10 tips for success in the New York’s hotel job market
Want to make it here?
If you think that you have what it takes to rise up the job ranks of New York City’s hospitality job market, we’ve talked with some of the area’s diverse base of workers to share their experience and best advice. Most agree, that it’s a privilege to work in the city that never sleeps.
“We’re really lucky to be in New York in so many ways,” says Louise O’Brien, regional director of public relations for Langham hotels in New York and public relations director for Langham Place New York.
“Most United States media is here in our backyard. It’s important and easy to meet them. You can’t really be effective without cultivating such relationships and making sure journalists that cover the beat know you, trust the information you send to them and think of you first,” says O’Brien.
For Tracy Wilk, executive pastry chef at David Burke Kitchen in Soho, working in such a renowned culinary capital is an advantage and pleasure.
“My favorite part about living in New York City is there are always new restaurants and cuisines to try,” she says.
With endless places to go and things to do, “There is always an event happening somewhere. Many of our guests visit our hotel with the intention to explore the area, so much of my content is geared towards current events,” says Katie Conrad, social media and reputation analyst for New York Hilton Midtown.
Read on for our area hotel experts’ 10 Top Career Advice Tips for Working in New York City:
1. Think and act fast on your feet
“Working in hospitality public relations, the main skill is being able to move as quickly and flexibly as possible. There are so many moving parts and departments to getting anything done,” says O’Brien.
2. Communication is key
“It’s incredibly important to have good basic writing skills to digest information quickly and transfer it in a way that will make sense to a broad consumer base. Eighty-five percent of my day is spent writing emails, press releases and social media updates that will engage people. Just because you’re writing in a brief fashion, you should still write with impact so you’re confident that you can generate a response,” says O’Brien.
3. Don’t burn bridges
“Be as nice as you can, even when you’re saying no. Someone you might burn a bridge with, could be someone you will be begging for a request. We work in hospitality, and as a rule – we are part of making someone’s day better. Any encounter you have should be pleasant and translate into everything you do,” says O’Brien.
4. Be a nimble, quick study
“I learn every social media platform as it comes out. I have to figure out what is potentially beneficial or something our guests or the media might care about. Don’t be afraid to learn something new. Do your best to become proficient in technological changes that could affect how you do your job,” says O’Brien.
5. Enjoy your work
“I love being a pastry chef because our food serves no purpose besides joy. It makes my job really fun because I can be whimsical and creative; it’s kind of limitless what I get to create,” says Wilk.
6. Be prepared for anything
“Every day in the restaurant is very much the same, so you can fall into the trap of monotony, however, you never know what will happen. We could have a water leak, an electricity blowout, a super VIP guest or a large-scale pop-up party…you need to be prepared for anything,” says Wilk.
7. Be dedicated
“I typically work from 10 AM – 10 PM, as I like to be at the restaurant during lunch and dinner services. I’ll work on any production for the restaurant, such as testing new recipes and jump on anything it needs for the day. I manage a staff of 3-5 pastry cooks, pending the season and the restaurant’s needs, as well as help the kitchen with whatever our Executive Chef needs. I try to run my department as a part of the kitchen team, not just on their own pastry island,” says Wilk.
8. Know your locale
“In my role, speaking multiple languages, being a world traveler, knowing the city (restaurants, events, tourist attractions, fairs, art galleries, etc) and the immediate neighborhood around the hotel are the skills that have helped me the most,” says Christian Ribeiro, chef concierge at Hotel Indigo, Lower East Side.
9. Know your customer
As travel becomes more digital, guests are using social media as a channel to ask standard customer service questions. At the same time, social media has brought us closer to our guests than ever before, and we have opportunities to surprise and delight at a more personal level. It’s important to be very knowledgeable about your major social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. from both the consumer and business side. The analytic tools on these platforms will help you strategize your content, advertisements and overall efforts to maximize your business goals. I also recommend finding a publication to receive daily news updates from and about this space,” says Conrad.
10. Rise above challenges
“The challenge of my job is being able to advise guests to the right path. Some don’t’ know what they want, and we try to fit a unique experience based on each guest’s character. The reward is when I run into my guests on the way back to the hotel after I’ve recommended a specific event. I frequently get great feedback about their night and how much they love New York City,” says Ribeiro.