Do you want to work with people in an exciting ever growing industry? Do you want to work in an industry that has more than 65 different job titles to choose from? (You won't be bored!) American restaurants, cafeterias, carry-outs, hospitals, hotels, cafeterias, other eating establishments prepare and serve food to tens of millions of people every day of the year. This is an industry that truly never stops working and it always has work available for good employees like you. You can talk all you want about the problems with the job market but have you considered the hospitality industry?
One in 10 Americans work in the industry. Do you want to work in an industry that is growing as you read this? The U.S. food service industry currently employs more than 13 million full and part-time workers making this industry the largest employer in the nation after government. The industry has over 1,000,000 locations that serve more than 70 billion meals.
According to the National Restaurant Association, eating and drinking places are projected to add 450,000 jobs during the 2012 summer season (June, July and August). The addition of these jobs would represent the industry's largest increase in summer jobs since 1993. Only the construction industry adds more with 600,000 jobs expected this year. The state projected to add the most eating and drinking place jobs during the 2012 summer season is New York at 43,500 jobs.
I love the hospitality industry for many reasons.
Fun: It's fun. The name of the industry is hospitality, also known as leisure, recreation and tourism. In this industry, you are a part of the leisure time of others. Also, someone has to feed those customers at the Olympics, on cruise ships, at Disney World, Yankee Stadium, the Pocono Racetrack and at your school lunch time!
People: This is a people industry. You interact with people all day - customers and employees.
Variety: There are many choices of businesses, locations and positions. You can work in fine dining, family restaurants, taverns, quick-service chains, cafes, schools, colleges, contract feeders, banquet halls, hotels and more. Each location is unique.
Universal: You can find a job literally anywhere in any state or any country in the world. You can work with people of all ages, nationalities and from all walks of life.
Service: You give to others. Service is a large part of the hospitality industry. In Japan, restaurant service is a very "honorable" profession. You make others happy by feeding and entertaining them. Besides restaurants, there are food-service jobs in hospitals, nursing homes, day care and schools.
Creative: You can create ideas and exercise your talent. You can prepare a fabulous meal or plan a New Year's Eve party. You can decorate a cake, create a food menu, design an elaborate buffet, plan a wedding, arrange a dining room or design a banquet advertisement.
Exciting: The industry is fast-paced no getting stuck behind a desk here.
Challenging: You will find exciting challenges every day. You will use your ability to solve the puzzles of too many customers, too few customers; not enough food, too much food; attracting business and keeping the customers or clients happy.
Flexible: The hours are flexible. Many areas of the industry can literally let you pick your hours - working a lot or a few hours a week - morning, noon or night.
Growth: You can start low and grow. This industry has opportunity for the ambitious worker. This is a great place for career development. This mega-industry will need more managers than there is supply over the next 10 years.
Good pay: The industry has plentiful numbers of mid-level and advanced positions that will pay you a good wage while offering you a diverse career ladder - from head cook to chef; from baker to pastry chef; from waiter to maitre d'hote to banquet manager; from kitchen worker to kitchen manager; from busboy to food and beverage director ; from inventory clerk to purchasing director; from hostess to human resources manager; from computer programmer to menu designer; from health inspector to dietitian. Think about it.
Give the industry a try. If you find that it's not for you then you haven't lost. You will have learned many skills that easily cross over to other jobs. All employees like to see the hospitality industry on a resume.
Restaurant watch: While eating at a restaurant, think about which job you might enjoy.