Speaking at the British Hospitality Association (BHA) Summit yesterday (30 June), Johnson argued that the rise could be ‘made to work’ for businesses and that there had been an increase in companies paying workers the higher rate.
The Living Wage currently stands at £7.85 per hour in the UK and £9.15 in London, compared to the National Minimum Wage of £6.50.
“Firms that pay the Living Wage find that they have higher loyalty and productivity from staff, lower staff turnover and HR costs,” said Johnson.
The Mayor further extolled the value of the hospitality profession to young people.
“We should be proud of the jobs that the hospitality and tourism sector is creating," he said.
"These are not dead-end jobs but stepping stones and rungs on the ladder for thousands of people. The culture of hospitality is changing the atmosphere and the culture of work here in London."
Johnson described London as ‘the hospitality capital of the world’, acting as a ‘funnel’ for the 70 per cent of tourists who arrive in the city to visit the rest of the UK.
Around 18.8m visitors are projected to visit the capital this year, up from 17.4m in 2014.
BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim said: “We want the UK to be the hospitality capital of the world, we just need the Prime Minister to have the same attitude that the Mayor does.”