The union leading the protest, Unite Here Local 2, said contract terms proposed by management at Hyatt Regency Embarcadero, Grand Hyatt Union Square and others would make the recession permanent for its employees.
"We make Hyatt their millions and we rightfully deserve to have a voice, dignity and respect on the job," Hyatt banquet server Fred Higashihara said in a statement.
The employees are protesting working conditions as well as what they say are attempts by management to "attack" their health care, wages and pensions in negotiations for a new contract.
The previous contract ended in August 2009.
Officials at the Hotel Council of San Francisco have expressed their disappointment in the union's actions.
"No one can afford more hotel protests, not our employees, our guests, our industry, or our city," council Executive Director Patricia Breslin said.
Demonstrations are planned this morning at the Hyatt Regency in Embarcadero until 11 a.m., at the Hyatt Regency at San Francisco International Airport beginning at 2 p.m., and the Hyatt Santa Clara beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Similar protests are planned in cities throughout North America today, union officials said.