How to Get a Job in the Hospitality Industry

Want a job in the hospitality industry? Whether you’re beginning your career or want a change, here are some suggested ways to get your foot in the door and stand out.

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December 4, 2020 7 min read

A record number of people have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With enforced lockdowns and businesses struggling to stay afloat, you may be searching for a fresh start. Whether you’re looking for a new job after being laid off or simply desire a change, consider exploring a career in the hospitality industry.

Now is the perfect time to learn about the industry. With people wanting to scratch their itch to travel and dine out again soon, the hospitality industry will likely see an enormous post-pandemic boom. Right now is a great time to learn the skills necessary to get a hospitality job.

If you’re someone who enjoys working with people to bring them joy through acts of service and positive, memorable experiences, you may thrive in a hospitality job. Below are some tips to help you break through and stand out in the industry.

Which Hospitality Job is Right for You?

There are a vast number of jobs in the hospitality industry, each with their own unique responsibilities. Whether you want to manage a restaurant, run a nightclub, or join a catering operation, you have many jobs to choose from.

Before deciding which job is right for you, take some time to consider the skills you already have that can help you excel in the position. Ask yourself if your current or past jobs have similar responsibilities as the job you would like to pursue. If so, your experience can make you more qualified for the position.

Male and female managers discussing upcoming banquet while looking at tablet
If you have no experience or skills that could benefit you in a hospitality job, you may want to consider going to culinary school to earn a degree in Food and Beverage Operations. Having a specialized education for the position you want could put you above other applicants who have not completed a formal education.

Now that you’ve evaluated your skills, it’s time to reflect on what qualities you have and the type of activities you enjoy doing. Certain hospitality jobs require specific qualities for a person to succeed in the position. Here are just a few examples of what you might do.

Restaurant Manager

Not all hospitality jobs require you to be in front of guests and customers all the time. Restaurant managers work mostly behind the scenes and focus on the business side of the hospitality industry. Someone who is business-oriented, financially-savvy, and can successfully manage a team could be an excellent restaurant manager.

Event Caterer

Schedules, lists, meetings, and phone calls are what fill an event caterer’s day. Impeccable organization skills are necessary to be a great event caterer, especially when working with multiple clients and parties. If you’re someone who never lets people down or misses meetings, you may thrive as an event caterer.

Event planner using checklist while examining delivery of crockery and decorations while positive movers unpacking boxes

Human Resources Manager

Do you enjoy interacting with people on a professional level? Maybe interviewing new people, creating hiring processes, and resolving issues gets you excited. Then you might enjoy working as a human resources manager in the hospitality industry. Work with restaurants, hotels, resorts, or other establishments to make sure they are hiring the right employees.

Beverage Distribution Manager

Ever notice the hundreds of bottles sitting on a bar? Somebody has to sell and promote every one of those brands, as well as the various brands of beer and wine on the menu. Duties in beverage distribution include running promotions in bars, nightclubs, and restaurants – places where drinks are consumed “on-premise.”

“Off-premise” accounts include negotiating shelf space and running promotions at liquor stores or major retailers like Costco. A Beverage Distribution Manager needs to be good at relationship building and negotiation, and have a solid understanding of margins and product profitability.

Get Your Foot in the Door

The hospitality industry is one of the few industries left with a promotion ladder that is relatively easy to climb. Many high-level professionals in this industry started in entry-level jobs and worked their way up. But by attending a culinary school you could get a head start and jump up the ladder faster.

A formal education at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts is a good place to start to get your foot in the door. As part of the curriculum, students are required to participate in externships to boost their resume and gain valuable hands-on experience. Escoffier’s employer partners have been known to offer jobs to successful externs in the past, who have gone on to be valuable members of the staff.

Jennifer Etzkin, Corner Restaurant, JW Marriott Austin Executive Chef“I’ve had the pleasure of working with several students of Escoffier who have done their externships here at the JW Marriott…Their program is unparalleled in the community in terms of discipline, and also the actual material presented to the students. The caliber of professors and teachers — they know what it takes to make it in the industry, more so than any other students from other schools that we’ve had exposure to.”
Jennifer Etzkin, Corner Restaurant, JW Marriott Austin Executive Chef

Escoffier’s Career Services staff also works with students to help them secure entry-level positions while in school, upon graduation, and throughout their careers. They try to match students with employers for a long-term relationship.

Learn from the Best

Another reason to consider going to culinary school and potentially jumpstart your career in the hospitality industry is access to professionals with years of experience.

Learning the necessary skills from experienced Chef Instructors could put you one step ahead of other applicants. And their expertise could help you bypass and avoid the mistakes they have already made.

“I am most proud of achieving excellent grades in all classes while working full time and raising three children.”
Amber Snyder, Escoffier Online Pastry Arts Graduate

Solidify Your Skills

The hospitality industry – no matter what type of job you have – requires a list of general skills in order to be successful. While some of these skills can be obtained naturally, they can also be solidified in a specialized program. In fact, employers may be more likely to hire applicants who have earned a degree or diploma from an accredited culinary school.

“If somebody goes to culinary school, it shows extra commitment and follow through…it’s a ‘gold star’ on their resume.”
Josh Hasho, Executive Chef, Omni Hotels & Resorts

Patience and Stress Management

When working in a fast-paced environment with a strong responsibility for customer service, you must be patient and learn how to manage your stress. Keeping a calm and positive exterior when dealing with a complicated or intense situation is essential, especially when facing a customer.


Whether you are working with a team of chefs or face-to-face with customers and guests, excellent communication skills are a must. Learning how to speak to people and communicate your thoughts effectively will make your job in the hospitality industry much easier.

Attention to Detail

Having a hospitality job requires you to pay close attention to detail. Everything must be exceptional for your guests. From a wrinkled pillow in a hotel room to a burnt edge of a pizza crust, your customers expect only the best when they pay for your service.

Time Management

Nobody likes waiting for things, especially when they’re tired or hungry. As an employee in the hospitality industry, it’s your responsibility to make sure your guests and customers are comfortable. You can’t have them waiting for long periods of time for their meals or table reservations.

Begin Your Career One Step Ahead

An education from Escoffier could help you begin a career in the hospitality industry. As an accredited institution, students who are eligible can apply for financial assistance, putting them even closer to their dreams of pursuing a food and beverage career.

Request more information about Escoffier’s Food & Beverage Operations program and see how it could help you achieve your dream of working in the hospitality industry.

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