Julia Sugarbaker said it best, “Hospitality is simply an opportunity to show love and care.” There is no other industry in the world where people get to care for people the way that they do in the hospitality industry.
Whether you are waiting tables at a diner, mixing drinks at a local watering hole, checking guests into their rooms at a bed and breakfast, or taking care of the members at an exclusive country club, working in the hospitality industry is not for the faint of heart.
It is often hard work ensuring the safety and comfortability of the customers. But at the end of the day, working in hospitality can be extremely rewarding. It is an opportunity to care for and cultivate meaningful relationships with all walks of life.
Being successful in the hospitality industry requires a little more than just knowing how to take an order or mix together a vodka soda. Those who choose hospitality as their main career must have certain skills in order to climb the ladder and eventually manage or own their own restaurant, hotel, night club, etc.
Working in the service industry is hard not only on the mind but on the body. You are constantly on your feet running around, lifting heavy trays of food and beverage, taking orders, remembering who got what, and having to get all of this done in a timely manner.
You must go the extra mile for your guests and give them the service that you would expect. When you decide to work in hospitality, you are dedicating your time and energy to your customers to ensure that they have an unforgettable experience.
2. Multi-tasking and Time-Management
Table 3 needs 2 glasses of water, table 8 requested that the television overhead be turned to the football game, booth 6 would like an extra ranch, and you just got sat a large family of 8 in the private event room. That’s a lot going on. It can get a little crazy sometimes when it seems that everyone and their uncle are walking into your place of business.
Having excellent multi-tasking and time-management skills can save you in the hospitality industry. You must be able to focus on what you are doing at all times and make sure that none of your guests have to wait on you. Perfecting these skills ensures that customers will enter, sit down, order, eat, pay, and leave in time for you to be sat again. It should be one long, seamless loop.
3. Passion for People
One of the highlights of working in hospitality is getting to meet people from all over. You never know whose order you’ll be taking. Every single person that approaches your hotel counter or sits down at your bar has a story.
Being successful in the hospitality industry means having a genuine passion for people, no matter who they are or where they are from. It is a great networking opportunity for the server, as well. Imagine meeting a guest who can offer you a job connection, vacation tips, or even a lasting friendship!
4. Memorization Skills
In order to easily assist guests, a hospitality worker must have impeccable memorization skills. Not only will you be responsible for knowing everything on the menu, but it is also crucial to know what goes into each dish or drink. You never know when a food allergy will pop up and it helps to have all of the recipes memorized.
It is also important to be able to memorize on the fly. You might not have a chance to write down every little modification that a guest asks for, so opening your ears and having your brain tuned to remember can save you, especially when it’s busy. Practice various memorization strategies and techniques to help refine your ability to absorb and recall details more adeptly.
If you are working in hospitality, you are most likely working off of a tip-based wage. Some service industry jobs offer hourly pay, but a lot of the industry workers rely on tips.
Having enthusiasm for your job can clearly show your customers that you care about their needs and will do the best that you can to ensure that their meal/stay/experience is one for the books. No one wants to be assisted by a hospitality worker who clearly looks like they would rather drink poison than wait on their guest.
6. Working as a Team
Especially for those in a leadership position, being successful in the hospitality industry means being able to work as a team with your other staff members. Sometimes it gets so busy that you simply cannot get over to the bar to run your drinks to the table.
Having a strong team of helpful people working alongside you means that you will never have to drown in the weeds. In turn, it’s important to be a helpful hand to your fellow coworkers. Being able to rely on your staff takes some of the pressure off of working a service industry job.
7. Thick Skin
There will be times when you have an unsatisfied guest. You could have done all in your power to make sure that they were happy and content and they STILL might not have enjoyed your service. Their unhappiness and dissatisfaction could come from issues you might never know, so it is important to have a thick skin in this industry.
Being able to let the repercussions of a needy or rude guest roll off your back is a difficult skill to master, but when honed correctly it will keep you positive, resilient, and enthusiastic about your job.
While working in hospitality can be challenging, exhausting, sometimes degrading, and tiresome, it can be one of the most rewarding jobs. There is no other industry in the world where you can openly interact with your guest on such personal levels.
You can meet people from all over the world, learn how to memorize on the fly, craft strong team-working skills, and learn how to brush off your shoulder when you encounter an unsavory experience. Having success in the hospitality industry can prepare you for almost any other job, and these skills can also be applied to your everyday life.