Hospitality Management involves overseeing the daily tasks of a business, in particular the tourism industry. Commercial businesses such as hotels, amusement parks and restaurants need a manager and other staff to make guests feel as comfortable as possible and give them the best experience possible.
The term hospitality management is an umbrella term used within the tourism industry. This is because the different segments use their own terms such as hotel management, which can sometimes be confused with the more general term.
Working in Hospitality Management
In the last few decades, the travel and tourism industry has grown into one of the world’s largest industries, contributing to trillions of dollars into the world’s economy and creating millions of jobs worldwide.
Hospitality Management is also an industry and job role that is not suited for everyone. A hospitality manager needs to have the right experience and knowledge to help them set out a strategy to offer consumers the best experience possible, which may mean the best hotel stay they have ever had, or the best meal they have ever eaten.
It can also be a tough job, with establishments open all year round, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Hours can be very odd compared to the basic 9-5 office hours. It’s not an ideal job if you want to work “normal working hours”.
There may be cases in which you need to work hours you wouldn’t normally do. Certain events may be held, and your presence will be needed and other times you may need to step up to cover other workers as you could be the final port of call.
The role of a Hospitality Manager will be the most advanced role within a business. If a customer has an issue, you may need to deal with it yourself, in a professional manner. The manager will also need experience dealing with budgets and other finances.
Becoming a Hospitality Manager
There are many routes into hospitality management. One of the most known ways is through education. Gaining an education within the business management and hospitality management field is ideal. Within the UK and Ireland there are many universities and colleges that offer degrees and other qualifications within the business and hospitality management field.
Gaining an education within the hospitality field is an ideal way to break into the industry at a managerial level. This is because these qualifications cover courses in not only management but also accounting and financing, which are two vital roles of a manager within a business.
You can also break into the field by working. You can work your way up within the industry yourself. You can either learn on the job or complete educational courses when not scheduled to work. This may include vocational night courses or online courses.
Learning on the job allows you to experience all the roles and responsibilities of a hospitality manager in a hands on capacity. You can then work your way up by gaining new roles within your job, eventually reaching a key role such as an assistant manager.
Why Work in Hospitality
There are many reasons why working in hospitality is a great career option. Firstly, the industry is a safe bet. This is because it will always exist. People will always want to travel, experience new places and meet new people.
The industry has also seen an explosion in the last decade or two. Two reasons for this would include cheap travel and travel technology. In the world before mobiles and phone apps, to book a holiday or a trip, everything had to be pre planned weeks and in many cases months in advance. Now people can instantly book a flight on an app and arrive in a new country without accommodation. They can then use their phone again to find accommodation for that night, instantly.
These apps such as Airbnb, Couchsurfing, airline apps and even hotel apps have contributed to the growth of the industry.
Travel has also become cheaper than ever before. Airlines are at the forefront of this with many budget airlines sometimes offering flights for as little as a meal from McDonald’s.
Should You Work in Hospitality?
As mentioned before, working in hospitality can be tough. Therefore, it might not be the right job for you. A lot of the time, most of the people who work in the industry possess some similar traits, skills and qualities such as the ability to think on their feet, staying cool under pressure and ability to solve problems quickly and easily.
Some of the most successful hospitality managers have a love for the industry and their job. Traits of a manager should include good communication, motivational, decisive and passion. As a hospitality manager you will be in full control of a team. The team could be large or small, but it is best to keep them motivated. That way the customers or guests will get the best experience. A manager can’t be at every step along the chain, such as checking guests into the hotel, collecting luggage whilst also completing finance reports.
This is the same for a manager of a restaurant. They can’t show guests to their seat, take their order, deliver the order and cook all at once. They need to be in full control of their team and a key way to do this is by motivating the team around you.
Communication is also key. Without good communication skills, a manager couldn’t spread their message to their staff, that includes motivating the staff. If a manager can’t get the right message across to their team, customers will eventually suffer as a result, as they won’t get the best experience possible. It also could create a hostile atmosphere within the workplace.
A manager also needs to be decisive in key times. At the end of the day, the guests and customers are the most important factor in hospitality management, so by offering incentives such as discounts for issues will make the customer feel better about the service on offer. It can also play a factor into whether a customer will become a returning customer.
Although not essential, understanding marketing can be a big plus to a hospitality business, especially if it’s a small business who don’t have their own marketing team. This will help the business build its own brand that customers will recognise.