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Contract caterers, and businesses in general, pay for more attention to the needs of their staff these days (whether this is due to altruism or obligation is another matter), but it’s worth remembering that some of the major factors that shape your recruiting pulling power are largely out of your control. One example of this was highlighted by research conducted by HomeLet recently, which took starting salaries in various industries and then crunched the figures against living costs to find out where new recruits are best off living.

After studying the top 10 most populated cities in the UK, the apparent number one choice for the catering industry – with a yearly budget of £10,474 after living costs were deducted from starting salary – was Birmingham. Shocking no-one I’m sure, the bottom-ranking location was London, on a wallet-worrying -£2,438.15.

Good news in theory, then, for the likes of Amadeus and Olive, bad for, well, pretty, much the rest of the contract catering industry. Before they begin to panic, though, employers in the capital may want to at least spare a thought for the only other city to end up in negative equity. Finishing on a figure of -£1,339 were the slightly less salubrious surroundings of, er, Southampton…

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