Hospitality Business Must Have Qualities

The hospitality business is like no other. Here is a list of qualities that you must have if you ever consider getting into a restaurant of your own.

Have the hospitality business in your blood
Please, above all else, have some food and beverage experience. If you have never worked in a restaurant or bar and really understand the life stop reading! I hate to turn anyone off of the business I love, but if you haven’t worked in the business before you really have no idea what your getting into so stop reading now and chose another business or put your decision off until you get your feet wet.

The hours in the hospitality business
One of the most often asked questions I get on being a restaurant owner is what kind of hours would I have to put in. If your asking I would also probably turn you off of the business, but I want to give you a good idea of what to expect. During the planning and opening stages of your business you should plan on 16-hour days or possibly more, but these are adrenalin hours. The rush to get things done and get them right. Every day will vary depending on your progress. After your initial opening you may find time to slack off of these hours some, but remember everything has to be right first.

You can expect long hours in the beginning, but as you get your systems in place and things running smoothly you will be able to slack off some after the first month or so.

After that it is all dependent on how well your business is doing, how well you have implemented effective systems, and having quality and trusted people in key positions. Cover all of those bases and you can even get to a normal level (40-50hrs/wk) after a while you may even get to take a vacation. Chances are though that you’ll be in the restaurant a whole lot even if you don’t have to.

Able to Multi-task
Like I told you before you have to wear a lot of hats in this business and the hospitality business has a unique knack at making you wear them all at once. You have to be an ace at prioritizing what is most important and get it off your plate as quickly as possible so you can move on.

The one thing I can assure you in the hospitality business is that there are going to be some rough times. Yes, getting to open will be hard, opening will try your resolve, but these are certainly not the only times you go through hell. There will be storms that put you out of business for periods of time. There will be electrical outings that shut you down over holiday weekends. There will be city projects like streetscapes that can block you down for months. You have to be strong enough and determined enough to succeed to go through whatever is thrown at you.

Financial Guts
The initial opening of a restaurant is an expensive adventure, but too many people think the initial outlay is all that they will have to put out and that the money will start rolling in. Well let me tell you that there are several times over the life of every restaurant that the cash is non-existent. Bills will pile in and business will be slow. Rent, sales tax, and a payroll will all collide together on the same week. Your walk-in will go down and need to be replaced in the same week no doubt. You have to be able to handle these crunches with a determined effectiveness.

To succeed in the hospitality business you have to realize that you cannot do everything. If you try chances are your going to crash and burn. Make sure you can delegate to others and let them do their jobs, but watch and keep them accountable too.

Hospitality Mentality
This is why were in the business. You have to love people and want to show them a great time. If you are not a customer service person and want to do whatever it takes to assure your guests are happy try another line of work.

Able to Handle Stress
It is the restaurant business after all. As I said above everything seems to happen all at once in the business. Every service is like a performance for a Broadway show. A lot leads up to the curtain going up, but when its show time you had better be on your game. There is no stopping once that curtain goes up; you will work right through the computers crashing, the line going down, a waiter walking out, the bar ice machine being empty, a customer complaining about undercooked shrimp, and hopefully the host stand so deep in the weeds it will take a back hoe to get them out.

Ability to Deal With People
That’s the business, but its not just dealing with the customers. You will have a service staff that is into instant gratification, a temperamental Chef, want to be chefs, fly by night dishwashers, drunk bartenders, and know it all managers that all need to be handled in their own separate ways. You are the great equalizer. Add all the right ingredients and stir it up. It’s up to you to make sure the end product is pure food and beverage gold.

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