Hotel Management as an Alternative to Becoming a Chef
One of the biggest challenges new culinary school graduates encounter is the job market. Although the restaurant and food service industry is expected to grow at a larger than national average, many of the open jobs are offered at a low- to minimum-wage and with a heavy competition to move up the ladder.
Fortunately, culinary training provides more than just one employment avenue. In addition to careers like food writers, food photographers, and restaurant owners, graduates might be able to find jobs in the hotel management field.
More and more hotels, motels, and bed & breakfast locations are offering an upscale dining experience and catered services as a way to boost their image and income. And professionals with culinary training – particularly if that training is matched by an Associate degree, Bachelor’s degree, or some business classes – have a good chance of getting these jobs.
What is Hotel Management?
Hotel management (or hospitality management, as it is also known) combines the culinary field and the business field in varying mixtures. The professionals who work in this field are the masterminds behind the facade that a hotel or other service-related company puts forward; from elaborate brunch spreads to making sure each guest feels as though he or she was treated well, hotel management is all about pleasing the customer – both from a culinary and a general comfort standpoint.
Some employers place a heavy emphasis on the management side of things, while others provide a more creative outlet in culinary opportunities.
For example, you might find yourself spending an entire day behind a desk, managing employees and providing customer service, or you might find yourself working with chefs to create a menu and run a safe and sanitary kitchen. Many individuals who work in this field find that they develop the skills necessary to start their own bed & breakfast or catering company someday, as well.
Chefs with a culinary degree and a head for business tend to be well suited for hotel management, and these jobs can be very rewarding. Not only is the average annual salary offered at around $45,000, but there tends to be more opportunity for personal advancement at the mid- to high-range management level.
How to Get Started in Hospitality Management
If you already have a culinary degree or a degree in hotel management, you should have a strong resume for the field, especially if you have a history in running a restaurant or kitchen. If you’re considering culinary school for the first time, you might want to look for a program that specializes in the hospitality trade as well as general cooking skills, since it is the combination of these two that can really give you a competitive edge.