The hospitality industry's backbone is comprised of customer service, a concept shared by all segments of the industry. Your small business may focus on one or all facts of hospitality. How accomplished you and your staff are at serving others will determine your business' level of success. You may find it easier to excel in just one category of the hospitality industry. However, though costs and challenges will increase, owning or managing several facets of hospitality can provide you with many more opportunities to generate success.
Food and Beverage
In hospitality, food and beverage reigns supreme. It is the largest element of the hospitality industry and can take the form of high-end restaurants, fast-food eateries, catering establishments and many other manifestations. The food and beverage trade can symbiotically function as part of other businesses, such as in bowling alleys or movie theaters. When your restaurant is part of a hotel, food and beverage can dramatically enhance the overall guest experience by offering excellent food and first-class customer service.
Hotels, bed and breakfast enterprises and other places offering lodging represent a broad segment of the hospitality industry. Types of businesses run the gamut from extravagant resorts to hostels and campgrounds. Your business' focus on providing lodging should integrate comfort, efficiency and attentive customer service as its foundation. Travelers value thoughtful treatment and simple amenities. When they feel appreciated and catered to, your guests will tell others about their experience and may become repeat customers.
Travel and Tourism
Another chief segment of the hospitality business encompasses transportation. This includes airlines, trains, cruise ships and the staff for each. Flight attendants and cruise staff function as food servers and hoteliers in their efforts to provide food or drink and a comfortable experience. Business travelers and vacationers alike form the basis for this area of hospitality. Travel and tourism requires knowledgeable employees in information technology, and they are also considered a part of hospitality. Destinations such as amusement parks draw thousands of people, all of whom want to benefit from great customer service while enjoying a memorable adventure.
The three foremost categories of the hospitality industry are driven by, and dependent on, a strong economy. Your small hospitality business will thrive when people are able to go out to eat or enjoy traveling. Conversely, when economic times are challenging, you may decide to bolster the basics of your business. For example, food and beverage businesses might offer special activities, such as a fundraiser, or meal discounts on certain days of the week. As a hotel owner, you might branch out and provide conference or special event facilities, or transportation options such as specials on limousine services.
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