Leaders of Britain’s pub and restaurant groups have generally welcomed the introduction of the National Living Wage, with a majority saying it will have a positive effect on the market, according to new research from CGA Peach.
In all, 54% said the NLW was a positive change for the eating and drinking-out market, even though a similar number (53%) said it would have a negative impact on their own businesses.
The survey of over 100 senior executives in companies across the sector was carried out in April and May – with some of the findings being featured in last night’s Channel 4 Dispatches programme.
It revealed that a quarter (26%) of groups had already introduced the new wage rates across the board, including for under 25s, while 29% had increased all staff pay to maintain differentials.
However, the research contained a warning for the Government, with 65% maintaining that the stated aim of increasing the base level to £9 an hour by 2020 was simply not realistic.
“Although companies have by and large accepted the introduction of the living wage, there is a real concern that driving it up too fast down the line will put excessive pressure on business, with fears that some will just go bust,” said CGA Peach vice president Peter Martin. “And it has to be remembered that this survey came before last week’s Brexit vote.”