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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.

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