Banquet servers typically perform duties including hosting, waiting and bussing tables at events including weddings, conferences and fundraisers. Based on WageWatch’s 2012 Compensation Survey for over 5,000 hotels, banquet servers are the top non-exempt earners in terms of tips when compared to all other tipped positions in the industry. It appears that while banquet servers are well compensated; many hotels experience a very high turnover rate. At WageWatch, we questioned why this pattern was occurring, so we conducted a short compensation survey in order to gain a better understanding of the market for banquet servers and to determine the reasons behind this apparent anomaly.
The first question in this survey reads as follows:
If you compensate your Banquet Servers based on a set hourly rate of pay only (with no Gratuity Pool participation), do you pay your AM and PM banquet servers different rates of pay such as a shift differential?
The responses we received from 229 survey participants we’re as follow:
– 93.9% of respondents said they pay their banquet servers a set hourly rate, whether the shift was an AM shift or a PM shift.
– 6.1% of respondents said they do pay their banquet servers a shift differential. The average of shift differential was $1.53 per hour.
The second question in the survey reads as follows:
Does your Banquet Server compensation process include compensation out of a gratuity pool?
The following responses were received:
– About 2/3 of respondents stated that their banquet servers receive tips from a gratuity pool.
– Of the properties with a gratuity pool, on average, 32% is split amongst the banquet servers.
However, the average does not take into account the dispersion in the data. The gratuity pools ranged from 10% to a 100% split with a median of 15%. With the median less than half the average, banquet servers appear to have opportunities to improve their potential earnings by changing properties. In order to further understand the reasons for the high turnover rate, we have designed and will be distributing a follow-up compensation survey to develop a more thorough analysis of the banquet server turnover rates. Click here for the results.
WageWatch can help your business with cost-effective compensation surveys that will help you with hiring and budget planning by providing important information such as salary ranges, turnover rates and employee benefit packages. To learn more about our compensation surveys and other services, please call 480-237-6130 or contact us online.