Do You Have the Personality for a Hospitality Career?

Everything that has to do with the preparation and serving of food is part of the hospitality industry. If you are thinking about a career in that industry, you have to be sure you have the personal qualities a hospitality career requires. You can learn about food preparation and other aspects of the culinary arts at any of the many culinary institutes around. The personality is the part you have to bring to the career.

A Hospitality Career Means Helping People

Culinary institutes can teach you all about food preparation. They can give you the culinary arts background you will need to be a good chef or a good restaurant manager. However, they can't help you succeed in a hospitality career if your personal outlook is not suited to the profession. Are you ready to spend all your professional energy serving and helping complete strangers? Do you like making people comfortable and happy? If your answer is yes, you should consider a hospitality career.

I spoke to a first-year student at a top culinary institute recently. I was talking about a guest's reaction to a meal I had prepared and how I had dealt with the situation. Suddenly the student declared, "I could never have handled it that way because I basically don't like people." I was shocked. Most culinary institutes would have screened this student out in pre-registration interviews. I was ready to tell the student to give serious consideration to choosing another career. Fortunately, we had an opportunity to talk further.

It turned out that she didn't really hate people. She was just feeling frustrated. The incident I was talking about from my kitchen touched a sore point for her. She had just had a similar confrontation with one of teachers in her culinary arts classes.

It pays to ask yourself whether you like people before you decide on a hospitality career.