5 Best Things About Working in Hotel F&B
When people outside of or new to the hospitality industry imagine working in the food and beverage department at a hotel, the first jobs that come to mind are often entry-level positions like server or busser. They may think of summer jobs or temporary banquet positions. And it’s true that food and beverage can serve as an entryway for people who’ve never worked in hospitality before, but those entry-level positions are just the first rung on a very long professional ladder that's full of long-term opportunities. For people who choose a career in food and beverage, it can be a rewarding specialization that offers new responsibilities and challenges every year.
These are some of the many reasons people decide to go into F&B.
1. You learn a lot on the job
F&B is a hands-on specialty. Whether or not you have a hospitality degree, there’s no substitute for actually working in a kitchen. If you haven’t completed formal coursework, you can still get started in F&B and learn as you go. And if you do have a degree, there’s always more to learn. This isn’t a department where you develop a few skills and then use them by rote. No matter how much you know, there’s always more you can do to challenge yourself and deepen your knowledge. And as you learn more, that opens up new opportunities for you.
2. You have the chance to move up
F&B has a well-developed hierarchy, and people who prove themselves can get promoted and reach the highest ranks. You can become the manager of a restaurant, head of food and beverage at a hotel, or director of a catering division. There are many specialties to choose from, such as selecting wine, sourcing ingredients, and being a chef. Whichever you decide to focus on, there are always opportunities to take on more responsibility, to manage other employees, or to move into a position at a more prestigious venue.
3. You have many job options
There are some hospitality jobs, like ski concierge, that can only be performed in particular locations or at particular seasons. F&B jobs aren’t like that. Virtually every hotel property needs food and beverage staff, regardless of where it’s located or what its target market segment is. When you work in food and beverage, there is potentially an open position for you at any hotel in the world that’s hiring. You can also find work at schools or other organizations that have kitchens. Preparing food is universal, and there are food and beverage job opportunities everywhere people eat.
4. You can become an entrepreneur—or even a celebrity
An F&B role in a hotel can start you on the path of business ownership. Once you’ve gained experience in the industry, you’ll be prepared to go out on your own as a food and beverage consultant or an independent sommelier. You can open your own restaurant as owner and/or head chef. If you go the chef route, you could someday publish cookbooks, develop a loyal social media following, or even have your own TV show. It takes hard work and determination to reach the heights of the culinary world, but your effort can take you far.
5. Your work makes a difference for guests
Guests care if there are varied menu options and if food is ready on time. A delicious meal can make the difference between a mediocre stay at a hotel and a fantastic stay. Working in food and beverage is a significant responsibility, and what you do directly matters for guest experience. When you do your job well, guests really appreciate the results, and you have the satisfaction of knowing that your work has an impact.