Employment Outlook for Hotel and Restaurant Staff

Good wage potential and performance-based bonuses

Jobs in hotel and restaurant management are always opening up due to managers transferring to less demanding and stressful jobs. Those with higher education levels will have the most luck filling empty spots.

Salaried managers often earn more than self-employed, but the most successful owner/operators can make well beyond the average in both industries. Salaried workers in large restaurant chains and hotels will have more opportunities for advancement.

Hotel and lodging managers

Jobs in hotel management involve long hours, night and weekend work and an often hectic or stressful environment. Managers who oversee hundreds of employees must work hard to ensure employee morale is high and guests are satisfied. They often deal with irate guests and large groups and conventions.

Some managers work at seasonal hotels and find themselves unemployed in the off-season. Self-employed owners of small hotels, motels and inns make up almost 50 percent of jobs.

Average job growth will be due to a high turnover rate. Long hours and stressful working conditions are usually to blame. In terms of schooling those with degrees will fare better.

Hotel manager wages

Wages for hotel managers can range from low to very high, depending on where the establishment is located and what segment of the industry it falls under. High-end hotels pay more and expect more from managers while smaller motels and hotels don't have the budget to offer significant paychecks.

In some cases managers who go above and beyond can earn bonuses of up to 25 percent of their salary. They may also be provided with meals, parking, laundry and other complimentary services.

  • Median annual earnings - $37,660
  • Middle 50 percent - $28,640 to $51,030
  • Top 10 percent - over $72,160
  • Bottom 10 percent - under $22,680

Restaurant managers

Over half of restaurant managers are salaried, while the rest are self-employed in independent restaurants and other food service establishments.

Restaurant manager wages

It's not uncommon for restaurant managers to have meals and job-related training provided by their employer. Some also earn bonuses related to revenue or sales.

  • Median annual earnings - $39,160
  • Middle 50 percent - $31,010 to $51,460
  • Top 10 percent - over $68,860
  • Bottom 10 percent - under $24,500

Wages by industry

  • Traveler accommodation - $43,660
  • Special food services - $43,530
  • Full-service restaurants - $41,490
  • Limited-service eating places - $36,400
  • Elementary and secondary schools - $36,290

Statistics courtesy the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2004