232 | Wage Pressures: How to plug cost leaks in your hotel’s labor pool (Labor and Hiring Part 2)


At the peak of a great upward climb from the Great Recession, the U.S. lodging industry is seeing a leveling off in business performance.

During the 25th annual Lodging Conference in Phoenix last week, many industry experts talked about a new normal of muted revenue gains and thinner profit margins as expenses continue to grow.

The biggest and fastest-growing operating expense in the hotel industry today is labor.

STR reports U.S. hotels saw labor costs grow an average 3.7 percent from 2016 through 2018. Those three years are the only period in the past 20 years in which labor costs exceeded revenue growth.

Although industry analysts cite much-talked-about causes of increased labor costs such as minimum wage laws and a tight employment market, some of the reasons your hotel is wrestling with the expense are not so obvious.

In this episode of Lodging Leaders – the second in a two-part series about hiring and labor – we explore how you can get a grip on labor costs, become more efficient in scheduling employee hours, and manage employees’ work expectations.

We hear from Del Ross, chief revenue officer at Hotel Effectiveness; Bryan DeCort, executive vice president at Hotel Equities; and Bruce Barishman, vice president of operational excellence at Interstate Hotels & Resorts. We also include excerpts from a presentation by economist Bernard Baumohl at The Lodging Conference.

Resources and Links

  • 329 | Ruff and Ready: ADA gives hotels a short leash when accommodating guests with service animals

    Many hotels these days have made room for guests with disabilities. Hotel managers and staff should also know what the Americans with Disabilities Act says about accommodating guests with pets. During the pandemic lockdowns, a lot of people added a pet to their household and now they’re bringing Fido along on vacation. Hotel employees need to know how to cater to both consumers who are pet owners as well as guests who travel with a trained service animal. Episode 329 of Lodging Leaders podcast reports on how the ADA defines a service animal and how a hotel is legally obligated to serve a guest who comes with a dog or any other animal.

  • 328 | Curb Appeal: Hotels’ refreshed images designed to attract road trippers

    Nearly 48 million Americans plan to travel over the Fourth of July weekend, predicts AAA. Most of them will drive and many of them plan to stay in hotels. What makes a travel consumer choose your hotel? Price can be a factor but so can the story the property tells through its online photos and its real-life curb appeal. First impressions of a hotel set the tone for the guest’s entire stay. Its roadside image is more important than ever as the lodging industry this summer hangs its hopes on a comeback driven by domestic travelers. Lodging Leaders podcast explores the importance of a hotel’s curb appeal as hoteliers think of ways to attract travelers seeking safety and assurance as the nation emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

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