What Training Do You Need for a Career in the Hospitality Industry?

Hospitality training can includes education in operations, customer service, leadership, and finances.

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January 24, 2023 8 min read

Are you imagining a future as a restaurant manager, bustling around a chic dining room full of happy regulars?

Or perhaps you’re dreaming of life as a wedding planner, helping couples to design the biggest party they’ll ever throw.

Or maybe you’ve got a resort in mind, living in a tropical paradise and welcoming your tired guests to relax and unwind before they have to return to their busy lives.

The hospitality industry is a broad landscape that includes a wide range of careers…but they all have key characteristics in common. And with an Associate Degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Operations Management from Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, you could prepare yourself for any of the above careers—or many more!

Whatever future you’re planning for, this training could make you a stronger candidate for that dream hospitality job.

Operational Training: So You Can Build an Efficient and Appealing Hospitality Establishment

The day-to-day functions of a hospitality career all live under the “operations” umbrella. This includes the nuts and bolts of hospitality, covering the mechanics of foodservice and event management.

Foodservice and Beverage Operations

Hospitality generally includes a food component. Hotels may have restaurants or offer room service. Event venues provide catering. Even some airlines include food options. So some coursework in culinary arts and menu design is a critical component of hospitality training.

This could include education in pest control, proper food storage, and food safety and sanitation, as well as basic cooking techniques and culinary terminology.

Education in menu creation could also be valuable, as it can help the hospitality manager to create a balanced menu that appeals to their target market, design an attractive layout, and analyze menu prices.

hands typing on a laptop with a menu sitting to the side

The menu is a restaurant’s “sales page,” so it has to be well-planned in order to do its job.

Finally, there’s the beverage portion of the operations. Many hospitality businesses offer alcohol, which comes with a list of legal requirements and liability concerns. It’s vital to understand the rules and regulations around beverage service to keep your business in compliance and keep your guests safe. There may also be factors like budgeting, menu planning, and inventory management to consider.

Catering & Event Operations

The business model for restaurants, hotels, and resorts is basically a “top-down” operation. You provide a menu of your choosing, with a service style of your choosing, in a space of your design.

Special events are the opposite. You may provide specific options, but the final choices are up to the client. And depending on how much customization you offer, each event may look very different.

This is why training in special events can be so valuable. It could help you to keep all the moving parts of a wedding, conference, or festival organized and ensure seamless communication among the different departments.

Facilities Operations and Technology

What you serve and how you serve it are important. But where you serve it (aka your physical space) is also important. And keeping that space in compliance with local and federal regulations is a must for any successful hospitality business. So understanding the basics of building and equipment maintenance can be a crucial part of hospitality training.

These days, there’s also a great deal of technological innovation that add efficiencies to hospitality work. With automations and hospitality-specific computer software, you can make scheduling, inventory management, ordering, reservations, and room bookings easier than ever before—potentially saving time and money in the process.

Hospitality Training in Operations

Where can you get this important operational training? In Escoffier’s Hospitality and Restaurant Operations Management program, students complete the following courses in operations:

  • Culinary Foundations
  • Menu Design and Management
  • Beverage Service Operations
  • Catering and Event Operations
  • Facilities Operations and Compliance
  • Operations Technology and Innovation

These hospitality training program courses can prepare graduates to meet the operational challenges they may face in their careers.

Customer Service and Communications Training: So You Can Effectively Connect with Guests and Employees

Hospitality is about much more than the food, beverages, entertainment, or other services that you provide. It’s equally about how each guest feels while they’re in your care.

This is where training in customer service and communications comes in.

It’s up to a hospitality management team to establish a framework that governs employee behavior and creates the guest experience. This may include setting up specific service standards—or “the way things are done” at your establishment. Maybe you have time criteria for each step in the service process. Or perhaps you establish a certain code of professional conduct that all employees are expected to follow.

“Customer service” is a phrase that’s thrown out often, sometimes without a clear understanding of what it means. It requires careful listening, empathy, and a solutions-oriented approach—all of which may require training in communication and at least a basic understanding of human psychology.

Communications Training for the Hospitality Industry

Communication is the crux of great customer service. While many people think they’re inherently good communicators, some focused training on the subject can make a world of difference and put a hospitality employee a step ahead of their colleagues.

A hospitality degree from Escoffier can include coursework in the following areas:

  • Professionalism and Service Standards
  • Business and Professional Communications
  • Introduction to Psychology in the Workplace

Management and Coaching Training: So You Can Provide Strong Leadership to Your Team

If you’re looking for a career—not just a job—in hospitality, chances are you’ve got your eye on a management position. Being a manager can require its own special skillset that may involve both operational expertise (discussed above) and a leadership component.

To effectively manage a team of cooks and chefs, servers and bartenders, or catering and event staff, you may need to know how to onboard new employees and provide effective training. You’ll likely need to practice conflict resolution to keep disparate personalities working together toward the same common goal. You may need to conduct performance evaluations and provide either positive or negative feedback as well as raises, promotions, and occasional firings.

Hotel service housekeeping workers and manager in a hotel room

A hotel manager has to be an effective leader to help their employees do their best work.

As many as 90% of restaurant managers started their careers in entry-level positions, and climbed up the hospitality ladder. But being a great server, bartender, or cook doesn’t necessarily translate to being a great restaurant manager. At least, not without additional training.

Hospitality management hopefuls can make themselves stronger leaders with skill-building in leadership, so they can better understand and support their employees.

From Expert Employee to Model Manager

Whether you’ve had years of hospitality experience or are just beginning your career, training in leadership and management can help you in any role. Escoffier’s hospitality degree program includes courses in:

  • Foundations in Human Resources
  • Leadership and Development

Cost Control and Basic Accounting Training: So You Can Build a Profitable Hospitality Business

Every financially successful business comes down to revenue vs. expenses. To survive long-term, your hospitality operation must make enough revenue to cover all of its costs, while having some amount of profit left over.

The amount of profit will vary from industry segment to industry segment. Restaurants, for example, operate at an average profit margin of 3% to 5%. Bars may be more profitable, with an average profit margin of 10% to 15%. And a hotel can operate at a 5% to 20% profit margin.

Two people sitting at a table looking at graphs on a laptop

Tracking revenue and expenses can help you decide when things are going well and when it’s time to tighten the business’ belt.

Keeping profits high is all about controlling costs (like food and labor) and keeping a close eye on the numbers through basic accounting.

Training in purchasing, inventory management, and managing labor can all help industry managers to keep their businesses financially healthy. And to keep track of it all, they may need to understand common reports, like profit and loss or income statements. The basics of bookkeeping could also be valuable, as there may not be a dedicated bookkeeper on staff to make sure all expenses and income are properly recorded.

Training in Financial Literacy and Controlling Costs

A valuable hospitality training program can include coursework in the financial side of the business. At Escoffier, students complete coursework in the following subjects:

  • Foodservice Math and Accounting
  • Cost Control
  • Purchasing

Start with Passion…But Grow with Education

The hospitality industry is staffed by hard-working individuals who are passionate about customer service, great food, and delicious beverages. That passion is a fantastic start, but it may not be enough (on its own) to lead to a successful career. With a curated hospitality management program, you can channel that enthusiasm into a comprehensive education that could help your career take off.*

Designed to cover hospitality operations, communications, leadership, and important financial topics, a degree from Escoffier’s hospitality program could help you to build skills that you may draw on throughout your career.

Wondering if hospitality management is the right road for you? Take this 90-second quiz to get insights into your ideal culinary path.

Get more insight into hospitality careers with these articles:

*Information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors, such as geographical region or previous experience.

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