Spa Balance

41. Why Wellness Leaders Are Hospitality’s Lowest Paid Specialist Leader

Why Are Wellness Leaders Hospitality’s Lowest Paid Specialist Leader?

Have we wondered why our wellness leaders are paid less than other specialist leaders – for example: Directors of Finance, Sales & Marketing, People & Culture, Food & Beverage and Rooms?

We could continue to play the ageold violin that wellness isn’t taken seriously in hotels. That traditionally, hoteliers treat wellness as an amenity department, a compensation tool for angry guests or this “unknown area” that they must subcontract to a third-party operator.

However, if we go beyond what our eyes see and dig below the surface, we’ll notice that most hoteliers do not report more than 1-3% of total hotel revenue from their spas, one of their fewer direct revenue generating wellness offerings.

So, if wellness only makes a meagre 1-3% of total hotel revenue, then why does it surprise us that our wellness leaders are the lowest paid specialist leader in hotels.

Why, if we have such a low impact in terms of direct numbers, do we think our leaders should be paid a similar wage to other specialist leaders whose businesses generate substantially more in direct revenues than wellness does?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I want to clarify that I am not advocating or justifying low wages for our leaders. And I’m also acutely aware that wellness generates indirect revenue through higher average daily rates, higher spend, higher occupancy and length of stay.

What I’m just trying to highlight is that it should not come as a surprise to us that our wellness leaders tend to be the lowest paid specialist leader in hotels. There is a reason.

In today’s episode, I’d like to shake things up slightly. I’d like to challenge our wellness leaders to go beyond that good enough line – where they’re making millions of dollars in revenue, exceeding budgets and have a GM who is their raving fan. Because, in many of these so-called successful wellness operations, if we dug below the surface, these wellness operations also don’t make more than 1-3% of total hotel revenue.  What I’d like to offer is how can we challenge ourselves when we reach that highest point and ask ourselves, how can I make wellness generate 10x more? What if wellness could generate 10x more? What would I need to do differently and what different things would I need to do?

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