By Christine Flanagan, Marketing Manager, and Facilities Coordinator
If you are curious about a hospitality career, you may wonder, “What is the best entry-level hotel career?” Most seasoned hoteliers will say that a front desk job is the best way to get your foot in the door. However, several other positions would be great entry-level hotel careers.
Why is the front desk a promising starting career?
Let’s start by discussing why front desk jobs are the best way to start working in hospitality. The front desk is essentially the “Grand Central Station” of the hotel. When you start at the front desk, you get the chance to see how each department works together to run the hotel. Working a front desk job means never having a dull moment. From answering phones to making reservations to checking in guests and answering questions, this role is perfect for someone who knows how to multitask.
Front Desk Associates not only learn about how the departments work together, but they also must learn all of the hotel amenities and offerings. Being at the front desk puts you front and center with our guests and clients. Front desk associates are the first smile our guests see at arrival and the “go-to” employees for all questions and needs during their stay.
What if I want to get into hotel sales?
If you aspire to become a hotel sales manager or a Director of Sales, you can take a couple of paths. Starting at the front desk is still the best entry-level position for getting into sales.
As a front desk representative, you are not only selling rooms, but you also help uncover potential sales leads. The front desk team also serves as the eyes and ears of the hotel. When guests are new to the hotel or are traveling on business, it can often lead to a long-term relationship with the hotel. If a front desk associate finds these leads and passes them to sales, it could lead to new revenue opportunities for the hotel.
This crucial selling experience can lead to opportunities as a sales administrator or sales coordinator. These are both considered entry-level sales positions, but most of the time, coming into any hotel sales job with a working knowledge of how a hotel works is beneficial.
What other jobs are good entry-level positions?
If you have a heart for service but being guest-facing isn’t quite your thing, there are other entry-level positions for hotel careers. Starting a job as a room attendant is a great way to learn all the basics of a housekeeping hotel job.
In an entry-level housekeeping role, you not only learn how to clean a room properly, but you will also learn skills in time management and attention to detail. Often, a housekeeping team member discovers items in the guest rooms that need fixing and can alert the facilities team.
If you start a job as a room attendant, you can work your way to room inspector, housekeeping supervisor, and Executive Housekeeper. There certainly are other paths to take as well, like becoming a member of the GCPM team. GCPM stands for General Clean/Preventative Maintenance. Some hotels have dedicated GCPM associates who conduct basic repairs and routine maintenance like tightening loose toilet seats, changing lightbulbs, and painting touch-ups. This position is a hybrid role for housekeeping and maintenance. Starting in a GCPM role is also a good path for someone who aspires to be a facilities team member one day.
There are also entry-level positions for hotels with a food and beverage department, like our Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront Hotel. Hotels with catering and food service need restaurant servers, banquet servers, and banquet set-up team members. Each position is an excellent way to get started in hospitality if you are interested in hotel food service.
Team members who start in food and beverage can grow into roles like Banquet Manager, Food and Beverage Director, Restaurant Manager, or even go into sales positions like Catering Manager. Understanding how hotel food service operates is vital when pursuing one of these management-level hotel careers.
Benefits of Starting a Hotel Career
There are so many benefits to working in hospitality. Since a hotel is a 24-hour operation, there is a great need for both full-time and part-time jobs. This also means that there is the opportunity for flexible hours and scheduling. To learn more about these benefits, check out our blog about the benefits of working in hospitality.
Overall, a front desk job is a great way to start a career in hospitality because of all the experience you get in the industry and working with other departments. However, the front desk is one of many paths to a long-term hospitality career. Check out our job postings to get started on your hospitality journey with Landmark!