The Hospitality Lifestyle, What is it?
People that live outside of this industry and those that don’t understand it; outsiders think it is about not having weekends off, working holidays and pretty much every day of the year. For some it is inconvenient, for many however it is a lifestyle, the hospitality lifestyle. Members of the restaurant industry and hospitality/retail industry as a whole tend to enjoy the 24/7/365 nature of this business, it allows them to enjoy life while the masses are at work.
Have you ever gone food shopping on a Tuesday morning at 10am? The place is like a ghost town, with the exception of housewives, stay at home mom’s, college kids, seniors and others in the hospitality lifestyle. It is liberating to not be rushing around a crowded grocery store or going to a movie with the rest of the herd, the herd of “Weekend Warriors” those dedicated to the Monday-Friday, 9-5 lifestyle in all of its limiting glory. Humans tend to want to be part of a large group and this is the premier group! Anyone living outside of this group is thought to have some sort of problem.
Much of the time, the hospitality lifestyle is not the problem. Many of us love having off two days during the week and working nights as well.
Why The Hospitality Lifestyle?
Working nights means we can play during the day! Ever go hiking, skiing, to the beach or the gym at 2pm on a Wednesday? Like the food shopping story above, it is amazing! There are almost no people on the trails, beach or the gym…they are all working! If they are not working, they are generally on vacation. Yes, some of them have time freedom, others work at home (for a company or themselves, yet some are unemployed and the rest…it is hard to say. We want to focus on the hospitality lifestyle and the opportunity it gives one to enjoy the daytime hours and get things done toward getting out of the this industry or whatever the heart desires (besides sleep).
If sleep is your thing…why do it on those cherished weekends and instead do it any day you wish. Many members of the hospitality lifestyle catch a lot of zzz’s while the rest of the world works, that way they are charged up and ready to go when their non hospitality friends get done with work.
What If I do Not Like to Sleep All Day? What do I do in the Hospitality Lifestyle?
Even better for you! Keep your days busy and end them with work as opposed to starting, being a night owl gets old. Now if you are into the whole night owl lifestyle, considering moving to Las Vegas. This city will exploit your desire to go on a bender for 3 days, thank the person that invented getting cut from a shift. Need to take a week off? Great! Hope you like spending money and not getting paid! It is a balance in this business, a balance of days off and work days. Be sure to choose them wisely.
Be cautious with the idea of enjoying too much sleep, it gives us all a black eye! There is more to life than sleeping and working. Do not be a banker that is either sleeping or working. Live a little and enjoy daylight hours. Vitamin D from the sun is good for you vampire! Remember also, that many people frown upon a life that only consists of working a 5 hour day and then partying for the next 10 hours. That black eye again…
How Can the Hospitality Lifestyle Be Good?
Enjoying those days! What is better than being the only person out on the mountain during ski/snowboard season? Ever be at the local lake on a Tuesday or not have to fret about making that 1pm Baseball game? The hospitality lifestyle is about flexibility, especially as an hourly employee.
Being an Hourly Employee in The Hospitality Lifestyle
Hourly employees enjoy the most flexibility out of any employee in this business. Due to the advent of scheduling systems such as Hotschedules or whattimedoiwork.com, giving away or trading shifts is as easy as hitting a few buttons. The possibility of taking a “cut” is available as well. Not having to worry about that scheduled shift or even few days is quite nice. When someone has that big night or a last minute event pops up, it is easy to call in and get off. This is not calling in sick, but saying you will take off if not needed!
Yes, it is common in many restaurants to over staff and have the opportunity to send people home when needed. Labor is one of the few items that can be controlled in a restaurant. Having too much of it can prove to be the difference between a profit or loss! Many people in this business have no problem taking a day off here and there. Working 5 days a week is tough when one works on tips and can go out and follow a $400 night with a $80 night. That is frustrating, stressful and exhausting. It sounds crazy, but be empathetic for a minute and think of the commissioned salesperson; making their biggest commission on the first call of the day. Alternately they might spend 10 hours making calls and not get a single sale!
The same principle applies to tipped employees as do salespeople! Not every shift is the same as not everyday is the same in sales! Ironically both are sales jobs! Both have an art and hustle to it, hence why so many leave the business to the sales world! Leaving the hospitality lifestyle is something of a beast in its own that will need to be explored down the road.
How hard is it to leave the Hospitality Lifestyle?
Very hard! Try being a manager first or working every day you are scheduled! Giving up that freedom can be difficult and pose it new set of challenges. Do a test run before going down that road. Get a part-time job that has more “normal” hours and see how it works out. Leaving the hospitality lifestyle is tough, ask any restaurant manager!
Join our Facebook group to ask other what it is like to leave the business or grow within it.Spread the word with the whole staff!