Health insurance for staff should be provided by the employers. At Hyatt Hotels in California staff is begging guests to donate.

“I just paid for breakfast at the Hyatt-operated Thompson Hotel in Hollywood, California”, said World Tourism Network chair Juergen Steinmetz. Not having a breakfast buffet, but a combination of a yogurt dish, a simple breakfast sandwich, and a cappuccino came to $41.39 plus an expected tip of $8.00.

If this wasn’t enough for a hotel breakfast, juice, and a second coffee not included, I noticed a 5% Wellness HLA Fee of $1.80 The $50.00 per person breakfast fee did not come with healthcare for these friendly, hardworking Hyatt Hotel waiters and waitresses at this Hyatt Regency branded Thompson hotel and restaurant in Hollywood, California.

The fee meant to providing health insurance to Hyatt staff was an additional contribution quietly added to the restaurant check. It wasn’t April 1 yet, so it could have not been an April fools joke.

“I asked the restaurant manager. She said she could take the fee off, but the fee is used to pay for health insurance for her and her colleagues.

“I found this undertaken by one of the largest hotel chains in the world outrageous. It’s not the money, but why would staff not get paid and receive health insurance as part of their salary contract? Isn’t this a basic benefit for the workplace?”

Why would a hotel guest judge if health care is necessary for a staff member? What would happen if the 5% would not cover the health insurance and a staff member got sick? Would this mean he or she is on her own paying for health care? Would this mean sick days won’t be honoured?

“Next time you stay at a Hyatt Hotel in California, please organize a donation for healthcare for homeless people in the neighbourhood, for police to prevent crime, for heating your room, or for the privilege of taking a hot shower. What about bringing your own bedding and towels?”

“Where would this end? What happened to our hospitality industry? Perhaps the $30.00 per night mandatory destination fee can cover some of the expenses necessary to operate a hotel.

“I guess the $285 room nights and 15-20% taxes only pay for the room key these days.” This issue is not isolated to Hyatt hotels; it has become the new trend in the California hospitality industry.