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  • Writer's pictureStephan Busch

Not born for hospitality? Get out of the way! Or better – develop yourself and improve the industry

Every year thousand of newcomers drop out of the hospitality career they started in hotels and restaurants in Germany alone. Worldwide hundred of thousand leave the industry every year because they can’t deal with the stress, harsh conditions, long hours, bad pay and family unfriendly environment. And don’t forget all those who open their own business, buy a franchise or invest all savings in restaurants and have to file for bankruptcy in the first two years.


It clearly puts the blame on the employee or the one having the courage to open his own business and fails. “If you can’t stand the heat , don’t go into the kitchen.” We all have heard this one many times. So it raises the assumption that they either choose the wrong profession or simply can not deal with hard work.

And rightfully it is essential that you need to have been born with the ability to become a great communicator, team player and leader to be successful in hospitality. You need to learn a lot and be stress resilient or be able to develop this traits. You need to learn to enjoy hard work. Opening your own business you need to know the numbers too. Hospitality is a different world.

Are we getting the looser out of the way?

No! We are actually loosing the ones we need. The ones all hotels and restaurants need. We are loosing more good ones than bad ones. Yes - it raises the assumption that they either choose the wrong profession or simply can not deal with hard work.But we know: Assumptions are the Mother of all f…”. Reality is we are keeping more bad then good ones.

Again – why?

Instead of being hospitable we expect our management and supervisors nowadays to sit behind their computers and work the numbers. Answer the mail, supervise reputation management and get the numbers right. We have to keep the administrators and cut on the service. Cost saving is more important then long term revenue. We educate our management to think like hedge fond managers and bankers. We are not. Or at least we should not be.

Hiring staff we tell the fairy tale of hospitality while the world is changing further away from it. This leaves more and more the ones better at spread sheets and reciting standard operating procedures in charge then the ones that are good on the floor, face the guest in good and in bad times and do the hard work.

People don’t leave because they are looser they leave because they feel demotivated, disengaged and neglected. On top of this come the conditions that have been created. Some recent news and headlines:

About restaurants

“I firmly lay the blame for the failures with the senior management teams of these businesses ( restaurants)! Let me be quite clear, I don’t blame the hard-working employees in the restaurants who are just following the strategy and orders passed down from above.

It is quite clear to me that many of the senior management of these businesses are simply incompetent and very out of touch with what is happening in the UK dining out sector”

Jonathan Butler

July 25, 2018

About franchising

“Basically, what you are doing with franchising, you are getting mom and pops working for free, working below the minimum wage,” Jundt said in a question-answer session. “It may be a dirty little secret that no one want to talk about, but that’s what’s going on.”

Jan 17, 2019Marcus Jundt CEO Kona Grill

About payments in restaurants

Billion-dollar pub empire Merivale, owned by Justin Hemmes, cranky about having to pay staff properly

“thousands of young workers paid well below the current hospitality industry award.”

Paul Burns, a radio newsreader who used to work at a Merivale establishment, claimed workers were forced to hand over half of their tips each week.

Shannon Molloy

JANUARY 22, 2019

About cruise lines

Carnival Fires 150 Crew Members from India for Protesting Low Cruise Ship Wages

By Jim Walkeron July 2, 2012

You are not born for hospitality? Fair enough, better to change for something you like. At the end people should be happy with their lives. If you are born for hospitality and put in the long hours and hard work you should at least get the reward for it and not being just used. Please stay! Develop - learn and do the changes that we need! We are not loosing the looser we are loosing the ones that are disappointed how they get treated. My respect for all the business in our industry that are treating their employees fair. They develop staff that one day will hopefully will change things.

This article was written while I was looking for good examples of ethical behavior in hospitality. I found too many bad examples. I found good ones too and will write about them with pleasure. Just got distracted and angry by all the bad news. To finish on a positive side: There are good ones!

Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA.

Stephan Busch has an invaluable and diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.,

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