Edinburgh restaurant becomes first to serve up the Living Wage

Mussel and Steak Bar staff in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh

Mussel and Steak Bar staff in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh

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Edinburgh-based restaurant The Mussel and Steak Bar has become Scotland’s first Living Wage accredited restaurant.

The family run restaurant specializes in surf and turf, and currently employs 24 staff.

By becoming an accredited Living Wage employer, the Mussel and Steak Bar has committed to paying their staff £8.25 per hour – the new rate announced on Monday, November 2.

The owner of Mussel and Steak Bar said: ‘‘We feel that in paying the Living Wage our team has been come much more stable and staff turnover has fallen, this in turn has reduced the time and cost of training and frustration and pressure which is placed on the rest of the team while new staff are training being trained.

‘‘We have great morale throughout the team and do not have a problem with absenteeism. We wanted staff to be rewarded fairly for the effort and work they put everyday looking after our customers.”

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, cabinet secretary for fair work, skills and training, said: “This is a very positive step for Scotland’s hospitality sector as we come towards the end of Living Wage Week 2015. I am delighted that the Mussel and Steak Bar has become the first accredited restaurant in Scotland, again showing that the Living Wage can be applied to a variety of sectors.”

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance and chairman of the Scottish Living Wage Campaign, said: “The accreditation of the Mussel and Steak Bar, the first restaurant in Scotland, is important because it demonstrates that it is possible to pay the Living Wage in the hospitality sector.

“While there are other accredited employers in the hospitality industry, they make up a small proportion of the 390 plus accredited employers in Scotland.

“The Mussel and Steak Bar is showing tremendous leadership in implementing the Living Wage for all of their staff, and demonstrating that there are employers in their industry who are able to improve the lives of the staff they employ by committing to at least the Living Wage”.