What It’s Like to Work in Hospitality and Food Services
April 19, 2011
To work in the Hospitality and Food Services industry, you have to be a people person! Hospitality is the art and science of making people feel welcome and comfortable. The industry is a career path where a smile, bubbly personality and patience can be worth more than a college degree. The most successful people have positive attitudes and energy, are naturally friendly and service-oriented. To work in this industry, you also need to like change. Team members should treat one another as well as they treat the guests. It is a 24-7 business. If you can multi-task, be calm under pressure, and like people — then go for it!
How to get ready:
Finding training for a Hospitality and Food Services career is not difficult. To break in, try to find a quality company and begin in a position that suits your personality and capabilities. You can also try a part-time job at a hotel or restaurant to test out the possibilities. Some high schools and community colleges have programs that can be an excellent first step to a career in hospitality. Training programs are available in hotel and restaurant chains, as well as other hospitality-oriented businesses, to make sure employees can not only efficiently perform their jobs, but also have courses in place that can help bridge language barriers. It helps to have good basic English and math skills.
Some of the fields that are in the Hospitality and Food Services industry include hotel and motel clerks, waitresses and waiters, housekeeping personnel, reservations personnel, and restaurant and cafeteria staff. Some managers will hire you for your attitude and then train you to become skilled. The Hospitality and Food Services industry presents many opportunities and challenges; it is often hard work, and you must sometimes also work hard to build good relationships with your supervisor. However, there are job opportunities everywhere — ranging from a roadside motel, hotel, restaurant or amusement park to a world-class, exclusive, luxury resort with fine dining. The majority of jobs are in guest services or food and beverage. Hospitality and Food Services is a great industry for working your way up. Salaries are generally modest, but the jobs offer the opportunity to meet some very interesting people, maybe do some travel and earn an income.
What can you expect to earn?:
Salary ranges vary, based on the position and the company’s pay scale. Entry level: $6.50 to $12.25 per hour. Supervisory and Skilled: $8.50 to $17.00 per hour.