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Flat -out, still broke – and hoping for an easier new year:

Half of UK hospitality workers say they worked more hours than ever in 2023, yet can’t afford basic living costs

Poll shows that British hospitality staff are faring worse than European counterparts, with pay rises making little difference to workers’ finances

With the recent drop in inflation rates, British hospitality workers are likely to be hoping for a less challenging 2024, after a new study found that half of employees in the sector worked more hours last year than they ever have, to keep up with the cost of living.

The pan-European poll by workforce management experts Quinyx looked at the working patterns of frontline or deskless staff across several sectors, including hospitality. It found that nearly half (49%) of UK hotel and food service employees worked more hours in 2023 than in previous years, saying they needed the extra income to support their families – higher than the UK average (46%) across all industries polled.

Furthermore, 59% of UK hospitality staff said that despite working more, their wages barely covered their living costs – a much higher percentage than hotel and food service workers in the Nordic countries (32%), The Netherlands (42%) and Germany (46%).

Over a quarter (28%) of UK hospitality staff said they’d received a pay rise in 2023 but felt no better off as a result. A similar number (30%) had to accept financial support from friends and family last year to help with basic expenses.

Toma Pagojute, chief HR officer at Quinyx, says: “It’s likely that many hospitality employees will have been happy to close the door on 2023, and the financial challenges it brought. While it’s one thing to enjoy being busy at work and being able to pick up extra shifts, being ‘flat-out’ isn’t sustainable and can impact on physical and mental health – and when the resulting pay doesn’t even cover basic living costs, it’s demoralising to say the least.

“Hospitality bosses have faced their own challenges, of course, but now the busy festive period is over, we would love to see more of them starting the new year with renewed focus on their workforce’s engagement and overall wellbeing.

“While there are signs of an improved economic outlook for 2024, changes won’t be felt overnight and there is more hospitality leaders can do to prevent staff from feeling stressed, overworked and overwhelmed – this might be by offering flexible work schedules, improving communications and ensuring working conditions are the best they can be.”


Issued on behalf of Quinyx UK by The Tonic Communications. For more information contact [email protected].


3,259 frontline workers, in sectors including hospitality, retail, transportation and warehousing, were surveyed by Pollfish on behalf of Quinyx – spanning the UK, The Netherlands, Germany and the Nordics (Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland). Full survey data is available upon request.


About Quinyx

Quinyx is a leading AI-powered workforce management software that makes the complex tasks of scheduling, time reporting, communicating, budgeting, and forecasting deskless workers simple.


With offices in the UK, US, Australia, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Norway and Denmark and the Netherlands, Quinyx helps more than 1000 companies around the world reduce labour costs, remain compliant, and improve workforce efficiency – all the while boosting their bottom line, employee satisfaction, and retention.


Quinyx customers include McDonald’s, London City Airport, Hilton, Virgin Atlantic, and Starbucks.



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