15 Qualities You Need to be Successful in the Hospitality Industry
The hospitality industry offers such a wide variety of career options from entry-level food service to hosting or managing a large resort. To be really successful, you’ll need to demonstrate a number of qualities that customers and employers expect. In addition to the hard skills needed for a particular job, there are personality traits or “soft skills” that can make or break your success.
Here is a list of qualities employers are looking for:
- First and foremost on any list the ability to listen. Really, actively, listen. That means suspending your own ideas, accepting any cultural differences and trying to understand exactly what the guest is telling you.
- Along with listening, you need excellent communication skills. Once you understand the issue at hand, you need to be able to clearly convey your understanding and effectively explain to the customer what you plan to do about the situation and gain agreement.
- Enthusiasm goes a long way. When you really enjoy what you’re doing, your excitement is contagious and you’ll strive to do your best.
- Being thorough is critical. You must be committed to completing all the tasks that need to be done. Any oversight could create a bad result: anything from sickness from poor food handling or allergies to a customer who is dissatisfied because you only did half of what you promised.
- Being able to work in a team environment is critical. You should be able contribute your own tasks as well as step in and help others when needed, be respectful and considerate of any differences.
- Handling stress in a healthy way. The hospitality business is unpredictable. You never know what may come up and you need to be able to cope with the changes with a smile. No two days are the same and you have to be ready for anything.
- Having a customer focus at all times. Let’s face it… your customers come to you expecting (and paying for) a special meal, vacation or holiday celebration. You must have a natural desire to make others happy.
- You’ll be working long and non-standard hours. You need a strong work ethic, understanding that you’ll be on your feet 8 hours a day, may be carrying heavy trays or working extra shifts. The job can be very physically demanding.
- Multitasking is a given. You have to be able to juggle answering the phone, handling a guest at the desk and not let anything fall through the cracks. There are countless tasks that have to be done while listening to guests, working with your team and still getting your work done.
- Having cultural awareness is key in the hospitality business since many of your guests are tourist form other places. You need to be sensitive to cultural differences and help your customers feel comfortable.
- Commitment to the job means always doing your best and taking pride in your work. You’ll never make it past the entry-level job if you don’t feel strongly about serving your clients to the best of your ability.
- Language skills come in handy so you can better communicate with guests. Employers love it when you can relate to customers on a more personal basis and make their experience even more special and comfortable.
- Be the person who can switch gears and be flexible in the moment. Be sure you can take on a variety of tasks and tackle what’s needed. Having a broad skill set allows you to be indispensable and resourceful.
- Show the customer and your team that you are reliable. Having a can-do attitude helps you stay positive and makes those around you feel heard and satisfied. Make sure you find ways to reward yourself on a regular basis to keep you going.
- Integrity speaks for itself. Always be honest, even when no one is looking. You must be a trustworthy person and model impeccable behavior at work.
Great employees in hospitality love working with people. They strive to do their best and provide guests the best possible experience. Showing your commitment, great interpersonal skills, attention to detail and teamwork will ensure that you advance in your career and are a valued member of the staff.