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M Restaurants calls on hospitality industry to join it in raising ‘starting wage’

Published:  21 February, 2019

M Restaurants has introduced a new fixed £10 ‘starting wage’ and has called on the hospitality industry to follow suit.

The restaurant chain said it is introducing the fixed ‘starting wage’, which is £1.79 higher than the national minimum wage coming in at £8.21 an hour for those aged 25 and over, for all employees from 1 March this year.

 The £10 ‘starting wage’ is seen as a “basic requirement” by M Restaurants founder Martin Williams.

“I remember working as a kitchen porter and a bar back 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.”

Slamming the “poverty wages offered by other companies”, Williams added: “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.”

The move follows the group’s implementation of M’s M-indful Days initiative in 2018, which 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.