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21st Jan, 2022

Christy Houghton
Christy Houghton
Job Title
Social Media Content Executive

Technology has been the biggest catalyst for improvement and resilience, as many restaurants and hotels have used apps for providing better services and increased their capacity to deliver.

However, this doesn’t mean that people will be replaced. Soft skills such as customer service and communication are still essential within hospitality. Technology simply provides greater efficiency and an exciting chance to upskill. There has never been a better time to join the hospitality sector.

This list will explore which regions are likely to offer the best opportunities:

East Anglia

With demand for talent high in this region, there is no better time to join the industry. There is a false perception that hospitality in East Anglia is seasonal and not well-paid. However, baristas can earn between £20,600 to £25,500, and pastry chefs up to £31,400, which is a sustainable salary for a long-term career. For those with management skills, operations managers in East Anglian hospitality firms can earn up to £63,700.

This year, local businesses are likely to come together to change negative stereotypes and show what a rewarding sector it is to work in. Some companies are even offering a one-off cash incentive to encourage professionals to join the sector. Many business leaders understand that career progression has become a top priority for jobseekers and hospitality is a sector that offers a range of experiences to learn from and grow.


London has always been the place to go to find the highest salaries, and even in the post-pandemic world that is still the case. The only difference now is that there is reduced competition for roles in the capital. Many people returned to their hometowns and left their roles, leaving many opportunities open for those looking to join the sector in London.

Salaries have been pushed even higher by the demand for staff, but the work itself has stayed the same – and in many cases improved through technology providing greater efficiency. Whether you’re an operations director earning £78,000 or a sous chef earning £36,000, the hospitality sector is one of the most vibrant and exciting to join and is a long way from the standard 9-5 job. The sector provides great opportunities to progress, and a chance to build a transferable skill set.

Northern Ireland

After many lockdowns forcing businesses to close, and the impacts of Brexit, many professionals left Northern Ireland. Now, businesses are operating at pre-pandemic levels but are in need of professionals to fill their roles.

This means jobseekers have much better leverage to attain higher salaries and better benefits – now is the time for professionals to negotiate. Business leaders are far more open to the idea of flexible hours, or remote and hybrid options where possible, improved pay and more.

Chefs are in much higher demand, since many left the sector to work in pandemic-related roles while businesses were closed. In Northern Ireland, professionals that stayed in the sector are inundated with offers. This year, commis chef salaries are reaching £23,500 and, at the top level, executive chef salaries are up to £64,700.

South East

Hospitality and leisure professionals in the South East have greater power over their working conditions, pay and benefits. Businesses are operating at pre-pandemic levels but don’t have the staff to deliver that and, as a result, are searching for professionals to fill their vacancies.

Those who have joined or remained in the sector during the pandemic will have much greater career progression in the long run, due to the invaluable experience it has provided combined with staff shortages giving them more opportunities to develop and stand out to employers.

In the South East, candidates have at least six airports to work in, plus surrounding hotels, depots and logistics companies. We predict that new and better-paid roles will emerge once tourism returns to its peak level, as tourists and business travellers resume frequenting and spending money in the UK.

Yorkshire and Humberside

In this region, the balance of power has truly shifted in favour of hospitality professionals, who are now able to negotiate more easily than before, gaining higher salaries, better working hours, and additional benefits.

Businesses are looking to keep up with the high demand through increased delivery and takeaway services, adhering to Covid guidelines to the letter, and are now more focused than ever on retention and attracting new staff. Employers are focused on the wellbeing of their workforce and rewarding loyal employees who stuck with them through this pandemic.

Kitchen porters can earn up to £23,800 in Yorkshire and Humberside, and restaurant managers are earning up to £38,000. With skills shortages creating increased opportunities for career progression and greater negotiation power, there are a number of advantages to working in this region’s hospitality sector.

Jobseekers looking for their next role in hospitality should understand the current UK market and identify where the best opportunities are. Candidate shortages brought on by the pandemic have pushed salaries higher, with businesses looking to retain their staff through pay rises, better benefits, or counteroffering when employees receive other offers. Our salary guide can help you make informed decisions, through our data and expert advice.

Professionals and employers looking for more regional insight into the hospitality sector can download our 2024 hospitality salary guide now.