Getting into the hospitality industry is getting into the heart of customer service, or turning your career’s mission into answering the question, “What can I do to give my customers a better experience?”
Generally, any hospitality professional can expect to have jobs in lodging, event planning, transportation, cruise lines, theme parks, restaurants, bars, and anything that could be involved with the tourism industry. The possibilities are endless, and because of this, it can sometimes feel a little directionless.
Well here’s the direction you might have been looking for: here are ten great Reddit threads for aspiring hospitality professionals (and current ones, too!).
1. Best Advice For Starting And Running A Bar
The thread starts out as a simple request for “advice needed from people who have started and run a gay bar”, but the original poster doesn’t last long (you can see that it’s now deleted).
However, that was all it took to prompt a comment that reached nearly 3000 upvotes—one of the most thorough pieces of Reddit literature you’ll ever find on the pros and cons of running a bar, covering everything from location to food to inventory, and just why a bar can so quickly get out of your hands as an owner.
Lines to note: My advice from that experience, is never to invest in a bar. They generally suck money from the owners and never give a return. Most don’t make it 2 years, and a scant few last 10.
If you look around most towns and cities, there are a few bars that have lasted for years, and the rest seem to open and close every couple of years.
2. Gordon Ramsay AMA
What better thread could you ask for than an “Ask Me Anything” from THE Gordon Ramsay himself? Owner of dozens of successful restaurants around the world, an inspiration to thousands of chefs and restaurant owners; anything that comes out of Ramsay’s mouth (or in this case, fingers) has to be valuable, right?
Ramsay not only describes his food, but also answers questions about his life, his history, his past, and what made him become the man he is today.
Lines to note: So I came out of my training in Paris, after getting my ass kicked in some of the best restaurants in the world. I took some time off and got aboard a boat, and was a private chef on a yacht. And those 6-9 months off allowed me to regenerate.
3. 300 Best Resources For All Low-Budget Entrepreneurs
You may not necessarily think of yourself as an entrepreneur, but anyone with any intention to get into hospitality probably has some dreams of eventually running his or her hotel or restaurant, in which case, you most definitely are an entrepreneur.
So what do you need? Try this Reddit thread showcasing a compilation of 300 of the best resources all low-budget entrepreneurs could ask for. But remember—you get what you pay for, and you can’t stay low-budget forever.
Lines to note: Free stuff is attractive and great for low-budget or MVP testing, but you get what you pay for. If you start seeing a bottleneck in your workflow due to free software or resources, it may be prudent to shell out a few bucks.
4. Ben Cohen, Ben & Jerry’s Co-Founder AMA
Who knows more about how to please people than the co-founder of one of the most popular ice cream brands in the entire world? Cohen gives an insightful AMA on his life as part of the Ben & Jerry’s business and also on his Stamp Stampede campaign (in which he advocates stamping money out of politics).
He shares wonderful insights on being a business owner, being a good person, and his inspiration for various ice cream flavors. You might learn a thing or two about how to make millions of people happy.
Lines to note: (As a reply to a question about why he is eco-conscious) Just being a decent guy. Regular people don’t want to screw other people and as a business, Jerry and I didn’t want to screw other people. The way to not screw other people is to have your products Fair Traded and not damaging to the environment.
5. Jon Taffer, Host of Bar Rescue – AMA
Yes, we’ve got another AMA, but can you really ever have enough of them? Jon Taffer is the host of Bar Rescue, a show all about getting bars out of their ruts and putting them back on a profitable track.
Taffer talks all about why he loves bars, what he sees in bars, and that he cares not only about the bars he works on but the people working behind the bars.
Lines to note: People think my passion is fixing bars and businesses, and certainly it is, but my real passion is fixing people.
6. The Desperate & Creative Techniques They Used To Get Off The Ground
This one’s a bit different. Working in hospitality, you might one day find yourself as part of a startup, whether it’s a direct app of a hotel or restaurant or something less direct, but still related to the industry.
And you might see that it’s not as easy as most startup founders make it look—there’s a ton of work that needs to be done.
So what does this thread show? 17 different popular and worldwide apps and brands that, in their first few weeks or months, did some pretty creative things to get their first few thousand customers.
Everything from Reddit making its own content to Quora asking its own questions, all just goes to show, you got to do whatever you can to make your business work.
Lines to note: Alibaba “brute-forced” its success by visiting factories one by one.
7. My Startup Bombed And I Lost Everything (Here’s Everything I Learned)
Sometimes we need some real advice to get some real perspective, and the “real-est” advice we can get usually comes from those who’ve been to hell and back. Here’s a Reddit thread from someone who worked, struggled, and hustled, but still lost everything he had.
If you ever intend to start your own restaurant, hotel, or any other service company, it might be a good idea to understand what went wrong with this OP’s startup. Learn from his mistakes and be better.
Lines to note: So before you choose a business name, or domain, make a logo, or legally open up a business (all the stuff most people get wrapped up with before starting) — get started by just locking in your initial team, getting clear on what you want to build, validating it, initial wireframes and you are off to the races.
8. How Entrepreneurs Can Get Good Employees
You’d think that’s obvious, but it’s not. This Reddit thread starts off as a devil’s advocate for all the entrepreneurs posting about how hard it is to get good employees.
As this OP points out, it’s almost impossible to live on minimum wage these days, mostly because of inflation rising quicker than minimum wage laws; $9 hour today is only equivalent to $5.63 in 1995, or $7.22 in 2005.
If you want good employees for your hotel or restaurant, you need to pay them a wage that makes them not only value themselves but value their job. It’s easier to make them want to deal with customers when they don’t feel that they are working for pennies. Spend a little more to earn a lot more.
Lines to note: This is such good advice. My BIL has many multi-million dollar companies. He tells me the big secret is aligning your employees’ motivations to your own.
He pays above market value, so his employees want to stay and do a good job, he has profit sharing, so his employees want to make the business profitable, he has peer-awarded bonuses, etc.
9. Mark Cuban AMA
You might have thought we were done with AMAs, but when it comes to Mark Cuban, how can you say no? As one of the most vicious sharks on the popular show, Shark Tank, Cuban has proven himself to the public that he knows the business, and business is vicious, cruel, and straightforward.
Because it’s not personal—it’s all just about whether you can make any money with what you’re selling.
And that goes for hospitality, too. In this thread, Cuban discusses what he likes to see in businesses, what drives him as an investor to choose a particular startup over another, and why he thinks it all revolves around the person behind the idea, not the idea itself.
Lines to note: It’s not about the idea, it’s about how prepared you are. Everyone has ideas, but most don’t do the work required to get the job done. The 2nd thing you need to know is that sales are the most important aspect of a small business. No sales, no company.
10. “Go to college, or you’ll end up like him”
This one is too great to be summed up in a paragraph or two. Read it for yourself from top to bottom, and enjoy.