If you were to look up the word “ignorance”, dependant on which dictionary you turned to the definition would read something along the lines of “Lack of knowledge or information”. The worst thing about ignorance in my opinion is that it is infectious. Someone else’s opinion becomes somebody else’s through laziness and apathy.
The most recent survey demonstrating that 42% of parents would not want their children to work within hospitality due to poor pay & long antisocial working hours is a classic case of ignorance.
As a true champion of the industry I wanted to set a few things straight based on fact not fiction, on personal experience not someone else’s.
Yes; working in hospitality does mean that there is a need to work evening and weekends, because this is when the rest of the populous doesn’t and they want to spend their hard earned money enjoying themselves in their down time. But there are 7 days in a week, and most operations in order to eek out every last penny in revenue now have to run from breakfast till the early hours will and does mean that there are in fact a greater opportunity to work daylight (normal) hours than ever before. To suggest that any employee would work ALL the trading hours would be laughable at best or at worst just ignorant.
Yes: income at the more junior / craft level is lower than the national average, but then again so is working as an apprentice within any sector whether you a be an mechanic or a newly qualified solicitor (and boy oh boy, they put in some MONSTER hours!), however with time, commitment patience, persistence and passion, progression; reward does and will come. To suggest that any employee would work for peanuts and be below the “bread line” would be laughable at best or at worst just ignorant.
Yes; hospitality isn’t perceived as a “proper job”.. This is a stigma driven by those who just have never been in the job. Until you have run a double booked, Saturday 300 cover booked service, when the Head Chef is off sick, the waitresses have had a relative die (there is a plethora of extended family that always die on a Saturday!), the electrics are blown and the toilet flooded yet you have to maintain complete control, deliver exceptional service and still smile… until you have done this, please do not ever tell me that this is not a proper job. To suggest that any employee who would choose to do this type of work doesn’t have any proper working aspirations would be laughable at best or at worst just ignorant.
Yes; hospitality is perceived as a transient job, a job anyone could do. This is my favourite!! Hospitality is the best and last chance saloon for any person who wants to better themselves in an environment where qualifications / education / privileged up bringing have no place at the table, (pardon the pun). A non-academic, who was told persistently throughout their school career that they would come to nothing, can and frequently does become something. General Managers within the sector run multi-million pound businesses… have complete financial autonomy and control over massive business P&Ls, responsible for the training and development of many employees. They have to continually wear many different hats, all at the same time, they are business managers, man-managers, marketing managers, training managers etc.. the list of responsibilities is continually fluid, evolving and ever challenging: To suggest that any employee is nothing more than “plate carrier” would be laughable at best or at worst just ignorant.
And finally: people need to drink, people need to eat.. in fact this a guaranteed. This will never be an employment market that will dry up… ever!!!. In fact, it continues to grow, develop, evolve and the skill sets are ever improving: so if its career development, job security, and financial rewards where you one can comfortably earn in excess of the national average wage.. then maybe just maybe hospitality is actually what any parent would want for their child….
And yes as a final note.. I stand by my word with total conviction, which is why my 16 year son has just embarked on his apprenticeship with Living Ventures. He will be trained over a 2 year schedule on both front and back of house skills, he will be taught to understand the inner workings of a multi faceted highly complex business and with this complete he will have a serious opportunity to ultimately become a manager within a truly prestigious and premium business.
To those that are ignorant… please change your minds, or at least understand that there is a world of opportunities out there..
To those that understand, recognise and understand what I have had to say I salute you all… because you know, you’ve been there and you love this sector, just the way I do.
Blog written by Rob Mansell of Cherryred Recruitment.
Rob Mansell – LinkedIn