How COVID-19 Has Affected Hotel Service Workers

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The onset of COVID-19 changed the world nearly instantaneously, and the hospitality sector felt those effects immediately and harshly. Travel all but vanished for months, and even now with economies reopening, studies project that the industry may not return to pre-pandemic strength until 2023.

Hotel service workers in particular have had an unprecedentedly difficult year. By the fall of 2020, hotel occupancy was only back to about 50%. Even now, areas that are recovering quickly still can’t prioritize paying lower-paid staff. As of this spring, employment in hospitality is still down by more than 4 million jobs.

While measures are being taken to provide these workers with post-pandemic protections (in California, Governor Newsom just signed a bill requiring hotel employers to first rehire workers laid off during the pandemic when jobs become available), going back to work after a long period of time away can be a real adjustment.

Hospitality service often requires hours on your feet, which is all the more difficult after months without practice. Mask mandates are still in place that would require employees to cover their face for the entirety of their shifts. For those workers who have survived or been brought back during the pandemic, the demands on their roles are now higher – with higher stakes – than ever before. Even if vaccinated, these workers are consistently exposing themselves to contracting COVID-19, and cleaning and care measures are even more rigorous to undergo. On top of this, tips have plummeted with the loss of guests.

Tipping culture can be confusing to navigate, but it’s important to realize the impact your gratuities have on hotel service workers. Tips are crucial in helping so many folks get by in hospitality, and are a well-appreciated nod of thanks for their efforts. The positive effects of tips are seen firsthand, and it’s why eTip was born.

If you’re traveling to a hotel in the months ahead, don’t forget about all the hard work hospitality employees are putting in behind the scenes and how much they’ve been through to continue providing quality service. eTip can help you show these workers the appreciation they deserve by offering a cashless, app-less platform for tipping. At your next stay, ask the front desk or General Manager if their hotel supports eTip! Learn more here.

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