The hospitality industry is one of the critical industries in the world today. It contributes immensely in economic growth of our national economies. The industry’s main concern is providing services to guests and other people on transit. From a general viewpoint, the industry has the responsibility of demonstrating its exceptional points of distinction. Accordingly, it should offer exceptional services. In terms of characteristics, this industry has diverse responsibilities, different careers and strives towards offering quality services to customers. In addition, this industry deals with perishable products thereby strives continuously to maintain a positive image in guest services (Kapiki 2012, 1). This report evaluates the critical areas of this industry with an aim of establishing what the industry entails and its current image.
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a). Current scope, diversity and scale
In terms of scale and scope, hospitality industry is one of the fastest growing and largest industries in the world today. The number of hotels and services in this industry keep on growing almost on daily basis. The number of employees is also high and growing almost on daily basis as well. Accordingly, this industry remains one of the key industries in economic growth of the world economies. In terms of diversity, there are different hotels, pubs, fast food outlets, motels and restaurants in this industry (Guilding 2014, 2). In fact, it is almost difficult to define the scope of this industry because the industry does not comprise of hotels and restaurants only. Instead, travel and tourist services, holiday parks, membership clubs, hostels and self catering among other hospitality related services are also part of this industry. With regard to products and services, hospitality industry offers wide varieties that include tour and travel, accommodation, recreational services and conference rooms. Others include food, drinks and leisure facilities among other services and products. In terms of ownership, the industry is also diverse because some hotels and restaurants are privately owned, others are owned by groups of people while others are publicly owned (Brotherton 2012, 95).
b). Organizational structure
The hospitality industry just like any other industry has different levels of authority with each of these levels tasked with certain responsibilities. In most cases, large hotels and restaurants have management teams that comprise of supervisors and managers. These hotels have tall organizational structures while small hotels have flat structures because they do not necessitate highly structured management teams (Tesone 2012, 123).
There are different departments in hospitality industry. The first department especially in the lodging establishment is the room department also known as front desk department. This department concerns itself with front office, reservation, telephone and housekeeping issues. The number of subunits in this department depends on the number of rooms in the hotel. Usually, when the sizes of restaurants and hotels are small, then two levels of authority are enough with the manager heading them.
On the contrary, when the number of employees and rooms is high, then different levels of authority may be necessary. In this case, the general manager may be at the top of the structure with assistant general managers and resident managers coming next in the levels of authority while directors of different subunits come next. Other levels of authority may follow. Other departments in hospitality industry include security, engineering, food and beverage, marketing, human resource and accounting departments. Each of these departments may have different levels of authority (Tesone 2012, 124). However, they once again depend on the sizes of departments and the number of employees in those departments. In terms of services, each department has specific responsibilities. The food and beverage department is concerned with preparing food and drinks as well as offering food related services. The human resource department is concerned with recruiting, training, labor relations and payroll issues.
A typical chain of command in hospitality industry usually comprises of board of directors at the top. The general managers come next with resident managers following them. Just below resident managers we may have room division managers and front office managers. At the bottom, we may have other employees working at different levels and departments (O’Fallon & Rutherford 2011, 285). However, in case the size of the restaurant or hotel is not big, we may have the owner at the top; manager comes next with other employees being at the bottom.
c). Professional bodies and hospitality related organizations
Professional bodies in hospitality industry enable experts in this industry to meet and network; thus, they help them to enhance their capabilities in the industry. These bodies are diverse as the industry itself and they specialize in different areas. For example, some of them deal with lodging issues while others deal with tourism issues. Others deal with professional standards in the industry and management issues. On the other hand, hospitality related organizations offer services and goods that relate to this industry. Some specialize in offering professional advices to customers while others provide goods and services to hotels and restaurants in this industry (Chon & Maier 2010, 310). From a broad perspective, hospitality related organizations strive towards making hospitality industry a success in one way or the other.
d). Staffing requirements
Given that different departments in hospitality industry play different roles, then staffing requirements for these departments are also different. In most cases, these requirements depend on the responsibilities that employees play in the industry. For example, employees in the food and beverage department should be qualified in food related courses. Managers should be qualified in business administration and management especially in hospitality industry.
e). Roles and qualifications of hospitality staffs
As indicated earlier on, there are different staffs in hospitality industry. The top most are usually the managers and supervisors. The manager who may as well act as a supervisor oversees all departments in a hotel or restaurant. He/she also defines and interprets policies established by hotel owners and other top management teams; thus, managers link employees to hotels and restaurants owners. Generally, general managers coordinate strategic activities, departments and spearhead management issues. They also coordinate human resource issues in the absence of human resource departments. In case the responsibilities of general managers are overwhelming, then there can be resident managers that serve as heads of various departments. Resident managers may act as general managers when general managers are not present (Barrows, Powers & Powers 2009, 84). They also head different departments in the industry. In this respect, general managers and resident managers need some training in business administration and business management especially in hospitality industry.
Other employees in hospitality industry include food service staffs that are responsible for preparing food and beverages. Chefs and head cooks buy food supplies, develop menus and oversee kitchen staff as they prepare food and beverages. Housekeeping staff are responsible for maintaining cleanliness in hotel rooms. Accordingly, they do the washing, sanitize rooms and replenish room items among other things. Large hotels usually have engineers that are responsible for providing behind-the-scene services to customers such as air-conditioning, ventilating and maintaining the right heating in guest rooms (Andrews 2009, 81). Human resource department is responsible for recruiting, training, evaluating and orienting employees. The list of hospitality staff is long and it depends on the size of hotels and restaurants. Accordingly, each of these employees should have the necessary training in his/her area of specialization.
f). Current image of the industry
Currently, hospitality industry appears to be one of the most thriving industries in the world because new developments are emerging on daily basis. In fact, it is projected that there will be mega hotels in different parts of the world in the near future with better services. This will improve the current image of the industry. Apart from this, the industry contributes immensely in economic development and reducing unemployment in various parts of the world. At the same time, the industry is continuously enhancing security to counter terrorism that is a global threat. Above all, the industry is one of the most diverse industries in terms of guests and employment. In this respect, the industry has a positive image to the members of the public (Kapiki 2012, 1).
Hospitality industry is one of the most diverse industries in the world today because it employs people from different backgrounds. In addition, it deals with people from different cultures and backgrounds. This notwithstanding, the industry is able to generate high incomes that contribute to economic growth. In terms of organizational structure, the industry is dynamic given that it does not stick to one organizational structure. However, this is one of the industries that require employees to observe high levels of professionalism in whatever they do. Accordingly, some professional bodies have been established to help employees understand what they should when handling customers.
Andrews, S., 2009. Human resource management: a textbook for the hospitality industry. New Delhi, Tata McGraw-Hill.
Barrows, C., Powers, T. & Powers, T., 2009. Introduction to management in the hospitality industry. Hoboken, N.J., John Wiley & Sons.
Brotherton, B., 2012. Introduction to the UK hospitality industry: a comparative approach. New York: Routledge.
Chon, K. & Maier, T., 2010. Welcome to hospitality: an introduction / Kaye (Kye-Sung) Chon, Thomas A. Maier. Clifton Park, NY, Delmar/CENGAGE Learning.
Guilding, C., 2014. Accounting essentials for hospitality managers. New York: Routledge.
Kapiki, S., 2012. Current and future trends in tourism and hospitality. The case of Greece. International journal of economic practices and theories, 12(1): 1-8.
O’Fallon, M. & Rutherford, D., 2011. Hotel management and operations. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Tesone, D., 2012. Principles of management for the hospitality industry. New York: Routledge.
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