shed light on the dining habits of Londoners. The findings reveal that 66 percent of diners in the capital prioritize venues that pay their staff well, while an impressive 60 percent are willing to spend more at hospitality establishments if it leads to increased wages for the workforce.
Accredited Employers Leading the Way London boasts more than 3,500 accredited employers who pay their employees £11.95 per hour or higher, significantly exceeding the government’s national living wage of £10.42 per hour. These accredited businesses are committed to addressing the higher cost of living in London and ensuring their staff earn a wage that provides financial stability.
Impact on Hospitality Sector The Living Wage Foundation’s efforts have positively impacted the capital’s hospitality sector, with over 6,500 employees in this industry benefiting from the London Living Wage. This hourly rate of £11.95 or more plays a pivotal role in ensuring that employees can maintain a decent standard of living, even in an expensive city like London.
Katherine Chapman’s Perspective
Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, expressed her views on this groundbreaking survey. She noted, “That consumers are willing to support fair wages and decent work from their own pocket during a cost of living crisis speaks to a remarkable appetite for change in hospitality, London’s lowest paying sector. Londoners recognize that everyone needs a decent standard of living, and the real Living Wage is the only wage rate based on what it costs to live. By accrediting with the Living Wage Foundation, hospitality employers can support their employees to live with dignity and take a step towards ending the current hiring crisis. I encourage all employers who can to step up for their staff and help us make London a living wage city.”
The Hospitality Sector’s Wage Dilemma
This recent data reinforces the foundation’s earlier analysis, which revealed that the hospitality sector in London has the highest proportion of low-paid jobs compared to other industries. A staggering 52 percent of jobs in this sector fall below the threshold of the real living wage. With 1.7 million employees spread across 175,000 businesses, the sector not only faces this wage challenge but also stands out for its employment of a younger workforce, foreign-born staff, individuals from diverse backgrounds, and part-time contract workers.
Addressing the Cost-of-Living Crisis
Given the prevailing cost-of-living crisis, the issue of low pay in the hospitality sector has become increasingly urgent. Collaborating with Citizens UK and Trust for London, the Living Wage Foundation is actively encouraging businesses to elevate wages and enhance the quality of life for Londoners. The foundation’s efforts extend beyond wage increases; they also aim to improve job security for workers in the sector.
Meg Chase, an employee at Rosslyn Coffee with multiple London locations, shared her thoughts: “With the constant and rapid price increase of living in London, it’s reassuring to know I don’t have to work more than full-time hours just to pay rent. Good morale and support from my bosses mean I can enjoy coming into work and encourages me to do my best every day.”
Lara Omoloja, the founder of Greenwich Pantry, a cookery school, emphasized the importance of this moment in the hospitality sector: “We are going through an important moment in the hospitality sector when businesses of all sizes have an opportunity to transform the low pay culture associated with the sector. It is really good to see that industry clients are willing to vote with their feet and choose businesses that pay Londoners the real Living Wage to reduce the impact of the cost of living crisis that is affecting hard-working individuals across London.”