When is the Right Time to Ask for a Pay Rise?

Asking for a pay rise can be one of the most nerve-wracking things you will ever do. Additional funds mean the world to you, but that feeling isn’t always shared by your employer. Asking for more might be uncomfortable, but if you feel that you’re worth the raise, it’s often necessary. 

There are two parts to successfully getting a pay rise:

  1. Firstly, understand that the company you work for is in business to make money. It’s that simple. So when you ask for a pay rise, your focus shouldn’t be on why you need an increase, but on why you deserve it. (Here are tips if your job is front of house).
  2. Secondly, you have to time it properly so that your chances of getting what you want are increased.

In this article, we breakdown the right time and the right circumstances that hospitality professionals should ask for a pay rise.


The Right Times to Ask for a Pay Rise

Timing your request is important. Good planning is asking a few months prior to annual budget planning. Great timing is asking after an announcement of positive financial results. 

It depends on the company of course, but according to Forbes, the day and time of day counts, especially in the hospitality industry! It is suggested you avoid Mondays when people are less energised after their weekends, or may be running around trying to catch up after a busy working weekend. 

It is better to time your request for a morning, and it seems a Wednesday morning is ideal. The boss is in a good mood because the weekend is approaching, and he or she may be more relaxed and open to hearing what you have to say. However, these times may not be ideal for you, depending on the type of company you work for. Use common sense to decide.


The Right Circumstances to Ask for Pay Rise

An increased workload, a new responsibility, or a change in your job description can be great opportunities to justify your pay request. It’s good to ask before you start doing the work, because once you start, you may lose some leverage. We don’t suggest refusing extra work, but rather carefully planning your approach to asking for an increase. 

Although we recommend talking to your boss before taking on new responsibility, it’s also good to approach him or her after a successful project or event you were involved in has been completed. 

If you are on a contract which is coming to an end, and the company wants to renew it, now’s a good time to ask for a pay rise. Avoid approaching your boss when he or she is busy, especially during service, because you won’t get the attention you need. 


Be Realistic

Unless you’re being grossly underpaid, your company is under no obligation to give you a raise in pay. Part of your promotional plan should be to consistently over-perform, so that you have leverage. Once your employer sees that you’re a valuable, hard worker, more than likely, they will recognise the need to keep you happy, and this may be the time to ask. Keep in mind if working casually, there will be slight increments to your hourly rate available as per the award. However, this will cap out at a certain level, so do your research and don’t be unrealistic.

Last, but certainly not least, don’t dismiss the power of a good mood. Even better is when your boss may be feeling the warm and fuzzies over something great that you did.

Having said all this, don’t assume you’re going to get what you want, because asking is just that - asking. The company may or may not accommodate your request.

Ready to work with Sydney's top restaurants, event venues, and bars? Submit your resume below.

Discover the exciting world of hospitality. It will take you places!

About the author Marlowe Bennett

With 22 years of experience and over 23,000 professional hours working across Sydney’s hospitality industry, our content aims to inspire young candidates to pursue professional careers and to help operators grow compliantly.


Staffing Solutions: Temporary & Permanent

Discover our informative industry-specific fact sheets and how you can enable operational freedom.

Download your copy


The Intelligent Travellers Guide to a Working Holiday in Australia

Full of tips for making the most of this highly rated bucket list experience.

Download your copy

Discover More

2019 Wrap Up

Every year, we like to look back on what we’ve accomplished as a business and what we’re aiming to achieve moving f...

December 31, 2019

11 Free Online Tools to Create a Winning...

With countless free online resume tools now available, creating an eye-catching resume that sets you apart from the...

December 20, 2019

Restaurant Owners: How to Improve the FO...

As a restaurant manager or business owner, you play a significant role in employee satisfaction, retention and prod...

December 16, 2019


Submit a job vacancy

Got a position you need to fill? Please enter the job vacancy details below

Thank you your job vacancy has been posted


Submit your resume

Tell us a bit about yourself,
fill out the form below

Not ready to post a vacancy?

Subscribe to our newsletter instead to keep up to date

Not ready to submit a resume?

Subscribe to our newsletter instead to keep up to date