If you popped into your local Costa this morning for your daily caffeine fix, did you notice an extra spring in the step of the barista?

If so, that’s because the giant coffee chain has increased size of the pay packets of all of its baristas – from today.

All 12,500 baristas will now earn a minimum of £7.40 an hour once they’ve completed their training, up from £6.65 an hour.  Baristas in training will start on £7.20 an hour. That latter figure is in line with the National Living Wage announced by Chancellor George Osborne in July, coming into force in April 2016.

London Costa workers will earn a minimum of £8.20 an hour, rising to more than £9.

It’s great to see our largest Member, not a high-end luxury venue, but a high street brand, taking the lead and not only matching the new minimum rate, but, in the case of the vast majority of its baristas, exceeding it.

And while the government’s new pay regime does not apply to those under 25, Costa has taken a more progressive approach, including all team members regardless of age, so long as they have completed their training.

Chris Rogers, Managing Director of Costa, said: “Our baristas are the heart and soul of our business and make Costa the successful company it is today.  We have been working on introducing new rates of pay and progression scales for some time now and today’s announcement represents a significant investment in our teams.  We wrote to every single barista in September to let them know about our plans and the response has been very positive.

“We have chosen to pay the same rates to everyone as we strongly believe that if two people are making the same contribution they should receive the same pay and that it should be linked to training and skills levels, not age.”

After an initial backlash following the chancellor’s announcement, a growing number of hospitality businesses are embracing their responsibility to provide staff with a wage that can merit the name living.

Living Wage Week starts a month today, during which the Living Wage Foundation will set the new rates for the UK and London Living Wage. It’ll be interesting to see by how much they exceed Mr Osborne’s rate. We will of course, keep you posted.