Majority of Londoners willing to pay more at hospitality venues if workers are paid the London Living Wage survey data shows

  • 66 per cent of respondents said they were more likely to choose a hospitality venue if businesses paid their staff the real Living Wage 

  • 60 per cent of respondents said they would be more willing to pay an additional amount if the businesses paid their staff the real Living Wage 

  • Over 6500 workers in London’s hospitality sector have benefited from an uplift to the London Living Wage, the real Living Wage for those working in London, which is currently £11.95 

  • The real Living Wage is the only wage rate based on the true cost of living, with one rate for the UK and a higher rate for London to reflect the higher cost of living. Living Wage employers voluntarily pay their staff more than the Government’s National Living Wage, ensuring staff always have enough to cover the cost of living  

  • Over 3500 businesses in London are accredited Living Wage employers. The real Living Wage for London is currently £11.95, £2,983.50 a year higher than the Government’s National Living Wage of £10.42.  

New polling shows the majority of Londoners (60 per cent) would be willing to pay more at hospitality venues if businesses paid their staff the real Living Wage. Additionally, 66 per cent said they would be more likely to visit hospitality venues that pay workers a real Living Wage of £11.95 an hour in London.[1] 

These figures increase for regular visitors to hospitality venues, with 72 per cent of those visiting once a month or more reporting they would be more likely to choose a venue that paid their staff a real Living Wage and 67 per cent willing to pay more if staff were paid a real Living Wage. 

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay set independently and updated annually by the Living Wage Foundation. It is calculated based on the basic cost of living in the UK, and employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. It is £11.95 in London and £10.90 in the rest of the UK, to reflect the higher cost of living in the capital. A full-time worker paid the London Living Wage will receive £2,983.50 in additional wages annually compared to the current Government minimum. 

This new data follows analysis by the Living Wage Foundation earlier this year, which showed that the hospitality sector has the highest proportions of low-paid jobs in London compared to other industries, with 52.9 percent of jobs being paid below the London Living Wage. [2] 

The UK hospitality sector is comprised of 175,000 businesses and employs around 1.7 million people.[3] The industry also has higher proportions of younger workers, foreign-born workers, part-time workers and workers from minority ethnic backgrounds compared to other sectors.[4] 

Despite the growth of the Living Wage movement, low pay remains a big issue, with 13.6% of jobs in London paying less than the real Living Wage.[5] The current cost-of-living crisis makes this issue more urgent, with many workers and families across the country feeling the squeeze and Londoners amongst those being hit the hardest.  

The Making London a Living Wage City project, led by Citizens UK, the Living Wage Foundation and Trust for London, aims to put hundreds of millions of pounds of wages into the pockets of Londoners and lift tens of thousands of workers out of in-work poverty by boosting the number of accredited Living Wage and Living Hours employers across the capital.   

As part of this project, a Hospitality Action Strand was formed to tackle the specific issue of low pay across the sector. This group is made up of hospitality organisations working for the uptake of the real Living Wage across the sector in London.  

At its heart, the real Living Wage campaign is rooted in communities taking action to ensure workers are paid a wage that reflects the cost of living. 

As well as focusing on the issues around low pay, the project will also tackle precarious work through Living Hours – a standard to help workers get the hours they need to make ends meet and protect them from job insecurity. [6]  

Rosie Ferguson, Chief Executive of House of St Barnabas & Hospitality Action Strand Chair, said:  

“It is unacceptable that low basic pay below London Living Wage is still the norm across the hospitality sector. But it’s exciting to see that consumers are ready for change and willing to pay for it. There is a critical need to highlight where London Living Wage is in place in hospitality venues so that people can make an informed choice. I call on all London hospitality employers to lead the way and accredit as Living Wage Employers.” 

Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: 

“That consumers are willing to support fair wages and decent work from their own pocket during a cost of living crisis speaks to a remarkable appetite for change in hospitality, London's lowest paying sector. Londoners recognise that everyone needs a decent standard of living, and the real Living Wage is the only wage rate based on what it costs to live. By accrediting with the Living Wage Foundation, hospitality employers can support their employees to live with dignity and take a step towards ending the current hiring crisis. I encourage all employers who can to step up for their staff and help us make London a Living Wage city.” 

Meg Chase, Worker at Rosslyn Coffee, said: 

"Paying employees, a living wage is so important in the hospitality industry, as it creates a sense of support and worth within the workplace. With the constant and rapid price increase of living in London it’s reassuring to know I don’t have to work more than full time hours just to pay rent. As an employee in this physically and socially demanding field, good morale and support from my bosses means I can enjoy coming into work and encourages me to do my best every day.” 

Lara Omoloja, Founder of Greenwich Pantry, said:  

“We are going through an important moment in the hospitality sector when businesses of all sizes have an opportunity to transform the low pay culture associated with the sector. It is really good to see that industry clients are willing to vote with their feet and choose businesses that pay Londoners the real Living Wage to reduce the impact of the cost of living crisis that is affecting hardworking individuals across London.” 

Notes to editors    


[1] The data comes from Survation polling commissioned by the Living Wage Foundation. The polling consisted of online interviews of 2103 adults aged 18+ living in London carried out between 23rd June and 3rd July 2023. Survation are a member of the British Polling Council and abide by their rules. 

  [2] Living Wage Foundation analysis of ONS’ ‘Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings’ (ASHE). Full report can be found here: 

[3] ONS (2022) UK business; activity, size and location: 2022 and ONS (2023) EMP13: Employment by Industry.   

[4] House of Commons (2022) Research Briefing: Hospitality industry and Covid-19. Full report can be found here: 

[5] Living Wage Foundation analysis of ONS’ ‘Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings’ (ASHE). Full report can be found here: 

[6] Information on the Living Hours scheme by the Living Wage Foundation: 


For more information, please contact Klervi Mignon at or 07939 34 25 73.