The average salary of a food and beverage (F&B) director at a London hotel has risen 25 per cent to £58,350 in the last year as the capital's hotels strive to become more competitive in their restaurant offerings.
The figure, part of the London Hotel Salary and Benefits Report carried out by HVS Executive Search, indicates that hotels in the capital are placing more emphasis on their F&B offerings and are prepared to pay for talent to help improve it.
Chris Mumford, president EMEA at HVS Executive Search said: “Hotel banquets have been feeling the pressure with shorter booking windows and lower discretionary spend.”
“Clearly the capital’s hotels have been focusing on their talent capability in this area, reflected by a 25 per cent increase in average salary. The capital’s hotels have become ever more competitive in their restaurant offerings, going head-to-head with the top standalone restaurants in the city.
"The result is increased complexity of food and beverage operations, greater revenues, and a rise in the salary of the food and beverage director.”
Luxury equals higher salary
The annual survey of 74 luxury, upscale and mid-scale hotels in London found that the average salary for a F&B manager had also risen to £37,734 while the average salary across 36 executive management and department head positions in London’s hotels has risen by 3.5 per cent to £46,122.
Unsurprisingly perhaps, the survey found that the more luxurious the hotel, the higher the salaries for staff. For the first time the survey also recorded employee per room ratio with the results proving that smaller luxury hotels employ more staff per room than their less luxurious counterparts.
As with the situation in the majority of the UK private sector, the survey found that average salaries across the hotel sector were below the retail price index of 5 per cent, however, the strength of the sector is expected to produce salaries above inflation according to Mumford.
Looking ahead, he said: "With London recording strong performance in 2011 and with the help of the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics this year we expect salary reviews later in the year to at least match, if not exceed inflation in 2012.
The full survey can be purchased online by visiting http://www.hvs-‐executivesearch.com/CompensationConsulting/Reports/