Hotels raise the bidding for potential restaurant hires

The prevailing wage is $23 an hour, plus sweetened benefits and greater scheduling flexibility.
Hotels have stepped up their recruitment lures. / Photo: Shutterstock

Restaurants hoping to lure workers away from hotel jobs may need to use a fatter carrot, according to a new survey of innkeepers.

The canvass by the American Hotel & Lodging Association found that hotels have bid up the average wage of their hourly workers to $23 an hour. In addition, 64% of properties say they now offer greater scheduling flexibility, and 31% have piled on the benefits.

Those draws are in addition to the wage increases 71% of respondents said they’ve adopted.

Those steps have decreased the number of positions that remain unfilled at a typical U.S. hotel to seven, a 30% drop from the 10 jobs that were vacant per property in September, the AH&LA said.

But the lodging business continues to share in restaurants’ recruitment pain. Seventy-nine percent of respondents in the AH&LA survey said they’re pinched by a labor shortage, and 22% termed it severe.

Even with stronger bait, 81% of U.S. hotels said they’re unable to recruit enough potential hires.

The lodging business has about 100,000 unfilled positions, the AH&LA said.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


At Papa Johns, delivery shifts from its own apps to aggregators

The Bottom Line: The pizza delivery chain’s business with companies like Uber Eats and DoorDash is thriving while its own delivery is slowing. But this isn’t the beginning of the end of self-delivery, CEO Rob Lynch says.


How the shift to counter service has changed Steak n Shake's profitability

The Bottom Line: Sardar Biglari, chairman of the chain’s owner Biglari Holdings, details how the addition of kiosks and counter service has transformed restaurants.


Grand Geneva Resort & Spa's 'Ouisconsin' croissants reflect the state's French legacy

Behind the Menu: Hyper-local Wisconsin ingredients and a three-day baking process turn out pastries that are in high demand by hotel guests.


More from our partners