Chris Russell

2 min read

Recruiting Trends

Hospitality Industry Trends in Hiring: Signing Bonuses

In today’s challenging job market, hospitality employers are going to great lengths to attract new workers. Some are getting rather creative when it comes to hiring perks. Take the Vivili Hospitality Group in Prescott, Arizona.

They have partnered with a local college to offer free tuition in an attempt to incentivize new hires amid a national hiring crisis that has “plagued the restaurant industry since the pandemic.”

The owner of Vivill, Skyler Reeves said, “Attracting and retaining the best talent is a top priority for Vivili and creating this program with Yavapai College allows us to do just that, while also contributing to the community by funding the education of people looking to get ahead in their careers. With this being a challenging hiring time for the service sector all over the country, our vision for this program is to find a creative way to alleviate this industry-wide issue.”

Students who accept the job are able to choose any major at the college without restrictions. More interesting is that Reeves didn’t put many restrictions on the offer. They just have to be employed by Vivilli until they graduate. 

New workers must be employed by May 22 to qualify and those enrolling in the second fall term beginning Oct. 11 must start their employment by July 17. Employees must earn a passing grade of C or better to receive the reimbursement. 

Chipotle also offers a tuition reimbursement program, allowing eligible employees to be reimbursed for tuition up to $5,250 per year in qualifying programs.

Signing Bonuses Reign

Most hospitality job recruiters are not as creative instead turning to hiring bonuses to lure new hospitality workers. Here are some examples we’ve seen in the headlines.

  • The Max Restaurant Group out of Hartford,CT is offering $1,000 sign on bonuses to new hires (even dishwashers. Must be employed for at least 5 weeks.
  • The Mohegan Sun Casino also in Connecticut is offering $2,000 signing bonuses for culinary staff.
  • Marriott Vacations Worldwide in Orlando is offering new hires a $1,000 sign-on bonus as the company adds staff for seven timeshare properties.
  • Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Rochester, NT offers a $275 sign-on bonus.
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club does a $500 sign-on bonus and a $500 referral bonus for employees who are “in good standing for 90-days.”
  • Hollywood Casino in Columbus Ohio offers a $1,000 sign on-bonus for select positions.

Sign-on bonuses seem to be the main strategy for recruiting at this point in the hospitality industry. This trend is likely to stay at least for the next few months. It remains to be seen if these kinds of bonuses will become the norm going forward. Only more applicants in the talent pool can lessen the need to offer these kinds of monetary perks.

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