The hotel industry should encourage and inspire young people!
Updated: Aug 22
Hotels, restaurants, pubs have always been an opportunity and often a great start for many young people. Some only did part-time jobs, others did an apprenticeship and both either gave up at some point or stayed with them forever. Many also came back later because they just missed it!
A world for some but not for all
The business is certainly not the right thing for everyone, but for millions who have loved it it was the best way to start - often as well as a great advancement in life. For many it is the only way to earn money or to earn money on the side. We have now sent these millions who were happy to serve us into unemployment - hopelessness! When I read articles like: “We seem to have overreacted” (Richard David Precht in derWelt) I ask myself whether the lives of other people can be so easily endangered. A hard life is the hotel industry with work every weekend, every holiday and slowly seeing the childhood friends less and less. But make new friends - keep in touch with the good old ones. A life in which you get to know many people - you can see many countries and you can learn one of the most important things in life.
Service is something great
Service is not dull servantship and submission but something that makes sense. It is an art that everyone wants to enjoy but not many understand. For those who serve with respect and tolerance - without arrogance - it is a satisfaction that many miss in other professions. And - its great fun! For many - especially in Europe - it was a respected profession that one enjoyed doing until retirement. The older ones were role models, teachers. Mentor and friend at the same time.
And then we threw it all in the bin!
We followed the American model. Young staff, full of energy, no idea but cheap. The older ones who couldn't drag the boxes anymore - away - no one left there from whom one could learn something. But many young inexperienced superiors who had no idea (how? - without experience!) But who had enough self-confidence to order even the greatest nonsense. That was what we should have in terms of staff they decided. The older? No longer efficient! Too slow. Experience? What for if we have standard operating procedures? Everyone has to sign - if that doesn't work - however senseless the SOP's may be - kick them out - sent the next one. Profits increased - quality? There aren't many left who knew what that is.
The individualists made up for it
We owe a lot to the young people. They came up with new ideas, concepts and the energy to partially compensate for the mistakes of the long-established hotel industry. Today - due to Corona, but also due to the long-term neglect by politics, most of them are left empty-handed. I hope that those who say “You should have learned something decent” never go to a pub, restaurant or hotel again. I believe for the young people we should fight so they again can enrich our lifes by innovation and creativity!
Author: Stephan Busch, 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.