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  • Writer's pictureStephan Busch

5 reasons why we still want to work in the hospitality industry.

The catering and hotel industries have earned themselves a bad reputation as employers over the years and have now suffered further, considerable damage with the political measures, lockdowns and restrictions. What used to be a reliable source to get a job or to earn a bit of money is now one of the most insecure fields of work for employees, temporary workers but also for small owners. The professional professions such as cook, restaurant specialist or hotel clerk had long been eliminated by the industry itself. For a long time, hotels, restaurants, bars and events can be closed again at any time, which prevents anyone who was forced to find work elsewhere from returning.

“Many of those who used to work in tourism have found another kind of work,” said Marco Fontanari, a restaurant owner and deputy head of business lobby Confcommercio in the northern province of Trentino.

A survey in Germany showed some 42% of hotels and restaurants have seen their staff move into other sectors like retail, logistics or hospital canteens.

“They say that rather than give up the stability of the social security schemes, they prefer to wait and see what happens.”So why do many still want to work there?”

Angelo Amante from Reuters Published at Skift June 2021

1) Because it is fun!

I've heard that so many times now and of course it's true that all of us who have been around for a long time enjoyed the fun and the teamwork. When I consider how many people work in jobs that they don't like and would like to quit tomorrow, fun is a very good reason. But I have to say: You can't eat fun. If you want to feed a family, want to save something or just don't want to be in a worse position than employees in other professions, having fun only is a bad argument.

2) Because you can start a career

You don't need a high school diploma or a doctorate to start and move up. Unfortunately, nowadays, normal employees and middle management are paid so badly that you have to look very far up to make it worthwhile. This also increases the chance of having an unqualified manager on top of you which can be very demotivating. You can make a career in the big hotel chains if you learn standard operating procedures by heart and avoid the landmines that lie under the corporate office rugs. Whether that's still fun is another question. But since almost all hotel chains hardly differ, it is at least easier to change should opportunities arise.

3) Because it is more challenging and exiting than many other jobs

Right. Many of us love that there is always something going on, that you have to deal with many interesting people and also many idiots, that you experience many stressful situations and often have to solve them yourself. The whole thing has its downside, of course, and no office job requires so much unpaid overtime, hard physical work and on some days the number of idiots is just larger than the number of interesting people. Challenging in any case.

What makes a hospitality job attractive?

In a nutshell: Despite the crisis, jobs in the hotel or hospitality industry remain highly attractive professions for people who enjoy working with people. There is hardly another profession that offers so many exciting jobs and challenges worldwide. As a hotelier, the doors to the wide world are open to me. Today I work in Tokyo, tomorrow in Zermatt, the day after tomorrow in Paris, etc. What other job offers such options?

It is said again and again that you don't earn as much as a hotelier and that wages are rather low - compared to banks and positions in industry. Well, the comparison with banks and top positions in the industry is lagging behind. These are completely different worlds, the protagonists, to put it simply, are really only about career and money. It's different in the hotel industry, where aspects such as personal satisfaction, social contacts, responsibility for people and guests and much more are relevant. Being a host is a great and highly satisfying job, yes it is a calling, it is a passion! In a somewhat heretical way, what is the vocation and passion in counting money in a bank?

Hans R. Amrein, publicist, hotel expert and lecturer at the EHL Hotel Management School Passugg. June 2021

4) Because you can experience the whole world and work at the same time

Also true. I have worked in 14 countries and for more than 30 years abroad and have traveled to over 140 countries professionally. Without the job, I would certainly never have been able to afford this. I also learned to my delight that I earn far better abroad than in my home country. But you should also be aware that, for example, a job on a cruise ship often means that you can often only see exotic countries through the porthole or that you are just so dead tired from work that you don't even want to go out. It is of course heavenly to work in the Maldives, but at some point palm trees and sun are too much to enjoy. After all these years I don't want to count how much time I spent at airports, train stations and in traffic jams just to get to work. Nevertheless, there is still a good reason to work in our profession, even if I prefer to fly short-haul flights today.

5) Tolerance, Respect and global friendship

These are three things that you have in your blood in the hotel industry after a few years. We are incredibly tolerant because otherwise we would not be able to cope with our tasks, our guests and our staff. We respect everyone, regardless of race or skin color, only the human being counts for us. However, we also expect respect for that and never fall on our knees to submit. We don't need rainbow colors on our sleeves because we allow everyone their sex life and consider it none of our business. After many years abroad - as foreigners - we have many friends all over the world and only become intolerant when someone generally complains about the Chinese, the Russians, the Africans, as this affects many of our friends.

All together, the After Corona time will be difficult for hotels and restaurants, but many new opportunities will also open up. You can't be happy about the work and wage conditions, but just complaining doesn't help. We must all work to change them for the better.

So hospitality? I can only recommend it!

Author: Stephan Busch, for many years Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality and the Swiss International University earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA. He has a 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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