Organizational Culture in the Hospitality Industry
Any tourist-driven town has a strong presence in the hospitality industry. These towns have many hotels, bars and restaurants, and they're usually busy during the tourist season. Hospitality industry workers include hotel employees, cooks and waiters, bar staff, tour guides and taxi and limo drivers. These employees work on the front line of the tourist business and can make a customer want to visit again or avoid the town next time. In some cities, the hospitality industry can employ more workers than any other business. While all businesses develop a culture at work, the hospitality industry's stands out more than most.
The hospitality industry has a high turnover rate, with some workers hired seasonally and others considering a hospitality position just a job to do until something better comes along. Even if employees plan to stick around, there's always another restaurant or hotel that carries a better clientele and more tips. Absenteeism is one challenge, because the worker may prefer to stick with high-money days and take off when it's slow. The work pace gets hectic during the often-predictable peak periods.
Food and beverage workers, some casino employees and taxi drivers don't work for an hourly pay rate, and those who do may find it well below the standard federal minimum wage. Tips make up the bulk of their income, so it's possible to still make good money in the hospitality industry. In fact, employees paid primarily by tips may make more money than their supervisors. However, tipped employees will look to the paying customer's needs first while putting less emphasis on supervisors' orders. For a manager, it may be impossible to get tipped employees to do side work such as cleaning up because they may believe their base wage doesn't adequately pay for that.
Because of these employee dynamics, a hard-nosed boss has trouble keeping workers. A good supervisor leads his troops and sets the tone for excellent customer service. Workers respect a manager who knows the industry from the bottom up, did his time as a line employee and speaks the language of industry employees.
In a tourist town, finding potential workers isn't a problem and comptetion is sharp. Companies look for employees who are personable, clean-cut and show a track record in customer service. The industry attracts its share off mavericks and workers addicted to drama and covets employees who get along well with people, whether customers or co-workers.
Hospitality industry workers tend to stick together, even sharing a camaraderie with employees of a rival company. Food and beverage workers, hotel crew members and casino employees have their own language and culture that outsiders have trouble understanding.