Things People in the Hospitality Industry Wish You Knew

April 30, 2021


The hospitality industry is so much broader than just wait staff and baristas, it also extends to cover a range of different careers including jobs in hotels, casinos, theme parks, food service, housekeeping, whale watching and white-water rafting tours, hiking tours, boat rentals and so many more.

But just like with any customer-facing job, working in the hospitality industry comes with all sorts of challenges, with rude customers only being the tip of the iceberg. In this blog, we unpack some of the things hospitality workers wish you knew – some may surprise you!

A written compliment or thank you goes a long way

If someone has a negative experience, it’s often in our nature to send an email or post a bad review online – we’re all human, we’ve all done it! But for every negative review or email that gets sent, it’s important to remember that there is a human being on the other side of that message reading what you have written.

Next time you have a positive experience at a place, why not take the time to write in a nice email thanking the staff member you dealt with? It will only take 5 minutes of your time, but we can guarantee that it will make the staff members day – possibly even week. Taking the time out of your day to thank someone maybe just the mood booster they need to keep going!

It doesn’t hurt to be kind – we’re human too and doing our best!

Similar to the above point, being kind doesn’t hurt. The hospitality industry – especially during the pandemic – has made everyone more stressed than usual. Fear and anxiety have brought out some awful behaviours in us, and people on the frontline are unfortunately easy targets for abuse. Before you go to yell at the young waitress who bought out your food 20 minutes late, or the bellhop at the hotel for mixing up your luggage with someone else’s, take a moment to put yourself in their shoes. These situations are no doubt frustrating but yelling at another staff member definitely won’t get you anywhere.

We’re all human and humans unfortunately make mistakes. It’s fine to explain why you’re frustrated but try and keep the screaming to a minimum. While we’re on the topic of being kind, a please and thank you also does wonders and costs nothing. Did the food taste good? Ask your waiter to pass it on to the chef. Were you impressed with the tidiness of your room? Leave a note for your cleaner. Again, these things might just make someone else’s day.

Research before you come so you’re not surprised

How many times have you rocked up to a restaurant or hotel and it isn’t what you expected it to be at all? Before you head out to a place, do your research so you know what’s in store and don’t get any surprises on arrival - this is especially important if you have specific dietary requirements that need to be met. While most places are getting more inclusive of allergy and food requirements, some places may not have these options, so it’s always best to check before you get there. There’s no point getting to an Italian restaurant and expecting them to have gluten free options when their website clearly states that they don’t do gluten free! If in doubt or you have any questions, call the place you’re going to and ask – they’re there to help.

There’s only so much a manager can do for you

“Excuse me, can I please speak to a manager?” The phrase that has been the subject of many memes! While we have made jokes about it, it can be quite demoralising to hear this phrase come out of someone’s mouth as it’s basically saying, “I don’t think you’re competent enough to do your job.” There’s also only so much anyone can do for you, so demanding to speak to someone over the person who is serving you may not give you what you want. This leads us to our next point:

Sometimes there is actually nothing we can do

Asking to speak to a manager might seem like a sure-fire way to get what you’re after, but at the end of the day, there is only so much that managers can actually do. If you’re requesting to be boosted up to first-class or to have a meal where there are no more ingredients left to make, unfortunately, a manager won’t be able to make these things happen for you. They will be able to take your feedback on board, but we can guarantee that they won’t be pulling someone out of a first-class seat or running down to the supermarket for you!

Some of us are hanging on by a thread

Burnout isn’t a myth – it’s real and so many of us are struggling with it. 63% of people suffering from burnout are more likely to take a sick day, with 23% more likely to visit the emergency room. This burnout occurs because of chronic workplace stress that hasn’t been managed. The stress levels that have been added to hospitality workers during the pandemic have increased tenfold, along with the chance of burnout. Adding unnecessary stress to hospitality workers will only increase their chances of burning out.

Please don’t make us stay too long past closing time

We know that we say it’s ok and to take your time, but sometimes we don’t mean it! Restaurants have closing times for a reason – not just a general guide. If we say we close at 9pm, please try your best to be out by 9pm – we do have lives that we would like to get home to and sleep that we need!

Just like with any job, rude customers and people who overstay their welcome aren’t our favourites, but there are so many positives to working in the hospitality industry (including seeing our favourite regular customers and wearing our favourite Biz Collection Uniforms!) So, next time your bus driver, hiking instructor or winery tour leader does a good job – be sure to let them know.