Hawaii Hotel Industry Survey Provides Latest Updates on Industry Pay Practices

Hawaii Employers Council is pleased to release the results of its 2017 Hotel Industry Survey.  A total of thirty-four hospitality organizations participated in this year's survey, spanning across one hundred ten properties throughout the islands.  These organizations shared insights into areas including food and beverage pay practices, bell desk and valet services pay practices, and IRS TRAC/TRDA program participation rates.
  • Food & Beverage Pay Practices
Mandatory Gratuity or Service Charge
Nearly half (48.1%) of participating organizations with restaurants charge a mandatory gratuity or service charge for large parties (defined as 5 or more).
Of the thirteen hospitality organizations with mandatory gratuity, 69.2% charge between 16 – 18%.
Gratuity/Service Chage
Waitstaff Wages
Sixty-three percent of survey participants pay waitstaff above the minimum wage.  Most hospitality organizations (94.1%) reported that waitstaff compensation ranges between $9.26 and $10.50 per hour.  No hospitality organization reported utilizing the tip credit in determining employee wages.
Hotel Banquet Service Charge
Of those hospitality organizations that provide banquet services, 66.7% add a mandatory service charge to the function’s bill.  Over 83% of hospitality organizations that add a mandatory service charge add a charge that ranges between 16% and 20% of the cost of the bill. A few organizations (16.7%) requiring a mandatory service charge amounting to over 20%.
Service Charge
  • Bell Desk & Valet Services Pay Practices
Bell Desk and Valet Services
Of the 23 hospitality organizations that have Bell and Valet jobs, over 45% reported having staff in the roles of Bell/Valet, Bell Clerk and Bell Person.  For those organizations with valet staff, the majority (91.3%) include valet staff as part of the employee workforce, while 8.7% contract a third party for this service.
Valet Service
Fifteen hospitality organizations (44.1%) reported that they provide porterage earnings.  Survey respondents further indicated that porterage is included in all group contracts for US and Japanese travel groups.
Eighty percent of organizations offering porterage do so as a flat dollar amount per person with no bag limit.  Twenty percent provide porterage as a flat dollar amount per group luggage count.  Porterage is typically available to the following categories:
Porterage Service
Bell / Valet Tip
Almost thirty-five percent (34.8%) of hospitality organizations reported that bell/valet tips are kept by the individual receiving the tip, while 60.9% of respondents reported that the tip is pooled and shared by the bell / valet team.  Of the organizations who pool tips, 82.4% reported that the pool is shared based on hours worked.
Eight organizations reported that additional tips are provided for each valet-parked vehicle, with three organizations providing additional tips for self-parked vehicles.
Bell Clerk Earnings
Eight hospitality organizations reported that they provide additional earnings for the Bell Clerk position in the form of tips (33.3%) or porterage (16.7%).
Bell Clerk Addl Earnings
Of the hospitality organizations that have some form of tip payments within their organization, 32.1% participate in the IRS (TRAC) Tip Reporting Alternative Commitment or (TRDA) Tip Rate Determination Agreement programs.
HEC conducts a variety of compensation and benefits surveys to provide data useful in developing and administering compensation and benefit plans, and personnel policies. Custom snapshots and comparison reports from our compensation surveys are available, along with customized, proprietary surveys conducted on your behalf.  Our Survey & Compensation experts can also work with members on employee opinion surveys to identify gaps between being an employer of choice and being merely an employer.  For more information, please contact Cathy Keaulani, Survey & Compensation Services Manager (ckeaulani@hecouncil.org), or Susan Amuro, Survey & Compensation Analyst (samuro@hecouncil.org).