Careers in Lodging, and Food and Beverage Industries

Careers in Lodging, and Food and Beverage Industries

Individuals working in the lodging, food, and beverage industry earn a living by assisting patrons in their establishments to enjoy themselves (Burns, 2010).  Jobs in this industry tend to be diverse, and often include positions in hotels and lodging, tours and travel, restaurants, tourism, culinary arts, and gaming and casinos, among others. There are also managerial jobs including roles in operations, management, human resources, and customer service.

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Obtaining a college degree in hospitality management is the first step toward developing a career path in the hospitality industry. Armed with your college degree, there are various career paths that you can take in this field. For example, one may decide to pursue a career in food and beverage management. As a food and beverage manager, you are in charge of all operations of on-property food services and operations of restaurants (Hcareers, 2009). You get to work in hotels, catering companies, and restaurants, among other establishments in the hospitality industry. The duties of a food and beverage manager entail among others, ordering supplies and foods, inventory taking, financial tracking, ordering of food, and customer service. Other roles include ensuring discipline amongst workers and resolving conflict amongst employees.

A degree in the hospitality industry could also enable you to launch a career in human resources in hotels, spas, restaurants, and casinos (Hcareers, 2009). As a human resource manager, you are charged with the responsibility of overseeing employees’ benefits, hiring, firing, paychecks, and resolving conflicts.

As a hospitality management student, you may also be interested in pursuing a career in lodging management, upon completion of your college degree. This position entails managing motels, resorts, hotels, as well as other properties that offer lodging services to travelers (Burns, 2010).  As a lodging manager, you will be charged with the responsibility of overseeing the day-to-day operations of the property in such diverse areas as employee relations, sales, marketing, budget, customer relations, and ensuring the smooth operation of the facility.

Hospitality management students could also consider a career in Casino management. However, these positions are restricted to those areas where gambling is legal. As such, choosing to pursue this career could limit one’s job opportunities. Nonetheless, casino management is amongst the most lucrative job positions in the hospitality industry.  However, it also comes with more responsibilities. Besides ensuring the smooth operation of the Casino, the Casino manager has to oversee facility management, customer relations, security, and employee relations (Hcareers, 2009). Security is of paramount importance to Casinos, considering the huge amount of money that circulates in the establishment on a daily basis. Therefore the Casino manager must be very conversant with security matters. Casino managers often start by working on the casino floor as part of the security system, then rise through the ranks to corporate operations.

Another viable career path that the hospitality management student may pursue in travel and tourism management. This career path entails such jobs as cruise directors, tour manages, travel agents, and sales managers, among others (Hcareers, 2009). These positions revolve around traveling and include ensuring guests are entertained, marketing and sales, booking travel, and managing budgets and staff. The position also involves a lot of travelling across the globe.

The General Manager of a food and beverage establishment oversees operations on the floor of the facility, such as ensuring that customers are served on time and accompanying guests on visits to the establishment. The general manager also has to assess how the business is doing relative to other businesses in the locality (Hill, 2010). This includes among others, holding regular meetings with the managers or supervisors. Other responsibilities include giving incentive gifts and coupons to customers to encourage customer loyalty. Human resource is a key asset of any facility in the hospitality industry. Again, the general manager plays a key role in the development of training materials for the recruitment of staff. This is important so that they can tap the talents and skills that will be aligned with the establishment’s values.

A general manager at a lodging establishment oversees all the operations at an establishment. At large facilities such as hotels where there are various departments and several levels of management, the general manager, with the help of departmental managers coordinates the activities of every department and that of the entire property. Examples of departments include office administration, housekeeping, purchasing, personnel, sales and marketing, recreational facilities, and security, among others (Hill, 2010). Besides, the general manager at a lodging establishment ensures that guests have a pleasant experience at the establishment while on business travel or on vacation. Other roles include ensuring the smooth running of the establishment in a profitable and efficient manner.

In contrast, the food and beverage general manager manage and oversees various areas of the restaurant, in addition to making final decisions on various important issues affecting the establishment (Stanford, 2013). The general manager has to ensure that assumes responsibility for all the personnel, financial and administrative activities so that they are completed on time and in an accurate manner, and that they are in line with the company procedures and policies.

Growth in overall employment within the two industries (lodging, food and beverage)

Between 2008 and 2010, when the UNS economy was recovering from its recent recession, not many jobs were created in the different industries. During this period, over 8.7 million jobs were lost. However, between February 2010 and May 2014, the lodging and hospitality sector created over 1.6 million jobs, responsible for 20% of all new nonfarm jobs in the entire economy (Coughlan, 2014).  In December 2016, the leisure and hospitality industry continued to enjoy an upward trend in employment opportunities created, a further indication of the growth in the sector. In this case, over 24,000 jobs were added. Overall, some 295,000 jobs were created in this industry in 2016, compared to the 441,000 jobs created in 2015 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).

Over the next decade, employment in the lodging, food, and beverage sectors is projected to reach nearly 15.7 million by 2024. This is in comparison with the figure of 14.7 million realised in 2014. At the same time, the sector is expected to realise an average annual growth rate of 0.6 percent (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015). In addition, the leisure and hospitality industry is projected to also experience a 2.2 percent annual growth in real output, over the same period.

In the lodging, food, and beverage sectors, the quality of staff responsiveness and customer services has a direct effect on the reputation and image of your establishment, and its bottom line as well. It is important therefore that the management ensures that it has implemented human resource practices that will lead to better recruitment and retention of talent. This can be achieved in various ways:

(i) Developing internal talent pools

As opposed to investing in the hiring of new employees with specific skills for various positions, a valuable and cost-effective management practice would be to cultivate talent pools within the establishment and mentor employees to take up leadership roles as and when the need arises.

(ii) Empowering employees

Senior management should make it a habit to empower their employees as a means of improving customer experience (Carter, 2017).  Also, entrenching the culture of employee empowerment into the establishment’s purpose will lead to the realisation of effective results.

(iii) Aligning individual roles with corporate strategy

Ensuring that employees’ roles align with the overall strategy of the establishment makes employees feel appreciated and hence directs their efforts to the realisation of the hotel’s strategic goals. Consequently, they perform better, thus leading to higher staff responsiveness and improved customer service.



Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015). Industry employment and output projections to 2024.

Burns, JB (2010), Career Opportunities in Travel and Hospitality. New York: Infobase Publishing

Carter, L (2017). The Best HR Practices in the Hospitality Industry.

Coughlan, J. (2014). Restaurants help feed job growth: how the leisure and hospitality industry fared after the recent employment downturn. Beyond the Numbers: Employment & Unemployment,  3(16).

Hcareers (2009). Career Paths of a Hospitality Management Student.

Hill, K (2010). Career Opportunities in the Food and Beverage Industry. New York: Infobase Publishing.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2017. Current Employment Statistics Highlights.

Stanford, C (2013). A Day in the Life of David Lindahl, General Manager of Daily Diner Frogtown.

U.S. Department of Labor (2008). Occupational Outlook Handbook.  New York: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.

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