Case Study

How The Saguaro Palm Springs Increased Staff Tips and Improved Service Operations

Numan Dharani
#customer success#testimonial



“Heart of house team members rarely hear how they impact a guest stay and they work really hard to make a good impression. Hifive has been the connection between the guest and our heart of house team.”

Khristan Psalms, Senior Payroll Manager at The Saguaro Palm Springs


The Saguaro Palm Springs, a vibrant 244-room boutique hotel located in Palm Springs, California, faced several challenges prior to implementing Hifive. These challenges included missed opportunities for team member gratuities, cumbersome processes for handling guest tips, and the need to streamline the tipping process for guests who preferred credit card or room charge payments.


No Cash for Leaving Tips: The Saguaro Palm Springs missed out on opportunities for staff to earn tips because guests often didn’t carry cash and lacked alternative methods to leave tips.

Complex Tip Tracking Process: Guests who preferred to tip with credit cards or room charges faced a multi-step process, making it inconvenient and inefficient. Prior to implementing Hifive, The Saguaro Palm Springs grappled with a labor-intensive tipping process. When guests wished to tip staff using credit cards or room charges, it involved several steps that strained both resources and time, including having to manually reconcile credit card transactions with payroll transactions through the accounting department. It was evident that a more efficient and guest-friendly solution was needed to address these challenges.

Impact of Hifive Implementation

Since implementing Hifive, The Saguaro Palm Springs experienced several positive outcomes:

Increased Employee Compensation

One of the significant impacts was the increase in employee’s hourly wages through cashless tips. Enabling digital tipping with Hifive has allowed The Saguaro Palm Springs employees to earn over $3,800 in tips, providing an additional source of income for heart-of-house staff such as Room Attendants, Houseperson, Public Area Attendants, and Laundry Attendants. From guests leaving as little as $5 to as high as receiving a $100 tip, the employees at The Saguaro Palm Springs recognized the benefit of working at the property as tips continued to increase.

Improved Operational Efficiency

The Hifive feedback system also provided a direct line of communication between guests and the hotel’s management, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of guest experiences. This communication has resulted in a wealth of constructive feedback, identifying 15 areas for improvement in operational inefficiencies within the service experience without impacting third-party review scores. This transparency and accessibility to guest feedback enabled the property to identify concerns promptly, celebrate successes, and analyze areas for improvement.

By addressing these inefficiencies, the hotel has been able to enhance service quality, streamline processes, and ultimately create a more memorable and enjoyable stay for its guests. These insights were also utilized for re-educating staff on the cleaning process, allowing the hotel to adapt to guest preferences and make personalized adjustments for returning guests.

“It’s very helpful to receive guest feedback for retraining and reinforcing our cleaning process with our team. The Hifive feedback system allows us to share comments from the guest perspective with our department leaders so we are all aware of both the positive impact and shortcomings that we need to improve upon.”

- Shawn Curie-Bentley, Human Resources, Training & Development at The Saguaro Palm Springs

As a result, the hotel is able to make data-driven decisions across multiple departments utilizing insights shared by guests, allocate resources more effectively, and tailor training efforts to specific needs. This optimization of processes has not only enhanced the guest experience but also created a more responsive work environment for hotel staff.

Incentive for Recruitment and Talent Acquisition

Hifive has also become a valuable recruitment tool, attracting talent in a competitive job market for all hourly positions. Hifive’s recognition and compensation elements have made the hotel an employer of choice for potential candidates seeking employment in the hospitality industry.

Customizable Product Functionality

Hifive’s implementation included the custom development of a user experience that utilized the hotel’s room numbers. This approach enabled the hotel to identify tips according to the specific housekeepers who cleaned each room. Now, when guests leave a tip, it can be accurately attributed to the housekeeper responsible for maintaining the room’s cleanliness.

This custom flow not only simplifies the process of tracking and distributing tips but also ensures that the hardworking housekeeping staff receive the recognition and compensation they deserve for their dedicated efforts.

Enhanced Staff Motivation

The implementation of the Hifive program at The Saguaro Palm Springs has significantly enhanced team recognition and motivation within the hotel. Previously, team members rarely were recognized for their hard work and are working really hard to make a good impression.

Team members are now proactively forging connections with guests throughout their stay, demonstrating a strong drive to promptly fulfill guest requests. As a result, the team is reaping financial rewards by consistently providing service that not only meets but surpasses guests’ expectations.

Frictionless Digital Tip Management

Previously, the process of collecting and tracking guest tips was cumbersome and lacked real-time visibility. With Hifive, the tip-handling process has been streamlined through the end-to-end processing, collection, and distribution of tips. Hifive also provided summary reporting that indicates the room number where tips were received, adding an extra layer of detail for reporting and reconciliation purposes.


The implementation of Hifive has had a transformative impact on The Saguaro Palm Springs by addressing challenges related to handling gratuities and improving the guest experience. With the program’s continued success, the hotel anticipates launching the program across the brand, making Hifive an integral part of their operations and culture.

“We’re excited to have a tool that is easy to use, aligns with our business needs, benefits the employees, and helps us maintain our standards from service to product. We’re looking forward to increasing awareness & promoting the Hifive program from within while encouraging our guests to share their gratitude through Hifives to our staff.”

- Celeste Brackley, General Manager at The Saguaro Palm Springs

If you would like to learn how Hifive can help you level up your guest experience and be a powerful tool to both attract and retain staff at your property, click here to schedule a time to chat and connect with us!

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