7 Myths of the Hospitality Industry


When it comes to students pursuing a career in hospitality, there are a couple of misconceptions or myths about the industry and it’s inner workings that needs clearing up.

It’s important to CHS that our students (and prospective students) know what those myths are, so that they are able to make informed decisions about their career in the hospitality industry.

Below are 7 myths and why they are just that, myths.

Myth Number One: Rich people always stay in luxury hotels.

We often make the mistake of looking at someone who’s in a certain income bracket and assume they want to stay in luxury and boutique hotels. What we should rather do is look at why they are in the specific area and what they are doing there. In 2010, a quarter of the hotel guests staying at budget hotels earned above the R1,000,000 p/a bracket. (Image credit: Blogto.com)

Internet-Travel-Bookings-420x0Myth Number Two: The internet largely powers hotel bookings in the hospitality industry.

Only part of this is true, there are a lot of online bookings being made, but walk-in and telephone bookings account for 40% of all bookings while 52% account for online bookings. The other 8% of the bookings are done through other methods. Online bookings are a supporting function, but by no way does it discount or replace the effort and function of hospitality staff. Therefore the personal touch and human interaction will be a contributing factor to making and confirming a hotel booking. (Image Credit: Smh.com.au).

cheap-hotelMyth Number Three: Everyone wants to book cheap hotels.

Budget rates for hotels are only one of the number of things people consider when choosing a hotel. Other things guests look at when choosing to book a hotel  includes; comfortable rooms, if breakfast is included, free Wi-Fi, good service and clean rooms. So, price is not the only consideration when booking rooms in a hotel. Twenty years ago business people enquired about ‘business centres’ at hotels (area for printing, computer stations and internet connections), ten years ago the buzz-word was Wi-Fi (or wireless connections; although slow at times), today the average business person booking in a hotel expects free Wi-Fi or connectivity hotspots. Who knows what they will be asking for in another 10 years’ time? (Image Credit: Cheap-flights-secrets.com)  For more about how hotels have changed in the past 30 years, read Allan Clingham’s comments on the Graduation post.

FredMyth Number Four: I’ll get rich by owning a restaurant!

You’ll be envied, sure, and nothing gives a restaurant credibility and more marketability than having a great chef – especially if he/she is a celebrity. A restaurant is a great way to live out your craft, but thinking it’s going to make you rich is often a misconception.

There are actually a lot of misconceptions, like for instance: owning a restaurant is very hard work, you’ll have to sacrifice a lot of your own personal time and can kiss your social and private life goodbye in most cases, restaurants spend a lot of the profit they make to stay ahead of trends and upgrading equipment, many times, you’re going to have to a lot of the work yourself and you have to be a good all-rounder, and all that for very little pay, if anything at all. (Image Credit: Lonasescorpion.com)

78251698Myth Number Five: I love cooking for friends and family, I should open a restaurant!

The best way to ruin a casual hobby is to make it your job. If you’re really passionate about it and want to do it all the time, yes, then it may be a good idea. But remember to take the good with all the challenges it has. Owning a restaurant is definitely not  just about cooking; you will need business skills, social skills, staffing, and a clear vision what you want to achieve with your establishment.

Some good advice is taking baby steps and perhaps doing a little high-end catering first and seeing what people’s response is to your product. This endeavor will enable you to get a taste of the business side of the food industry and will give you a good indication of the nuances involved. (Image Credit: Women.thenest.com)

day9-2Myth Number Six: If I’m in the hospitality business, my friends can visit me at work.

If being a socialite is your goal, it‘s best to organise a retreat, a camp or host a (dinner) party. Commonly referred to as “a free lunch” or “eating into your profit”, your friends and family cannot expect to be treated at the expense of your new entrepreneurial endeavor. Just like friends and family cannot visit other professionals at their place of work, although being in hospitality means being hospitable, you have to commit to showing your employees and team members that you are there for the right reasons. (Image Credit: friendsnyctravels.blogspot.com)

Gordon-Ramsay-001Myth Number Seven: I will become famous.

More often than not, we fantasize about being the next MasterChef or Ultimate BraaiMaster, with our own shows on television.

Celebrity chefs and hosts of hospitality related shows are the new “rock stars” – portrayed as glamorous, wild people who travel the world in search of the new food/lodging trend. In order to be in front of the cameras you have to get into the industry and establish your niche. With modern technology you are able to syndicate shows and even create your own series; although whichever path you embark on be sure that it requires hard work, value to your followers/patrons and you need to build credibility over a number of years (before you are taken serious in the industry). (Image Credit: The Guardian.com)

Your Turn

Misconceptions are common in this industry and therefore needs to be discussed in order to “debunk” them. If you are unsure of the expectations and realities of the Hospitality Industry, feel free to post your questions on one of our social media platforms.

[Featured Image credit: blog.sociallylostinmedia.com].


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