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13. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Average total pay: $134,769
For: General Manager*

Best Companies rank: 95
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA

The recession hit the hotel industry hard, as many businesses were forced to cut travel expenses. But Kimpton, operator of 42 boutique hotels and 43 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, didn't respond with layoffs. Stressing how important it is in hard times for guests to feel they are coming to a "welcoming haven with caring service," it kept everybody on the job in 2008. Instead, Kimpton reduced employees' hours and introduced a program that will give $10,000 to an employee for outstanding customer service.

Meanwhile, Kimpton offers benefits rare in the hotel business: 401(k) match of 25%, up to 5% of pay; subsidized health and dental insurance; and company-funded disability insurance. What's more, employees and family members can stay at any Kimpton property -- including the Sir Francis Drake hotel in San Francisco, the Monaco in Washington, D.C., and the Allegro in Chicago -- for $50 a night. They also get a 20% discount at Kimpton restaurants.

NEXT: NetApp
Last updated February 05 2009: 1:03 PM ET
*Most common salaried job

An earlier version listed an incorrect pay number for Chesapeake Energy. The correct amount is $120,576, not $178,108, which moves Chesapeake from #7 among top payers to #24. The rankings have been adjusted accordingly.
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