Posted  |  Written by robertkrzak

A successful career doesn’t happen. The Hospitality industry career development is cutthroat, because the industry has more talent than needed. If you want to land at the top you need to make some solid decisions. Where do you start? The ManageFirst Program, by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and managed by National Restaurant Association Solutions. Or, do you go for a local university BA. Or, do you complete both?

Do you select a specialty? Hospitality accounting, Bar and Beverage Management, or restaurant management, ServSafe, maybe you prefer Human Resources Mgmt.  The problem is, any of these career paths can take a few years to study, and a decade to learn the skills. Failure to organize your time and resources can result in prolonging reaching your goals, or missing the mark altogether.

Hospitality Industry Career Development Team

Don’t try to create a career yourself. Today’s Corporations use Recruitment companies. The hospitality industry has several, but it is important to qualify the company you want to work for. Which one has been around for a couple decades? Geckohospitality. Which one uses local recruiters in each state? Which one doesn’t charge you? Which one works with you as an individual? Again, Geckohospitality meets all these criteria. When you find 1 or 2 Hospitality Recruitment Firms then contact your local recruiter.

You want to write down everything you have done, paid and volunteer. All your education. And ask for help. Recruiters do not work for you – or the restaurant. They are the company that pairs both sides together. The more you work with them, the more they can work with you.


There is more to education than a BA or BS. Each industry has certification courses that anyone who is dedicated to their career has taken. These courses are often run by a national organization, and HR learns to watch for these certificates to help weed out those serious about their career, and those looking for a job.


Do you belong to the national or State organization for employees in your field? Have you ever been to the conference? Have you taken the courses? Involvement in a Hospitality organization can be vital to a job seeker’s portfolio. It highlights their dedication to their career, and involvement in their restaurant or hotel’s success.

Local Certification

Florida law requires food managers to complete training and pass a certification exam within 30 days of employment.  Other states have their own Restaurant manager certification. Human Resources will favor resumes which clearly state that the Candidate is already certified.


As the hotel or restaurant manager you do not need to be licensed, but the restaurant does. There are specific requirements in the Hospitality Industry. Career Development starts by learning these, in depth.  Have you become familiar with the requirements? If you are applying out of state then it might be a good idea to study the Health and Safety requirements in the state you are applying in. This is one of those that signal ‘I’m qualified’ in an industry where most of the Candidates are unqualified.


Don’t tell people you have skills and experience. Show them. Keep a portfolio. If you made an Employee Handbook then bring along a copy. If helped a restaurant with their redesign, and had an active part, then document this. Keep a copy of your work.

What HR wants to see is your success. Keep stats and data. Did revenues or patronage increase while you were managing? If you were a shift team leader, did employee turnover go down and moral increase on your shift? What problems did you solve for the company?

It is also important to keep track of your volunteer projects. You may have been ‘volun-told’ to help the General Manager with a business proposal destined to be presented to the investors. But your work, and ability to work with other managers is vital to your future success as a manger.

Your Hospitality Industry Career

When creating a plan for your Hospitality industry career whether in restaurants, casinos, hotels, or resorts you need a plan.

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