Career Beginnings: A Guide To Entry-Level Positions In Hospitality & Tourism

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Think that Jamie Kennedy or Mark McEwan started their careers as celebrity chefs? Or that either the Hilton or Trump brand successes came easily? All roads lead back to humble beginnings in the world of hospitality and tourism.

For example, did you know that Gordon Ramsay started his (now-illustrious) career as a chef and restaurateur by working part-time as a dishwasher? Your future career in hospitality and tourism is waiting to be hatched, and all you have to do is get your foot in the door!

It’s always better to work for the right company rather than to worry about the perfect job title, especially as you are starting out. Within the first few years of your career, your job title is likely to change multiple times anyways. If you respect the business and the brand, why not consider an entry-level position such as:

Host

Most restaurants (and quite a few hotels) employ hosts to manage incoming calls, reservations and cancellations, and sometimes even special event bookings. This person is the first impression a guest will make of the business. In addition to making guests feel welcome and seating them upon arrival, a host is responsible for select administrative tasks (such as sending out seating reports at the end of a shift).

Dishwasher

Probably the most overlooked and underappreciated position in any kitchen is that of the dishwasher. Often working in a small space, this person can seriously affect the flow of a kitchen – if plates or pans aren’t cleaned quickly enough, food wait times will increase and guests will leave dissatisfied. In addition to keeping things spic and span, a dishwasher is sometimes also responsible for basic equipment maintenance.

Tour Guide

Museums, galleries, city districts or well-known tourist landmarks will often employ tour guides during peak season to ensure visitors get the most out of their experience. This person represents the brand/location, and should be able to speak to the history of the site as well as current events or features.

Night Auditor

Though most guests are sleeping soundly elsewhere in the hotel, the front desk is routinely kept open overnight with a night auditor in most hotels (in case of emergencies, late guest check-ins or other requests). This person performs dual functions for the hotel and the accounting department, running basic reports and balancing the deposits for the day. This person may also act as overnight security or hotel management for smaller properties as well.

Have you explored any other entry-level roles in hospitality & tourism? Tell us in the comments!

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