Hospitality Skills Toolkit

How is your business affording the National Living Wage?

From April 2016, all workers aged 25 and over are legally entitled to the National Living Wage  set at a minimum £7.20 per hour – that’s a 50p increase, and it’s set to increase again next year and the year after that.  According to the Living Wage Foundation  the actual living wage outside of London should already be £8.25 per hour.

Either way significant pay-rises are the new normal and you’re expected to find the money somewhere now, and to keep on finding it … so what’s it to be?

A – prices (pass the pay-rise onto customers)

B – savings (cutback on other costs)

C – hours (reduce your team’s working hours)

D – jobs (let some people go)

E – profits (take the hit)

Some employers may be in a kind of Never-Never Land thinking they’ll keep employing people under 25 for evermore … but it’s not legal and anyway doesn’t make sense not to retain good people because they are 24¾ !

Options A, B and C could lose you customers. Options C and D lose you staff.  Option E loses you money. However you deal with this trade-off will, inevitably, be a statement about you, your business and your customer experience.

The changes will make the market more competitive – not just for customers and profits but for recruitment and retention as well.

Can you see a positive way through? A way of getting more for your money as your wage bill increases?  Can your staff generate higher sales and deliver better service in return for higher pay? Do you know how to help them do that?

There may be some straightforward things you could do to make you a better employer and improve your customer experience:

  1. Set clear well-designed standards for your staff to achieve
  2. Train your staff in how to deliver these
  3. Give your staff feedback on how they are doing
  4. Progress your best staff, keep them growing both personally and professionally


These may not sound like rocket science. They may sound complicated. They may not feel like the silver bullet that’ll get your numbers to balance.

We’ve worked up some business-based tools you can use which will enable your business to

  Earn enough to pay your people enough to live

Your customers will love it and so will your staff.


Register for all the planning tools and templates you need  … for free.