Hotel and restaurant management career paths

The hospitality industry is a broad field that offers many different roles, including hotel management and restaurant management. If you’re looking at hospitality careers, you might have wondered if the hotel and restaurant sectors are right for you.

Of course, these two roles aren’t the only options in hospitality management, and there’s a wide range of careers in this exciting area. But, at a glance, what do these career paths entail?

Hotel and Restaurant Management involves planning, organizing, and controlling operations in the tourism industry. The focus is on delivering exceptional customer service and maximizing profits.

These careers require formal education, such as a degree in hospitality management, as well as hands-on experience in the industry

In this article, we’ll go over some of the main routes that you can take in restaurant and hotel management, as well as the responsibilities that these jobs entail and the challenges and opportunities that you’ll find if you choose a career in hotel management.

We’ll also discuss the best ways to prepare for a career in hospitality management, as well as the skills and education needed.

What is hotel and restaurant management?

Looking at it in more detail, this role within the hospitality and tourism industry is all about planning, operations, and staff management in hotels and restaurants to ensure the businesses run smoothly.

There are many resorts, hotels, casinos, and other establishments that offer both hotel and restaurant amenities for guests, so you’ll often find there are managers that oversee many operations at a venue.

There are also plenty of hotels and restaurants that have other management roles, focusing on individual parts of the business.

In larger companies, you’re more likely to find these additional managerial roles, whereas if you’re looking at working in smaller hotels or restaurants, you’ll often find the manager takes on most of the duties themselves.

Below, we’ll go over some of the different managerial roles that you’ll find in the hospitality, restaurant, and hotel industries.

Why is hotel and restaurant management important?

Hotels and restaurants and busy places, and guests have constantly-changing expectations and requirements.

This means that it’s vital for hospitality companies to have skilled and experienced management that can ensure the smooth running of the business.

This includes meeting all guest expectations, handling behind-the-scenes suppliers and staffing, as well as planning marketing and business growth tactics.

Hotel management roles

Eva-Katalin/E+ via Getty Images

Within the hotel industry there are many hotel management careers that you can consider.

Larger hotels and resorts are more likely to have most of these as separate roles, while smaller venues in the lodging industry might just have a general manager.

Many of these roles are found in other hospitality sectors, but there are some differences between hotel management and hospitality management.

Notably, hospitality management has a wider scope than hotel management, and hotel management is more specialized.

Front office management

In a hotel, the front office management can also be called front-of-house management.

The staff here are responsible for much of the customer-facing parts of the business. This includes:

  • Managing reservations and room allocations
  • Dealing with additional requests from clients and ensuring good customer service
  • Handling guest complaints and feedback to rectify issues and improve the service offered
  • Training and managing front office staff, which can include hiring and handling disciplinary procedures

Housekeeping management 

Housekeeping management is one of the back-of-house roles in hotels. Housekeeping is very important in the hospitality industry because customers expect a high level of cleanliness at venues.

Housekeeping managers oversee the whole process of keeping a hotel clean, including:

  • Setting cleaning standards and procedures and making sure these are followed
  • Inventory management and cost control
  • Dealing with suppliers
  • Training and managing housekeeping staff, including hiring, rotas, and resolving issues

Food and beverage management 

In hotels that feature a restaurant, cafe, or bar, you’ll also find food and beverage management, sometimes called hotel restaurant management.

Food and beverage managers will also be responsible for room service or other food and drink services that a hotel offers. The main duties include:

  • Menu planning, pricing and design, often working alongside the head chef to decide on what kind of food to offer
  • Managing food and beverage staff, including scheduling and training
  • Maintaining high service standards that are consistent across the food and beverage operations. This is especially important for larger hotels that have multiple bars or restaurants

Sales and marketing management 

In sales and marketing management, you would be responsible for planning how best to market and advertise the hotel, as well as tracking sales figures. This includes:

  • Effective revenue management techniques, including looking at trends and sales data to predict demand and adjust pricing
  • Customer acquisition and retention strategies using feedback and data
  • Social media marketing and online reputation management
  • Planning special offers or re-launches

Restaurant management roles

SolStock/ E+ via Getty Images

If you’re looking into becoming a restaurant manager, there are numerous roles to look at in the restaurant industry. You can match a role to your skills and interests.

Front-of-house management 

Font-of-house management is vital in restaurants to ensure customers enjoy their experience.

You would be responsible for arranging everything in the customer-facing part of the restaurant. This includes:

  • Creating a welcoming and engaging atmosphere
  • Managing reservations, seating, and waitlists
  • Training and managing front-of-house staff, such as wait staff, greeters, and bartenders
  • Getting customer feedback to improve the services offered
  • Handling customer complaints or concerns

Back-of-house management 

The back-of-house management will be responsible for activities taking place behind the scenes in the kitchen. This kind of job role is vital for smooth kitchen operations and includes:

  • Kitchen design and equipment selection
  • Budgeting for kitchen equipment and staff
  • Inventory management, arranging suppliers, and cost control
  • Training, scheduling, and managing kitchen staff

Menu planning and development 

Another significant duty of a restaurant manager is looking at menu planning and development. This means making sure that the food and drink offered are suitable for your restaurant or bar.

This role typically requires additional culinary knowledge, or you might work alongside the head chef to plan the menu. Tasks for this role include:

  • Menu planning, design, and layout
  • Menu engineering and analysis
  • Seasonal menu planning and implementation
  • Training and managing kitchen staff on the new menu
  • Planning costs and supplies for the food and drink offered

Restaurant marketing strategies 

Restaurants also need managerial staff to handle the marketing and promotion of the venue.

This is particularly important for restaurants as the field can be very competitive. Some of the tasks involved in this are:

  • Identifying target audience and crafting messages
  • Planning promotions, events, and customer engagement
  • Social media marketing and online reputation management

Other management roles in hotels and restaurants

As well as all of these roles, there are plenty of other options. Further career opportunities include:

  • Revenue manager
  • General manager
  • Managing a hotel or restaurant chain
  • Starting your own restaurant or hotel

Skills required for successful hotel and restaurant management

Hospitality is a fast-paced and wide-ranging field, so there are many great skills that can help you be successful. Some of the main capabilities needed for hotel and restaurant management are:

  • Leadership and management skills, including project management and team leadership
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Financial and business acumen
  • Customer service skills
  • Problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Attention to detail and organizational skills
  • Time management skills
  • Cultural awareness and sensitivity

These are all soft skills, which are transferable between different fields. This means that you have probably already started building on these skills.

If you want to develop these skills further to support your career growth, you can look at studying for a relevant degree or getting practical experience for a hands-on opportunity to refine your skills.

Personality traits for success in the hospitality industry

alvarez/E+ via Getty Images

If you’re looking at a career in hospitality management, you would benefit from the following personality traits:

  • Being outgoing and enjoying working with people
  • Having good emotional awareness
  • Being resilient in stressful situations
  • Determination and self-motivation
  • Being good at listening
  • Flexibility

However, with the wide range of management roles in hotels and restaurants, you can always find a management role that suits you and the way you want to work.

Education requirements

The educational requirements for hotel and restaurant management will vary based on exactly what role you are interested in. However, the best starting point is to look at hospitality degrees.

With programs suitable for both high school graduates and career changers, these will give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in any of the management roles we have listed, such as how to manage a hotel or the skills to become a food and beverage manager.

Hospitality companies look very positively at people with hospitality degrees, especially if you study at one of the well-known Swiss hospitality schools.

One thing to ensure when picking a hospitality school is that your course gives you a chance to get real-life experience.

For example, if you pick a course that includes hospitality internships, you’ll have the opportunity to practice your skills in a leading hospitality company, making you ready to find a hotel and restaurant management role once you graduate.

First-class education in managing hotels and restaurantsOur bachelor’s degree program provides the essential skills to succeed in hotel and restaurant management, as well as internships for the experience you need to thrive.

Challenges and opportunities in hotel and restaurant management

Hotel and restaurant management is a field that’s always evolving, so there are many challenges and opportunities.

  • Guests’ needs and expectations constantly change, so managers have to stay up to date with the latest trends.
  • The field of luxury hospitality management gives you plenty of opportunities to operate at the cutting edge and work with unique clients.
  • Technology gives management more ways to reach out to potential customers.

What are the career opportunities in hotel and restaurant management?

Hotel and restaurant management is an arena with plenty of options for advancement and progression.

For example, you could look at how to advance from managing a specific hotel area to becoming a general manager. Or you could specialize in high-end luxury management.

Even if you have experience in management, the proper training in hospitality-specific management is an exceptional platform to help you advance your career.

Intensive hotel management degreesReady to take your career to new levels? Our MBA in hotel management combines world-leading training, with expert mentorship and exclusive internships.


Hotel and restaurant management is full of opportunities and a dynamic industry where you can find the ideal management role for you, beyond just being a hotel manager.

This could range from food and beverage manager to marketing manager or even general manager of a luxury establishment.

If you’re looking for a career in hospitality management, thorough training gained during a hospitality degree is vital to ensure that you have the skills and experience you need to succeed.

Get in touch to start your hospitality career with Les Roches today.

Photo Credits
Main Image: wera Rodsawang/Moment via Getty Images