Love what you do, do what you love. Seems pretty straight forward going in to running ANY business, but never was a truer word spoken on why you really need to love what you do going in to hospitality and tourism businesses. And here’s why.
Shows like Master Chef have done a lot for the cooking and general dining scene, especially doing a ton of great work on educating the general public about food. This is a great thing, but it has also created the illusion of hospitality being a glitzy career choice when it’s anything but... It has portrayed it as a romantic quest, when the reality of running venues is a very different lifestyle indeed.
The hours are long and the margins are small. It can take years to develop a strong product, brand, and following in an industry that can be fickle and ever changing. The ones that do well, generally do so over many years with a focus on hard work, consistency of product and service, and an absolute and unwavering passion for what they are doing. When things get tough, it’s the love for what you do that will get you through it.
When I interview people in the industry who are doing well, it’s generally because they love what they do and they just can’t see themselves doing anything else. They have also been the ones who have worked hard from the bottom up, learning on the job and taking years to develop their craft. They will work the long hours which could be spent with their families and they’ll take the smaller pay checks and constant pressure, because they love it and they don’t want to do anything else, plain and simple. They are generally not chasing money, notoriety or fame, they just want to cook, serve great food, and ensure that people have a brilliant time in their establishment.
The reason you need to LOVE it is simple; it’s hard work, it’s long hours working nights, weekends, and public holidays. It’s juggling and constantly training new staff, and it’s always staying at the top of the game by being innovative and smart about what you are doing. It can be a thankless industry at times. Some days you have customers that you don’t seem to be able to please no matter what you do, and staff who are not playing ball. But on the flip side, other days you remember why you do it; when people rave about your food, you’ve made someone’s day, and people love what you’ve created.
Yes, all business is hard work, but it takes a certain kind of madness to love the hospitality and tourism industry. You either have it or you don’t. So if you are chasing money, “a quick buck”, it’s probably not the industry for you. You need to have passion and love for what you do, because if you don’t, you’ll end up hating the industry and quit.
And If you are one of those that can’t see yourself doing anything else, then congratulations, you are in for a wild and fun roller coaster ride.
But if you don’t have your heart in it, set your heart’s desires on something else. Life is too short to do anything other than what makes you happy.
Love to hear your thoughts, KB
Kate Bickford MD & Owner - BK AGENCY: