Workers’ Experiences of Low-Paid Work: A Snapshot of the Hospitality Industry

This briefing highlights findings from the Serving the Future project on hospitality workers’ experiences of low-paid work in Scotland. In interviews with workers over a 12-month period, the research is seeking to understand:

  • The demands and challenges of sustaining employment in the hospitality sector over time;

  • The impacts of working in the hospitality sector upon the wider household, specifically children and families; and

  • What needs to change for employees working in the sector.

The findings reported here are from the first set of interviews with 27 hospitality workers, conducted between September 2022 and March 2023.


Chirsty is a Knowledge Exchange Associate at the Fraser of Allander Institute where she primarily works on projects related to employment and inequality.

Calum is an Associate Economist at the Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) and a Researcher at the Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy (CITP). He specialises in economic modelling and trade, and holds an MSc in Economics from the University of Edinburgh.

Emma Congreve is a Principal Knowledge Exchange Fellow and Deputy Director at the Fraser of Allander Institute. Emma's work at the Institute is focussed on policy analysis, covering a wide range of areas of social and economic policy.  Emma is an experienced economist and has previously held roles as a senior economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and as an economic adviser within the Scottish Government.

Allison is a Fellow at the Fraser of Allander Institute. She specialises in health, socioeconomic inequality and labour market dynamics.

Part of Collection

Serving the Future is a three-year action research project working with hospitality employers and workers. The project seeks to understand, reduce and prevent in-work poverty and identify changes that could be made within the hospitality sector.