There are numerous career options out there and while you may fret that there aren’t many untechnical or creative jobs out there, you’re wrong. Another frequent confusion is which career to choose if you’re into arts and other fields but are also interested in sales, management, and more. There are a whole set of choices to opt but the one we’ll focus on today is the vast and diverse field of Hospitality. As we know the term ‘hospitality revolves around guests and hosts and the entire process of maintaining positive relations and so, the jobs that come under this line are also inclined to the same idea.
What are hospitality jobs?
A very common misconception of hospitality jobs is that you have very limited options and that you can only become a chef or a waiter or a hotel manager. This rumor often misleads many into choosing an entirely different field because they feel their interests don’t match these broad ideas. Another completely wrong idea that floats around is that hospitality is restricted to hotels and food. However, there is much more to it than just that.
Hospitality jobs refer to any kind of job that involves guest relations and looking after guest leisure and needs. This is not to be confused with customers. While restaurants and hotels come as one branch under the Hospitality line, there are quite a few others- casinos, cruises and ships, parks of various kinds, tourism-dedicated jobs, events, and much more. The range is wide which further branches into other smaller roles right from management to entry-level staff. So, if you’re ever considering this line for your profession, you have a good long look at options to choose from before you make your decision!
Why hospitality jobs are a preferred option
Although few opt for hospitality jobs, the only reason is that they are misguided about the alternatives they have. With the increase in scope, many are today aware of the potential this field holds, the major reason being the various opportunities at different levels.
- Increased scope
Hospitality as a field has the potential to attract many if its ocean of job openings are made known. Moreover, the basic idea is to make your guests feel welcome and you don’t have to do that just inside a hotel or resort but there are other places like cruise lines too!
More than often, the type of jobs that this field holds is not a regular day-to-day job, timings differ and so do activities. It all depends on your organization and more importantly, on your guests! There are only a few jobs that have fixed working hours but mainly the professions call for interesting working spaces and scenarios.
- Good income
One of the objectives in your list while chalking out the perfect career is a good salary. If that is one of your major concerns, hospitality is the right choice! Right from managers, executives, and even chefs the income is on the higher side and depending on where you work, the ranges differ accordingly.
Degree for hospitality jobs
Now that you’ve got a good reason to put hospitality on your career choice list, let’s go about the basics of the degree required for most of the jobs. For most jobs that come on the general line and mainly don’t involve management and business, one can opt for a simple Bachelor’s degree in hospitality or hospitality management or even a Bachelor’s degree in science (BS). However, if you want to focus on the management side of things, you’re going to want to opt for the Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (BBA) or management (BMS)
If you’re looking to go still higher where you only want to be at the top of the ladder rather than work your way from smaller positions then you’ll have to go for a master’s degree with any of the above courses. Look at it this way, the higher the position you want and the more luxurious the organization you want to work with, the higher you need your degree to be.
Types of hospitality jobs
So when you say scope, options, and vast- you still want a little more clarity on that. Well, we’ve got you covered. Take a look at the major branches in hospitality and the popular job titles that come under each of these branches. If we were to consider a division, we can separate the whole hospitality field into 3 parts which can further be divided under each branch. Although keep in mind these roles can differ at various places as mentioned below.
- Hotels and restaurants
- Cruise lines
- Theme parks and resorts
The scope is huge! However, we’ll dive into the common roles that are in demand:
- Get your suits up!- Hotel Management
The name itself gives away the outlook of the job. Hotel management is concerned with first of all working at hotels. This is for all the personality-favoring people who are outgoing, can handle and coordinate tasks as well as slay conversing skills. Again, this is mainly at the management level so the degree required would be anything between a master’s to a post-graduate and even maybe additional courses. The titles involved in this field are more than supervising the other roles on a large scale.
- Hotel Manager
This is one of the main guy who brings the name and standard of the hotel to the top in short, the one who raises the bar and puts the hotel on the map by overlooking every department of the hotel and its functioning. The hotel manager must supervise even other smaller sections like the food and beverages, the lodging, the activities, and so on. The responsibility is a massive one and the reputation of the hotel overall depends on the hotel manager. One may also say that the other managers are answerable to the hotel manager about the overlooking of their respective departments. And while the hotel managers are busy with their suits and ties, they are also to be capable of dealing with customers, solving issues in every department, making decisions on various occasions, and so on
- Food Manager
As the name suggests, a food manager looks after all the meals, catering, and everything that has to do with the appetite of the guests. They plan the menu, decide the themes and supervise the working of the same. Organizing food, snacks, and other services as per the requests of the customers is their role. Moreover, they reach out to guests in case of issues with food or even assisting, and suggesting catering options also comes under their duty. In a few cases, the hotel managers even look over the supply and other requirements like stock and fixtures but generally, there are foodservice and restaurant managers who are affiliated with these tasks.
- Banquet manager
This is close to the events department. All your bookings, renting, reservations are all under this field. A banquet manager supervises the working of these aspects. This means that having contacts, working with other departments like food, lodging, and so on as well as looking overrunning all of these together. Their prime job is to oversee and put together all the components to give the clients what they desire. An event or banquet manager is the one who ensures that the client’s event or occasion be it a business trip or a wedding, all go in order as per schedule.
Everybody knows and loves the chef as well as the job of a chef. Goes without saying the chef handles the cooking but again there are various levels under this position as well. There’s head chef, assistant- head chef down to junior chefs. While junior chefs have more to do with preparing the meals, the heads and assistants overlook the cooking part, maintain the kitchen within the budget, and also look after supplies in certain cases. Additionally, the superior chefs are also given the task to train the juniors as per the hotel’s guidelines and procedures. It can be said that the chef stays in contact and coordinates with the food manager.
This role has more or less to do with the interiors of the hotel. Everything from the chairs to the buffet and the tables is arranged by the stewards. However, as one may assume, it is not a low-level job. Having to coordinate themes, following protocol, ensuring consistency, and working large-scale requires quite a bit of discipline and persistence. We can also note here that there is a particular technique, a way of doing things. Stewards don’t make arrangements as per their whims and fancies, there is an orderly format they must keep in mind. Additionally, they have to make sure their arrangements are in balance with the name and standard of the hotel. To create an atmosphere and setting that welcomes and gives the guests a pleasing experience is their duty.
- Event Planning
When there is a wedding or even a summit, everything needs to be in place. Whether it’s the lighting setup for the dance floor or the sound system in the conference hall, there is a systematic way of doing things and an order needs to be followed so that the occasion wraps up perfectly. And that’s why you have event planning. The whole idea of this job is to assist guests so that they can enjoy preparing and planning their events rather than worry about where to begin and how to go ahead. Right from contacts to communication and solving last-minute issues on the final day, all come on the shoulders of event planners.
There are a million events and each has a wide range of jobs under them. A few event categories are:
- Hotel – catering, cleaning for occasions or even otherwise
- Sports – races, competitions, conferences, and so on
- Tourism – guided trips, treks, resorts, theme parks, etc
- Non-profit – NGOs, visits, educational trips
- Corporate – Business meetings and trips, seminars, summits, conferences,
- Special events – Weddings, parties, get-togethers, dances, etc
Have a look at a few common positions that fit quite a few of the categories above:
- Event planner
This is the big guy. Just the hotel manager looks at the entire operation of the hotel, an event manager overlooks each aspect and ensures the event goes on smoothly. Sound, food, decor, guest list, all of this is supervised by the event planner. They have a huge task to manage and are often directly answerable to the client. The rest of the managers coordinate with the event planner to give the client what they want. In short, if you’re in this position, you are the one who is responsible for the entire event before others. It is your duty that the event goes well without problems in any department.
- Venue manager
A venue manager is the one who looks after the space. It could be a room for a meeting or even a hall for a wedding and even a club for a party. These are the people who will assist you in the layout of your event. Where to place what and how to go about the area to use it to its complete potential. They can give you an idea of how to execute what you have in mind for your event. One of their tasks is overlooking the space construction at the time of setting up the area. Where the buffet is, where the dancefloor is, where the changing rooms are, all of this is coordinated and defined by the venue managers.
Without food, any event is bound to be incomplete. Be it snacks, a set of meals, or an entire buffet, this is the sole responsibility of the catering department. Assisting the client to fix a budget, suggesting menus, designing the flow of the meals, and so on are the tasks involved in catering. Other than this, keeping a count of the guests, managing and preparing accurate amounts that suffice, adhering to any specifications required of the client or the guests are also a part of the duties included in this field. Suggesting the right choices and having meals ready as per the schedule is important and the catering department is meant to do it just right!
- Staff coordinator
In many cases, there is a need for staff. They form an essential part of the events team. Simply put, the managers have no one to get the job done without staff. Waiters, technicians, and other personnel that form the staff are guided and ordered by a coordinator. The main job is to ensure that the staff works together and is well-spaced around the area to assist the guest in any way required. It is up to them to evenly distribute the tasks among the staff at various positions so that everything follows an order.
- Smiles on!- Front of the house
Also known as FOH, these are the physical faces of the organization. They give off the first impression to the guests and are a definition of their place of work. Most interaction with clients is done in this field. The entry points, waiting areas, bars, restrooms, outdoor places are where you find these positions. Other than performing the job, people under this department have to be presentable at all times and need to be pleasant in their approach too. Representing the organization is not an easy task. If you’re an extrovert or are simply great with your conversation skills, this may be the right job for you!
The main idea and action of FOH staff is interaction with customers so there isn’t much variation when it comes to different FOH positions. A concierge takes care of guests as soon as they arrive. As good as an attendant or someone who will first greet your guests and then offer them what they require. Under this title, one can also include receptionists, FOH supervisors, and so on. They take the orders or instructions from the guests and further assist them till they get to their space.
- General manager
Similar to a hotel manager but here, this one is more to do with looking after guests on a more upfront approach. A general manager will be out on the look in case of sudden issues. Their role also involves checking around and making sure the guests are comfortable and being well- attended to. They usually move around the dining rooms and halls where a large gathering may take place. They are the ones whom the hotel managers rely on since they can’t always physically be around.
- FOH manager
They are one step under the general manager. They overlook the FOH staff and make sure that everything is in place on the front house positions. They are mostly affiliated with assisting tasks to FOH personnel, making schedules, hiring FOH personnel, preparing interviews, and so on. A few are also in charge of the front reception and earnings made.
- Host/ Hostess
The polite people you meet when you’ve come tired from your journey. Their primary duty is to attend to your needs as soon as you arrive as well as greet you with a signature warm welcome of the place. In a way, they get you started before you can get to or while you’re waiting to meet with the FOH personnel.
I’ve added this here as it’s one of the very different professions from managing and FOH jobs. While this does involve communicating, it has a unique taste of its own. It’s as creative as that of a chef’s job except it leaves out the managing bits. They handle their bar like their own counter and take care of it along with the guests. Taking orders of the guests as well as preparing them and serving them at the counter are all managed by the bartender.
Advantages of hospitality jobs
Now that we’ve looked into hospitality jobs in detail, let’s see some reasons why you should consider them as well!
- Interactive and vibrant!
The major requirement for most positions in hospitality jobs along with a degree is a pleasant profile and the wish to interact with different kinds of people. Unlike other fields, hospitality is directly linked with communication with guests. It allows you to expand your contacts as well as ace your presentation skills!
- Incentives galore!
There are many perks at many organizations in the hospitality field- perks that you can happily exploit!. Take, for example, the preferences you get to the various activities and services being a part of the personnel. Also, it allows you to learn many interesting tasks that you can apply in your daily life as well!
- Travel the world!
One of the major advantages of certain hospitality positions is the ability to travel. There is no limit to your travel opportunities nationally as well as globally. If you don’t work on a cruise that takes you places, even then recommendations and branches of hotels and other organizations connected throughout the world will always pop an invitation for you to get out of a stagnant position.
Disadvantages of hospitality jobs
There have to be some things to look out for and we have listed a few of those for you too!
- Weekends and duty hours
The biggest put-off of this industry is that you have to work weekends. And what’s worse, you’ll probably have to work extra on weekends because while it’s a relaxing time for others, they come to you to relax! The fact that the jobs are not 9 to 5 serves as a con. Your clock starts ticking when the rest of the world shuts off!
- Unrealistic customers
Another discouraging con is the high expectations of customers. Since this field’s aim is the leisure of guests, many take advantage of the fact and overdo their desires that wear the personnel out. They are completely stuck up on wanting things their way and that requires you to sometimes slog till their needs are satisfied.
- High standards and adjustment
Working in a high position in a popular company brings its set of prerequisites. You have to learn the ways of the organization you work at, especially their behavioral and communication skills which is not always easy. Moreover, adjusting to their norms for the sake of image and the guests can also be a hassle.
When all is said and done, Hospitality truly is one of the creative and developing career choices to make. With the tips, ideas, and concepts to help you choose to find your perfect role in the hospitality industry!