Itsu gives staff up to 13% pay rise

ItsuAsian restaurant and grocery chain Itsu has awarded its 1,200-strong workforce a pay rise of up to 13% to help them cope with the rising cost of living in the UK.

The chain’s investment will see entry-level pay boosted to a minimum of £11.50 per hour, which is almost 20% higher than the average industry hourly wage of £9.80. It also exceeds the Living Wage Foundation’s recommended real living wage rates of £9.90 an hour outside London and £11.05 an hour in the capital.

All Itsu staff will see wages increase across the equity-owned restaurants by up to double the industry average rise of 6.4%.

According to Itsu, which is set to open 15 new restaurants this year, creating more than 200 jobs, the pay rise demonstrated its commitment to hiring, retaining, and supporting its talent as it grows its presence throughout the UK.

Ganan Kanagathurai, chief executive officer at Itsu, said: “Our team members are the heart of our business. We are committed to looking after our people, in what are going to be difficult times for many of them. We’ll always pay our teams as much as we can afford rather than what we can get away with.”

Harry Housen, group people director at Itsu, added: “We’re confident that our commitment to training our people, focus on internal promotions, and market leading pay will position us as the employer of choice for those within the hospitality sector.”

Last September, the chain gave all paid weekly in-store staff an 11% wage increase, while those who were paid monthly received the rise from 1 October. Entry-level pay went up to a minimum £10.40 per hour for store employees and applied to all owned restaurants, but was optional for franchise operators.