The hospitality industry is not easy to define because of its broad nature. The standard industrial classification in the United Kingdom had defined hospitality industry as establishments that provide food, light refreshments, accommodation or drinks. This definition applies to both the licensed and the unlicensed establishments. It includes all the hotels, motels, inns or related businesses that are established to provide lodging for a short period. They may provide food or not (Chon, K & Maier, T, 2010, 5). The above definitinions depict the hospitality industry as the industry that provides accommodation and food to their visitors. It is composed of two broad areas; provision of accommodation at night for individuals who are traveling or are far from their homes, and provision of means of sustainability to people who cannot cook or are far away from home.
The hospitality industry ranks as the largest and fastest growing industries in the modern world. The are many hotels and guesthouses. The industry generates billions of profits (direct, indirect, and induced) every year. In 2012, the economic output of the hospitality industry was 1.5 trillion in the United States alone. The industry also recorded employment of above 7.8 million Americans and formed 7% of all the United States exports. Research states that out of every 17 American citizens, 1 works in the hospitality industry or in areas that are related to the hospitality industry.
The scope of the sector is very broad. It includes the big commercial hotels, restaurants, fast food kiosks, takeaways, motels, hostels, pubs, and clubs among others. It also covers the welfare sector of institutions of higher education, residence halls, hospitals, homes for the aged, and prisons .Most people wish to visit America and spend sometimes in the land of opportunities. This results in a huge number of visitors visiting the country annually (Chon, K. & Maier, T. 2010, 15).The government and the private sector have ensured that there are big hotels to accommodate the visitors. Educational institutions have also provided tailored-made trainings that ensure the industry gets the required number of personnel to work in the establishments.
Diversity of the hospitality industry cannot be easily estimated. Diversity is very big because of regular innovations, ownership, frequent classification and grading mechanisms, service levels in various establishments, and trends in the industry. Many hotels provide the normal services of food and bed to their customers. This trend is gradually changing as competition forces hotels to diversify. Many hotels are now offering added services like provision of internet, gymnasium, swimming pool, and hair and beauty salons. They also provide Jacuzzi, shops, sauna baths, conference rooms, meeting rooms, nightclubs, car park, and laundry.
The grading and classification mechanism also adds to the diversity of the industry. Hotels are diverse and this depends on the type of ownership and the management styles used (Chon, K. & Maier, T. 2010, 20). The grading system also helps in classifying and promoting diversity. Hotels will diversify their services to improve on their rating on the scale of 1-5 stars. Every hotel would love to be rated a 5-star hotel.
Studies show that in every town in the United States, there is at least one hotel. This can be franchised, chains or privately owned hotels. The organizational structure is mainly of the functional organization. Such structures operate in a form of hierarchy where one or two individuals are charged with the responsibility of overseeing the whole operations of the establishment.
The organizational structure in the hospitality industry is further sub-divided into functional groups. In a hotel, the functional groups would be like housekeeping, drinks and food services, and front office services (Purva, G. 2010, 38). Hotels are also organized into administrative groups like sales personnel, finance and accounting, and human resource management. Hotels also require regular services of engineers, security guards, grounds men, and general maintenance.
All financial records of establishments within the hospitality industry are overseen by a general manager. The general manager may have the help of an assistant who would report to him, but this would depend on the size of the establishment. The establishment operates 24/7 and this makes it necessary to hire a shift supervisor to ensure smooth running of operations.
The functional groups are headed by a supervisor. The supervisor reports all matters to the general manager of the establishment. The number of employees overseen by a supervisor depends on the number required by a particular functional group (Purva, G. 2010, 38). The groups also determine the number of supervisors assigned to them. Some cases may call for morning and evening supervisors. The general supervisor may oversee small groups in night shift.
The advantages of the functional groups within the hospitality establishment are that it enables groups to focus on various areas that affect the general operation of the whole establishment. This increases employee productivity and makes coordination much easier. Groups can also set and achieve their own goals, which are advantageous to the whole establishment.
The disadvantage of such organizational structure is that when one functional group fails to deliver as expected, it affects the whole operation. Visitors may get the best reception, but will still get disappointed by the poor room service and may never come back (Purva, G. 2010, 40). It is therefore advisable that the general manager encourages and promotes teamwork between various groups, and helps improve the performance of the underperforming groups so that they can deliver as expected of them.
Organizations within the hospitality industry have distinct structures that differentiate them from the other sectors. The hospitality industry has two main types of ownership; sole ownership and franchise. In sole ownership, an individual has direct control over all the activities of an establishment (Purva, G. 2010, 42).This has its benefits in that the owner enjoys all the profits alone and can design an establishment to his or her own liking. However, the owner has to bear all losses in same measure that he enjoys the profits. The establishments can also be franchised, partnership or even limited company. A person can directly own an establishment as a chain or under franchise. Franchise requires an individual to pay royalty to the owners of the already established name being used.
The hospitality industry has many bodies and organizations under it. All organizations and bodies in the industry serve various purposes that are aimed at ensuring efficiency in the industry and promotion of good business practices (“American hotels & lodging”). Some of the organizations in this industry include but not limited to the American academy of hospitality sciences, Asian American hotel owners association, association of British travel agents, British hospitality association, British institute of inn keeping, confederation of tourism and hospitality, hospitality industry trade unions, hospitality awarding body, hospitality financial and technology professionals, international Dairy-Deli bakery association, international hotel & Restaurant association, national registry of food safety professionals, national society of minorities in hospitality, and select registry among others.
The roles played by these organizations vary with each organization. Their roles can be generalized as:
- Grading and rating establishments within the hospitality industry. This helps such establishments to make improvements in their service delivery.
- To ensure success of the minority groups and help them fight discriminatory practices like resistance from banks and insurance companies
- Raise standards in the hospitality industry
- Provide financial assistance to players in the industry
- Attend to complaints from clients in the industry
- To ensure fair treatment of all players in the sector by the government
- Promotes interest of the industry players to the ministers
- Provide accepted training standards in the hospitality industry
- Assess knowledge of new food managers in the industry
The hospitality staff generally refers to the people who work within the hospitality industry (“Requirements”). These people have the responsibility of receiving and entertaining visitors in an establishment. They are expected to be hospitable; friendly, warm, and generous to the guests all the time. The staff ranges from general managers, supervisors, receptionists, chefs, housekeepers, and sales representatives.
General Managers: –supervision of daily operations at the establishment, maintains high standards of service delivery, hygiene, improve satisfaction of both the guests and the employees, and maximize the returns of the establishment (“Requirements”).
Supervisors: –ensure teamwork among employees to achieve the highest productivity level, inspect hygiene of the employees, ensure smooth running of duties, and set up needed supplies and tools. They inspect storage areas and ensure standards are met by the employees, and assist in the management of the workforce.
Receptionist: – enter and retrieve customer information in the computer, update reservations, attend to inquiries from the guests, transmit electronic documents to various departments, prepare memos and letters, handle mails, create and maintain filing system, and compile records (“Requirements”).
Chef: – ensure success of kitchen operations, managing all functions related to food, improves satisfaction of both the guests and other employees, maximizes financial performance in areas of work, ensure consistent and high quality, and ensure high standards and hygiene levels are maintained.
Housekeepers:- ensures faster response to guests, fill and supply carts to where they are needed, ensure due procedures when entering a client’s room, replace amenities and supplies in the rooms, replace dirty linens with new ones, remove trash, make beds, clean washrooms, ensure that all appliances are present in a room and are in working condition, dust wall, polish and remove marks where necessary, clean carpets, and care for the floor. Housekeepers are also expected to follow all the safety procedures of an establishment.
Sales representative: –has the responsibility of driving the sales aspect of the business, solicit business with individuals and organizations, manage relationships with all stakeholders, are the account manager, and also ensure that the targeted revenue is achieved through good inflow of customers (“Requirements”).
General Manager: –all hotel managers are required to have at least a high school diploma certificate and years of working experience. High number of employers prefers those with at least a bachelor’s degree in a hospitality related field.
Supervisor: – work experience in the hotel industry, and apprenticeship or bachelor degree. Administrative experience is an added advantage(“Requirements”), fluency in spoken and written English and any other language, basic knowledge of excel, word and PowerPoint.
Housekeepers: –high school diploma, good written and verbal communication, good judgment and problem solving skills, and basic training in housekeeping is an added advantage.
Receptionist: –competent IT skills, excellent grooming, good communication skills, positive attitude, and training in front office is an added advantage.
Chef: –basic education requirement like technical or vocational courses, higher training and experience in food and culinary
Sales representative: – a four year college degree, work experience in a hospitality setting, fluency in written and spoken English, fluency in computer skills, and valid driving certificate in most cases.
The hospitality industry has undergone numerous changes in the last two decades, especially in the accommodation aspects (Kevin A. & Ritu V. 2012, n.p). The number of people who are willing and able to save and spend money on leisure travels continues to increase every day. Innovations like the budget airlines have encouraged more people to travel around and explore the world. The emergence of budget hotels has led to the introduction of more affordable facilities for the travelers. The affordability of travel and hotel expenses has seen the amount of travelers increase; this in turn has led to flourishing hospitality industry.
New technology innovations like the e-commerce have enabled people to book reservations at the comfort of their homes; many people are therefore encouraged to spend their extra money on the relaxation services offered by the hospitality industry. Emergence of quick service restaurants and chain hotels around the world has improved the efficiency and reliability in the industry (Kevin A. & Ritu V. 2012, n.p). The industry has also witnessed the emergence of contract caterers, bigger mergers, and acquisitions, which also played significant roles in shaping the hospitality industry.
Current trends like people paying more attention to their health have led to better business in the industry. People pay more attention to what they consume. Restaurants offer fast and reliable source for the foods people would want to eat (Kevin A. & Ritu V. 2012, n.p). Innovations in technology make work easier for people and they are able to spare time for leisure travels while on the job. Globalization has encouraged the emergence of many chain hotels all over the world.
The hospitality industry deals majorly in sustenance and accommodation. More rooms are required to accommodate the travelers all over the world. These travelers have to be fed, entertained, and made comfortable. The hospitality industry, therefore, plays a huge role in sustaining the daily lives of people who work hard in building the economy of any nation.
America Hotel & Lodging Association. Hospitality Related Associations.Available at http://www.ahla.com/content.aspx?id=3768>
CHON, K. S., & MAIER, T. A., 2010. Welcome to hospitality: an introduction / Kaye (Kye-Sung) Chon, Thomas A. Maier. Clifton Park, NY, Delmar/CENGAGE Learning.pp 5-20
Kevin, A, G, Ritu V, P., 2012. Current Trends And Opportunities In Hotel Sustainability. Available at <http://www.hvs.com/Content/3218.pdf>
Luanne, K. (2008).The Requirements in the Hospitality Industry., Demand Media. available at http://work.chron.com/requirements-hospitality-industry-4555.html>
Purva, G., 2010. Organizational Structure in the HospitalityIndustry: A Comparative Analysis of Hotel Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Hotel C-Corporations. Pp 38-42.Available at http://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/77122/825109312.pdf?sequence=1