Choice Hotels FAQ

Have questions about working at Choice Hotels? Read answers to frequently asked questions to help you make a choice before applying to a job or accepting a job offer.

Whether it's about compensation and benefits, culture and diversity, or you're curious to know more about the work environment, find out from employees what it's like to work at Choice Hotels.

All answers shown come directly from Choice Hotels Reviews and are not edited or altered.

47 English questions out of 47

1 October 2019

Does Choice Hotels offer relocation assistance?

Pros

Good benefits package. I love the ability to work from home.

Cons

Little room for advancement. Seems that any past experience outside of Choice is not taken into consideration when applying for higher positions. Special projects and/or positions (etc) seem to go to the same people within the department.

Advice to Management

Give all team members an opportunity to show you what they have to offer. Truly utilize your teams' skills and past experiences.

Good benefits package.

1 October 2019

See answer

31 July 2021

Does Choice Hotels offer dental insurance?

Pros

Prior to WFH there was a good amount of non-technical opportunity to expand your skills. Things like presenting, leadership training, mentoring, etc. This entirely stopped after WFH, so not sure if it would ever return. If you have initiative, you will exceed any and all expectations. They run a cool event once a year called 'Mastery' which is a little internal conference. Work life balance trends on the good side for most teams. I'd say most people in engineering probably work < 35 hours a week on average. Having said that, there were multiple periods where 60+ hour weeks were required to meet goals, so mileage may vary. Surprisingly, vision insurance was incredible. $22 a month for employee + spouse, TWO benefits EACH per year. Dental insurance was good. The financial health of the business is incredibly strong, even despite a pandemic. The CEO (Pat Pacious) seems to have a very strong sense of direction and understanding of the hospitality industry. All of the non-engineering executives seem to really understand their industry.

Cons

There has been a complete regression of developer experience over the last few years. 1. Many systems used to be nearly or completely automated which have since been replaced by manual processes that cross numerous departments. It is a common and regular occurrence that developers will need to involve up to 5 different departments to make deployments, even to non-production environments. 2. Developers have little to no access to AWS services that are needed to do their day jobs. Senior engineers typically have to get super-admin like privileges to be able to do basic tasks for their teams, introducing another point of friction in an already terrible process. 3. Engineers spend many hours in meetings with product "owners" who exercise no responsibility or ownership over their domains. There is virtually no bottom-up decision making. It is a regular and common occurrence that small and insignificant decisions will propagate all the way up the executive ladder. 4. Microsoft Teams. That should say enough, but the reality is the company is too cheap to invest in tools that enhance productivity and build a good engineering culture. This is one example of many. 5. Industry-worst developer tooling. Every interaction with every tool is a complete pain point. The deployment pipeline has endless manual gates, and is generally incomplete. No CLI access to anything. All of the Grafana dashboards are manually generated and edited, none of which live in version control. The static analysis reports endless false positives, each requiring a manual approval from one of the infosec engineers. Bitbucket on-prem with force push disabled on all branches. The list goes on and on, it's actually unbelievable how much time is lost in the awful tooling space. There is generally a "that's a bummer" attitude whenever this problem is raised. 6. Engineers have no formal control over technology choices. There is a 'committee' called TAC that is the sole arbiter of every technology decision. There were something like 20 members on this committee, with maybe 3 or 4 active engineers. Largely it's run by security analysts, architecture, and otherwise management. The entire approval process lacks transparency, or any sense of urgency. For some examples: Java 9 ... 14 +? Nope, let's just keeping adding to the Java 8 pile. They've been 'debating' containers for half a decade until one of the departments decided to start implementing k8s / EKS. Spring boot (not Spring the framework, we already used that) took 3 entire years of deliberation to adopt, initially with all sorts of arbitrary restrictions (no actuator). Since then I think most teams decided to just use most of Spring boot anyway, and TAC is too busy arguing about tabs vs. spaces, or emacs vs. vim, or some other nonsense. The reality is that teams can't operate on a list of decade old technology, so tech leads consistently have to make spot decisions to use things that aren't "formally" approved. Generally engineers don't engage with the TAC process, because it's so insanely long and arbitrary, they likely won't be at the company by the time any decision is made. 7. 'Microservices'. It's a hot word in the engineering space. Choice decided to try and break up it's services without the appropriate tooling in place, or the engineering staff to support it. Expect to support upwards of 15+ services that are all inconsistent, random, and lack useful observability. Expect most services to have no tracing (no Jaeger / Tempo, etc), random metrics, and useless alerts. There is no way to orchestrate deployments, each service has to be deployed individually. The sad part is, I could go on. The engineering culture is just dreadfully, absolutely - terrible. And unfortunately there is significant inertia against positive change from many directions in the company. Other non-engineering cons: 1. Terrible remote culture. Choice has been effectively paralyzed by the WFH environment. Expect every meeting to be staring at a sea of blank Zoom screens. Expect no interaction between coworkers outside of meetings. It's a miserable experience. The unfortunate part here is it kind of felt like leadership was blaming the lack of culture on the WFH environment, and expected it to rebound instantly once the offices are open. 2. Contractors, contractors everywhere. It seemed like every time someone left the company, they were replaced with a 3rd party contractor. The loss of institutional knowledge over the years was immense, and added to the burden felt by those who remained. 3. Attrition. Expect to have many managers, many different colleagues, and a lot of turnover in general. 4. Substantially lower than average compensation, especially for engineering. There is some room for movement, but the level bands are pretty narrow. Software engineers will need at least one promotion to reach 6 figures. They cited market research and competitive compensation, but I strongly suspect they are measuring the hospitality industry and not the software industry. This is especially true now that remote is a real option for Phoenix engineers. Choice is significantly below a competitive salary in this space. 5. Insanely expensive health insurance. As I recall it was something like $140 a month for one employee, high deductible plan through Cigna, and $480 for employee + spouse. They technically offer 3 options of plans, but they all work about to be roughly the same if you have to meet your deductible. It's very, very expensive. Once again, it felt like they were surveying the hospitality industry and not the software industry here. 6. Few vacation days. You start with 10, with 3 additional "personal days". It was something like 8 paid holidays, so overall you get roughly 3-4 weeks off a year. It's pretty bad, especially in the software engineering world where 21+ vacation days is easy to find. You get a few more after 5 years service. Technically during the pandemic they introduced "well-being days" - this was a good step in the right direction, hopefully they keep it and just turn their vacation policy into unlimited PTO. 7. No other substantial financial incentives. No RSUs, options or stock purchase program. No bonus below director level. They have something they called "STAR" award which was up to a $1000 ad-hoc bonus, but management had to be very selective about giving them out, and you could only earn up to 4 of them per year. On average you might see $250 per year from this. This was paused during the pandemic, not sure if its back. No education budget, no home office budget. At one point we were told there was a conference budget, but then half of the requests got denied - so not sure about that one. If it costs money the answer is probably "no".

Advice to Management

Get a CTO that is an engineering powerhouse, unshackle them, and let them fix the rot inside engineering. Embrace the turmoil that ensues, and emerge the other side a much stronger company.

Dental insurance was good.

31 July 2021

See answer

30 April 2019

Does Choice Hotels offer parental leave?

Pros

Great location, good benefits, friendly culture

Cons

There could be more vertical movement within the company.

Advice to Management

I would recommend giving some of tax cuts back to the employees.

Great location, good benefits, friendly culture

30 April 2019

See 1 more answer

28 May 2021

Does Choice Hotels offer employee discounts?

Pros

Easy environment if you have a good manager Great employee discount on rooms Great benefits

Cons

Hours can be crazy Crazy guests sometimes curse/yell at you at no fault of yours

Advice to Management

Better work-load during busy times

Great employee discount on rooms

28 May 2021

See answer

18 June 2021

Does Choice Hotels offer a wellness program?

Pros

Good Salary, Good Benefits, various company events,

Cons

Favoritism, not so friendly co-workers, certain departments hold the fate of other department members, low diversity....like visibly low.

Advice to Management

No favoritism...encourage Professional development

Good Salary, Good Benefits, various company events,

18 June 2021

See answer
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

47 English questions out of 47