The Hospitality Industry: One Man’s Experience

November 30, 2011

Group of hospitality staff.When I was young, I was drawn to a fast-paced, entertaining work environment. I wanted to have fun, and working in the hospitality industry appealed to me because it was dynamic and challenging.  Jobs were easy to find, the money was good, and the hours were flexible.  Everything about the business was perfect for me.

Hospitality environments are very dynamic and, no matter what area appeals to you, opportunities are waiting for you to fill them. I worked in different kinds of businesses ,and there were jobs wherever I went.  I worked in hotels, nightclubs, full service, casual dining and fast food restaurants while living in Iowa, Tennessee, Kentucky and Arizona.

One element that drew me to the business was the twin aspects of the hospitality industry. The work is both physical and mental.  Restaurant employees must interact with guests and understand the key components of the business like the menu and preparation procedures.  Cooking is an art, and customer service is a mental discipline.

People who have not worked in hospitality for a living do not appreciate the skill and difficulty of performing these functions, often simultaneously. I have done other things ranging from factory jobs to working in a mortgage office, but I always returned to the kitchen because it was the only job that combined the physical aspect of production with the mental challenge of customer interaction.  A day rarely went by that I did not do both.

The term multi-tasking is the perfect job description for restaurant employees. I have carried on conversations with several different people, been preparing multiple items and orders, and had to make a dozen decisions, all at the same time. I get satisfaction from this kind of work.

Money and flexibility were the two other reasons I loved the industry. In a good economy, wages and tips are good sources of income; and the flexible scheduling allowed me to pursue other priorities like martial arts training, going to college, and hiking every trail in the Great Smoky Mountains. I work hard and I play hard!

Randall L. Broad has thirty years of experience working as a team member and manager in the hospitality industry. He is currently a freelance writer and author of The Proud and the Lonely. He can be reached at randallbroad@yahoo.com.