Staff shortages remain in the hospitality sector. / R. C.

Salaries in Spain's hospitality and tourism sectors are similar to pre-pandemic times

A waiter's average wage is close to 18,000 euros and a cook's to 19,500 euros, according to a new report


Recruitment company Adecco, in a recently published salary guide, shows that the average earnings for workers in the tourism and hospitality sectors remain on a par with those in pre-pandemic times - despite a staff shortage.

According to Adecco a waiter earns an average of 17,670 euros gross per year in Spain, which equates to approximately 1,060 euros net in 14 payments for a worker with a permanent contract and no children.

Cooks, another of the most in-demand groups, have an average salary of 19,550 euros gross per year, some 1,147 euros per month in 14 payments. Within the hotel and catering sector, the best-paid profile is that of chef, with an average salary of 31,900 euros gross per year, followed by sales executives, who earn an average of 28,500 euros per year.

Adecco said that part of the problem of the lack of personnel is due to the fact that some of the professionals who worked in this profession before the pandemic "have opted to retrain and work in other sectors with better working conditions". This shortage of candidates has also been linked to the decreasing trend in the arrival of migrant workers in Spain since the start of the pandemic.

Adecco said that once the first year of the pandemic was over, companies gradually resumed their activity during 2021, but in a "very unequal" way. The complications brought about by the spread of the different variants of Covid-19 in Spain prevented the expected levels of recovery from being achieved. Despite this, the sector witnessed a partial recovery, especially in the second half of the year. Gross domestic product (GDP) figures for the tourism sector show that these were 88 billion euros in 2021, representing 7.4% per cent of Spain's GDP, and an increase of 36 billion euros on the previous pandemic-hit year.

On the employment front, companies have had to adapt to complex staff management, arising from openings and closures as a result of restrictions and isolation protocols. However, during the first half of 2022 hiring has increased steadily, reaching 1.7 million workers in May, which is on a par with pre-pandemic figures.