M Restaurants in the UK have announced that from March 1 this year they will introduce a starting wage for all employees at £10 ($NZ 20.00) per hour.

The move comes after Operations Director, Andre Mannini implemented M’s M-indful Days initiative in 2018.  This entitles all employees to four M-indful Days per annum in addition to their existing holiday allowance, as well as access to Spill, an independent counselling app to promote mental health in the workplace.

Staff wellbeing is something close to Mannini’s heart who comments: “We want our team to feel their best selves, both at home and in the workplace. Our M-indful initiative has been wholly embraced by the team and we seem to be going from strength to strength.”

The £10 Starting Wage is seen as a basic requirement by M Restaurants Founder, Martin Williams:

“I remember working as a kitchen porter in hotels and restaurants many years ago and thinking – I love the job, but the money is so much better in other industries. It is time for all hospitality employers to follow our policy at M Restaurants and unite in making our industry the most attractive employment option possible.”

Williams slams the ‘poverty wages’ other companies are offering, continuing to say:

“You see press coverage where the headline is a high profile hospitality leader quibbling about whether his staff are scraping together the living wage and arguing about whether ‘poverty wages’ is a fair description of the recompense he offers; next you see that hospitality staff are striking and I feel shame for the industry as a whole.

“In a Brexit context, the industry faces a chronic staff shortage, as the country no longer attracts the amazing talent from Europe and beyond that we used to take for granted. As an industry, we should use the current environment as a catalyst to make hospitality an attractive option to a limited workforce and change our reputation as a low pay industry.

“Brexit is clearly already making many in hospitality realise that the already acute people and skills shortages will be compounded by the government’s immigration white paper. We expect to announce many other similar wage increases in the weeks and months ahead from businesses also endeavouring to counter and insure against the people and skills shortages hospitality businesses will be forced to deal with.”

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