The hospitality industry is a huge contributor to economies worldwide as it encompasses a wide range of businesses, from cafes to chain hotels and restaurants. As such, most countries with a strong touristic sector will have a significant amount of people involved in the hospitality industry as employees.
In the US, the hotel and restaurant industries alone employ over 15% of the workforce, and the projections expect this number to grow. While the pay is not always the best, anyone working in this industry has the chance to build up their experience and create long-lasting connections.
But what happens to those who are interested in the industry but don’t have the best communication skills or don’t feel comfortable interacting with customers?
The good news is that there’s room for everyone – the industry has plenty of non-customer-facing jobs that require a good variety of skills, so anyone should be able to find something of interest.
Here are some of the most common examples:
1. Housekeeping and Maintenance
Hotels, restaurants, bars, and other similar establishments need dedicated staff for cleaning, repairs, and maintenance. These employees work behind the scenes, where customers can’t see them or rarely get to interact with them, so it’s a safe space for anyone anxious about having to talk to patrons.
Both housekeeping and maintenance jobs are entry-level, but they can help you get your foot in the door if you want to climb the ladder. Plus, these are great opportunities for local youth looking to make a few extra bucks during their summer holiday.
If you already have experience in the field, there are also upper management roles you can take, such as Director of Housekeeping and/or Maintenance. In this position, you get to manage the team(s) covering these tasks, oversee the establishment’s cleanliness and appearance, control labor costs, maintain supplies, and more.
2. Executive Chef
Also known as a Head Chef, this position is reserved for workers who have years of experience working in a kitchen and with food. Their main role is to oversee the kitchen staff and ensure the food prepared is of high quality.
The Executive Chef also takes part in hiring and training chefs, cooks, sous chefs, and other staff involved in the food preparation process. Most of the tasks assigned to this role happen behind the scenes, so there is little (if none) overlap with customers.
To become an Executive Chef, you need strong managerial skills and knowledge of the culinary image the establishment is trying to project. Since this person doesn’t actively participate in the cooking process, culinary school training is not mandatory, but it’s highly appreciated.
In fact, the easiest way to become an Executive Chef is to work your way up from an entry-level position in the kitchen. This way, you know how things work in the kitchen and can work on developing the required managerial skills.
3. Chef or Cook
Chefs and cooks are often away from the customers, running the kitchen and making sure all the quality standards are met. As a chef, you supervise the staff, but you’re also involved in the planning, preparing, and cooking the food. The job pays around $43k+ per year, but depending on the type of kitchen you run, it can go as high as $90k+ per year.
As a cook, your main job is to assist in the preparation and cooking of food under the supervision of the chef or kitchen supervisor. The job requires basic cooking skills (at least) and the ability to follow recipes, maintain kitchen hygiene, and work well as part of a team.
4. Accountant or Bookkeeper
Medium-sized and large hotels or restaurant chains usually have an in-house accounting department. These employees are completely outside the reach of customers and only deal with company employees from other departments and government agencies like the IRS.
The good news is that almost anyone can take the steps to become a CPA and pass the CPA exam. So, if you want to continue working for your current company but without having to deal with customers, this is a great option.
Most large hospitality establishments will work with a specialized HR agency that will take care of the recruitment process. However, small and medium-sized companies may assign this task to in-house staff.
As a recruiter, you will need excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills to communicate effectively with job candidates, hiring managers, and other stakeholders. Also, the job requires you to stay in touch with other recruiters and create a strong professional network.
Still, you won’t be interacting with your company’s customers, only with peers, job candidates, and other professionals in the field.
6. IT Administrator
The IT Administrator position is, by default, a behind-the-scenes type of work. Your main responsibility is to maintain and manage the company’s computer systems, networks, and other technology-related infrastructure.
However, as an IT Administrator, you may have to wear multiple hats, depending on the size of the establishment under your care. For instance, many companies will also task you with their system security and data backups. Plus, you have to be on call in case there are technical issues that need troubleshooting.
7. Night Auditor
This position combines accounting and front desk duties during the overnight shift at hotels, motels, and similar establishments. Basically, you will be in charge of the night shift while also reconciling the day’s transactions, balancing accounts, and generating reports for management.
As a night auditor, you may have to interact with a few late guests (check-in and out), answer phones, and/or reply to guest requests and inquiries.
From housekeeping to night auditor and from chef executive to accountant, there are plenty of jobs in the hospitality industry that don’t require contact with customers. So, if you’re interested, analyze your current skill set and see which one’s a better fit for you.