Hospitality Business Magazine

Hospitality wages & salaries continue to increase

Wages and salaries across the hospitality sector continue to increase, despite businesses having to battle through some of the toughest trading periods in living memory.

Hospitality New Zealand’s 2022 remuneration survey of businesses shows the average hourly rate has risen by 8.9% since last year, while the average salary has risen by 10.5%.

The increases reflect the fierce competition for staff, as operators offer more to attract talent, and are almost double the average increase across the whole economy over the same period.

The average hourly wage in hospitality is up $2 to $24.43 – both the minimum wage and the living wage, including the new living wage rate of $23.65 that kicks in from September.

The average salary is up by $6904 to $72,558.

Hospitality NZ Chief Executive Julie White says the increases reflect the remarkable resilience of the sector in light of the ongoing COVID lockdowns, immigration challenges and lower business confidence.

“These are huge changes, considering the economic conditions businesses have been battling, and prove once again the sector is doing more than its part to improve the lot of its workers.

“You need only to look at what’s happened to wages across the economy as a whole to see that. In the year to March, average hourly earnings increased by just 4.8%.

“The ongoing skills shortage is undoubtedly playing a role in buoyant wages in hospitality – the prevailing narrative of ‘pay more’ has not been decisive in filling skills gaps – but should not overshadow the fact our businesses pay competitive wages, and that there are viable careers to be had in one of New Zealand’s biggest sectors,” says White.

“Achieving such significant increases in what has been our toughest post-COVID year yet when most businesses have struggled to keep themselves afloat is remarkable.”

White says the Government’s solution to New Zealand’s skills shortage has been for hospitality to pay its workers more.

“Once again the data that shows we’re still doing exactly that, and what’s more we’ve managed to do it in the toughest of times.

“The problem of staff shortages will not be alleviated till the Government allows us to bring in the skills we need.”

Key takeaway figures from the remuneration survey are:

Hourly rates

· The average hourly wage in hospitality is $24.43. The average hourly wage has risen 8.9% from 2021 to 2022 ($22.43 to $24.43).
· Average wages within the industry are above the current Living Wage of $22.75, and the new rate from September of $23.65.
· Queenstown and Southern Lakes paid the most above the industry’s average hourly rate –
an average of $26.55 or 8.7% above the national average.
· Highest paid roles in the industry included staff working for caterers or in nightclubs. Nightclubs paid an average of 43% ($30.35) above the average industry hourly wage, while country hotels paid an average of 29% ($27.42) above the average industry hourly wage.

· The average salary in hospitality is $72,558. Overall, salaries increased by 10.5% from 2021 to 2022 ($65,654 to $72,558).
· Staff in taverns/pubs/gastro bars earned a wage 6.6% higher than the average industry salary ($77,329).
· Northland paid the highest salary of the regions, an average of $79,731 or 9.8% above the national salary average.