Statbel DataLab: new statistics, methods and data sources beta version
Three quarters of people working in restaurants are salaried
Under its Statbel Datalab, Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, publishes new statistics, methods and data sources in beta version. Statbel also examines the possibility to use administrative databases in order to map the information on the labour situation. This innovative research is part of the preparations for the next Census 2021.
After a first publication on health care providers, this second publication focuses on the socio-professional characteristics of persons working in restaurants, cafés and bars. These figures refer to the Belgian population, all persons living in Belgium, with or without the Belgian nationality.
Comparison of the characteristics of workers in restaurants and cafés
Early 2020, 113,744 persons were working in establishments serving food (referred to as ‘restaurants’) and 21,541 in establishments serving beverages (referred to as ‘cafés and bars’). It is possible that these persons combine several jobs, including in other sectors of economic activity.
- Three quarters of persons working in restaurants is salaried (75.28 %), compared to just over half (51.45 %) in cafés and bars. In the latter, one person employed out of ten (9.84 %) combines a paid job with a job as self-employed, in the same sector or in other sectors.
- There are slightly more men than women working in both sectors: 58.05 % in restaurants and 59.28 % in cafés and bars.
- One person employed out of five (21.03 %) in the restaurant sector does not have the Belgian nationality. This proportion amounts to 15.25 % in cafés and bars.
- If we look at age, we see that workers in cafés and bars are generally older than their colleagues in restaurants: 60.37 % of people working in restaurants are younger than 45. In cafés and bars, 47.73 % of workers are younger than 45.
- One person employed out of five (20.60 %) in the restaurant sector works in the Brussels-Capital Region. Only 14.78 % of them also live in Brussels. This difference is smaller for workers in cafés and bars (13.77% work there and 11.36% live there).
- If we look at the proportions across all inhabitants, the province of Antwerp has the most inhabitants working in these two sectors: 19,265 inhabitants in the province of Antwerp work in the restaurant sector, and 3,450 inhabitants work in the sector of bars and cafés.
- If we look at the family situation, we see that 66.40 % of people working in the restaurant sector live as a couple (married or not, with or without children) and 47.54 % live as a couple with children.
- This family situation is slightly different in the sector of cafés and bars: 59.49 % of workers live as a couple (married or not, with or without children) and 36.31 % live as a couple with children.
- Those who work in a café or bar more often live alone (24.09 %) than those who work in a restaurant or other establishment serving food (17.91 %).
- The share of single-parent families for workers in both sectors is similar and is just over 11 % (11.18 % for the food service sector and 11.57 % for the beverage service sector).
- We see that few workers from both sectors live with young children. If we look at children under 25, we see that 51.45 % of people working in the restaurant sector live with at least one child under 25 in the household. This number is only 39.91 % in the sector of cafés and bars.
- Population 2020: 01/01/2020 based on the National Register
- CBE data: 31/12/2019
- Data NISSE (self-employed): 31/12/2019
- Data NSSO + data NSSOPLA (employees): 31/03/2020
Method: the data of the NSSO and the NSSOPLA for employees (situation on 31/03/2020) and of the NISSE for the self-employed and helpers (situation on 31/12/2019) were first taken into account in order to define the persons active on the labour market. These two databases were provided by the Crossroads Bank for Social Security (CBSS). They were then coupled with data from the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (CBE) in order to define the economic activity sector. Data from the CBE were also used to partly define the workplace, according to the enterprise number in the NSSO database and according to the enterprise number of agents for the self-employed. If no workplace could be defined, a proxy at regional level is defined based on the worker's place of residence.
The demographic data come from Statbel’s demographic database (Demobel), which is based on data from the National Register. The Belgian population on 1 January 2020 was used as a reference. The Belgian population includes Belgians and non-Belgians who have been allowed or authorised to settle or to stay in Belgium. It does not include non-Belgians living on the territory for less than three months, asylum seekers and people in an irregular situation.
The analysis was carried out as an experiment in preparation for the next Census. The figures given are neither official nor definitive and do not currently allow any comparison with other studies published elsewhere.
 The Census is a ten-year snapshot of the Belgian population on 1 January, i.e. all inhabitants of the Belgian territory, whatever their nationality. The Census provides a wide range of figures on housing and on the demographic, socio-economic and educational characteristics of citizens.