Note: The following statistics should not be attributed to the U.S. Department of Labor, but rather their respective footnoted sources listed at the bottom of the page.
In the hospitality industry, customer satisfaction and retention are crucial, and providing excellent customer service is key to achievement. In today's world, customers displeased with an establishment's quality of service can simply take their business elsewhere. As a result, industry employees who abuse alcohol and other drugs threaten their company's profitability in addition to the general safety of themselves, their coworkers and their patrons. By making the country's hotels, eating and drinking establishments and the many businesses associated with their operations free of substance abuse, industry employers ensure increased profitability for their enterprises and further America's reputation as a welcoming destination for travelers on business or leisure.
A Federal government survey revealed that the hospitality industry, which includes hotel/motel companies, eating and drinking places and those companies related to them and their operations, experiences some of the highest rates of alcohol and drug abuse.
Among employees in the hotel/motel sector:
- 9.3 percent admit to using illicit drugs during the past month
- 17 percent admit to using illicit drugs during the past year.
- Nearly 10 percent admit to heavy alcohol use.1
Among employees at eating and drinking establishments:
- More than 16 percent admit to using illicit drugs during the past month.
- 28 percent admit to using illicit drugs during the past year.
- More than 15 percent admit to heavy alcohol use.2
Broken down by a few specific occupations, workers report substance abuse at the following levels:3
Current Illicit Drug Use (%)
Past Year Illicit Drug Use (%)
Current Heavy Alcohol Use (%)
From large multinational corporations to small locally owned hotels, motels and restaurants, hospitality industry employers across the country are implementing drug-free workplace programs to ensure productive workforces and safe workplaces — company features that ultimately result in increased profitability and success.
1 US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (1996). Drug Use among U.S. Workers: Prevalence and Trends by Occupation and Industry Categories. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services.