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5 Hospitality Jobs You Probably Never Heard Of

When choosing to pursue a career in hospitality you probably had an idea what your career could look like.

You imagined that you would work in either a hotel or a restaurant and after a few years as a front-line employee you would get promoted to a manager, and another few years later you would become a director.

Perhaps you would set your eyes on a General Manager role, but only really if you’ve got enough experience in Front Office.

You only see this as your career path in the hospitality industry, because career guides like this one tell you that. While this example is very visual (which is nice) in contrast to your usual bullet-point list, it is still limited and reflects the old school thinking that is limiting the hospitality industry.

What’s wrong with today’s hospitality career guidance

Hospitality career guides today imply that you must follow a certain very specific career path to become a manager in a field and the various fields are never connected. Events are separate from restaurants and hotels in this chart, and restaurants are not even connected to coffee shops.

If you ever want to be a good general manager, you would need to have solid experience in all departments and understand their daily challenges. Not just finance, room, and front desk.

When you were choosing hospitality as your career, a linear career plan was sold to you. You were told to choose between hotels, restaurants, events, airlines, and tourism and focus on your operational skills and expertise in that area.

I am here to tell you that you were mis-sold. You were sold a career dream that does not exist anymore.

The point I am trying to make is that there are so many more career options within hospitality that you have never thought of and never been told about as a hospitality student.

5 hospitality career jobs you’ve never heard of

I want to show you more about the hospitality industry and the jobs you could have after graduation. You have the right to know this.

Here is my top pick of my top 5 hospitality jobs that you probably have never heard of:

When it comes to large brands like JW Marriott, Inter Continental, Aloft, Moxy, etc. these amenities are a standard. The physical designs or the brands selected have been decided by the global corporate office and they have been procured for the hotels.

Let’s look at what they do:

Restaurant concept developer

A Restaurant concept developer is someone that identifies a market gap and develops an outlet concept to fill that gap and satisfy the customer needs.

What they do:

The work itself varies, sometimes it is about looking at the market from a macro scale and seeing what is missing and what the trends consumers are interested in. (Remember a few years ago there were (many) more burgers than people?)

Other times it is about finding the right concept for that client that has a location. Hotels often hire concept developers to help identify the F&B niche what they should offer to best serve their hotel guests but to also attract outside / local guests.

This job involves research, conceptualisation, menu development, restaurant design, service style development, uniform review, and many other things that one has to do to open a restaurant.

What experience you need:

To become a restaurant concept developer you need to know the restaurant business in and out (duh!). So you need to have a few years of kitchen experience and some solid experience in service as well. How can you advise someone what to do if you’ve never done so yourself?

Amenity supplier

While this isn’t someone that works directly in the industry, they are integral to the industry. This hotel’s supplier effectively provides the hotel with amenities like the shampoo, soap, toothbrush, laundry bag, you name it.

What they do:

The amenity suppliers act as a middle man between the product producer and the client. They help you develop the product you need by providing samples and testing new designs.

When it comes to large brands like JW Marriott, Inter Continental, Aloft, Moxy, etc. these amenities are a standard. The physical designs or the brands selected have been decided by the global corporate office and they have been procured for the hotels.

Similar applies to smaller hotel brands too, but they have less bargaining power and are less likely to design their own, but rather pick off the shelf ones without branding.

What experience you need:

General project management experience and an understanding of the hospitality industry. Sadly, many people that would work in this field would not have hospitality experience.

This means that if you have 2-3 years of experience in a hotel and you know how the rooms division department works, you are basically 70% qualified for the job of a client manager with an amenity supplier.

Quality/standards auditor

When signing up for a brand franchise, the hotel owner signs up to follow the standards of that brand that have been set by the owner of the franchise – corporate head office.

To ensure that hotels follow the brand standards that are provided, the corporate head office hires brand standard/quality auditors to check on the hotels. The auditor is someone that upon arrival at the hotel checks that all the standards and procedures that must be followed are being done.

What they do:

At first, they take the role of a mystery shopper and check-in as a normal guest, visit the hotel’s restaurant for dinner and expect their room in detail. In the morning while still under the camouflage they have breakfast at the hotel.

After breakfast, they present themselves to the front desk as the auditor and request to see the General Manager. With the GM they follow the rest of their procedures by visiting the rest of the hotel areas and spot check a few random rooms.

They check safety and cleanliness primarily, but they will also check anything that has been highlighted as a key brand focus.

What experience you need:

Some sources will tell you that you need just a bachelor and some training, while I think you are much better off if you have a few years of hands-on hotel experience. Not only will you know exactly what to look for, but also you won’t be easily intimidated or blindsided by hotel staff.

Brand manager

Brand manager sounds like a very ambiguous title – what does this person really do? In all fairness, it will depend on the company, because the structures or roles and responsibilities vary.

What they do:

This is the person that “owns” the brand. What does that mean? It means that:

  • this person approves anything that has to do with the brand – video, audio, text, etc;
  • things like the logo and design of the brand get changed and approved by the brand manager;
  • the design of the amenities gets approved by the brand manager;
  • that hotel photography style and rules get decided by the brand manager;
  • the guest experience is also defined by the brand manager.

All things that have to do with brand positioning, competitive advantage in key focus areas or other exclusive experiences within brand differentiation. And so on and so forth.

Sounds like a lot? Yeah, it is. What a brand manager does will depend on the company and the brand level.

What experience you need:

Usually, brand managers are people with a few years of solid marketing and branding experience, the formal education they hold may be marketing, maybe hospitality, but could also be biology. Weird, right?

Typically, you would need to have marketing skills and experience and understand the industry-leading forces of change. Hospitality experience would be a huge plus, as you will rely less on others to provide you with the operational point of view and be able to make a fair decision yourself.

Training developer

You probably know that a hotel would have someone responsible for the training of people in the hotel, either part or full time. But that is not who I am talking about here, I am talking about the people that create training that is then delivered in hotels.

What they do:

Again, I am talking about the way things work in large organisations and not small independent hotels. The people that create training sit in the corporate offices of the large companies like IHG, Hyatt, and Marriott.

The training developers are specialists in the category of the training – be it guest experience, front desk, a system/tool, or service. But training documents, presentations, and assets do not just get developed by one person who knows a lot about the topic, it’s a group effort.

The group involves a subject matter expert, training development specialist, and a few people who would down the line receive the training itself – to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

What experience you need:

It helps to have on hand hospitality experience so that when asking the pilot test group for feedback you know what to ask for and you also understand what they are talking about. You also need some human resources experience and training.

Training is associated with personal and professional development, which is managed by human resources, so knowing how that world works is a bonus.

In conclusion

Now that you know 5 new paths your hospitality career could take you beyond the “front desk manager” and “restaurant manager”. You can now start to imagine how much more there is out there!

While some of the roles I described do not require you to have hospitality experience, never underestimate the value of experience in the hospitality industry. If you move from hotel to corporate, your operational experience will stand out.

Believe me, most people that are running the hotel business globally, never spent a day working in a hotel.

Did you learn something new in this article? Or did you already know about these roles?

Let me know if you have any questions about your career in the hospitality industry!

Author: Maria

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