One of the biggest misconceptions of the restaurant and hospitality industry is that the pay is low across the board. However, there are several high-paying industry jobs that are worth looking into, especially if you’re working toward a long-term career in the business, rather than a short-term layover in between jobs. Just to give you an idea, here are the highest paid jobs in the world of restaurants and hospitality.
The Regional Chef
Median salary: $125,000 per year
Just as the title suggests, Regional Chefs oversee the kitchens of a number of hotels and resort properties in one region. You’ll mostly find Regional Chefs in the hospitality industry (resorts, hotels and large chains) rather than the restaurant industry proper, but the job itself is similar to any other culinary management position.
Regional Chefs are responsible for all operational aspects, from product to staff. Specific responsibilities include menu planning, food purchasing/budgeting, inventory management, and training chefs in each location. In order to qualify for being a Regional Chef, you’ll need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and at least 10 years of experience as a chef.
The Restaurant Manager
Median salary: $49,912 per year + overtime + bonuses
From fine dining to fast casual, when it comes to restaurant jobs, managers are at the top of the line, not only in terms of responsibility but also salary. Combining strategic planning and day-to-day management activities, the role is both business-like and creative, particularly in terms of marketing and business development.
Restaurant managers must coordinate a variety of activities, whatever the size or type of the outlet; and are responsible for the business performance, quality standards and health and safety of the restaurant. There is no single route into restaurant management; a degree is not necessarily required as it is possible to work your way up through the ranks. What’s really important is that you are qualified and have a combination of experience, interpersonal skills and are willing to work the often long and odd hours required.
The Casino Shift Manager
Median salary: $68,000 per year
Casinos are a huge player in the hospitality industry, and, as more and more cities legalize gambling, they only promise to continue to grow. What does this mean for you? Lots and lots of exciting opportunities, one of which being the casino Shift Manager.
Falling under the broader career category of Gaming Supervisor, responsibilities include overseeing operations on the gaming floor, managing workers in assigned gaming areas, and addressing customer service issues. Shift Managers can either be hired outright if they demonstrate that they have at least five years of experience in a casino setting, or they can work their way through the echelons of backend management.
The Housekeeping Director
Median salary: $77,000 per year
When it comes to lucrative careers, most people wouldn’t think of housekeeping. Wrong! One of the best-paying jobs in hotels belongs to the Housekeeping Director! You’ll mostly find Housekeeping Directors as employees of a hotel chain or in a resort-style setting, but they may also work for an independent company and contracted out to businesses, rather than as an immediate employee of the hotel or resort.
In addition to having top-notch communication skills and a strong understanding of finance, they need to travel to the different hotels and/or resorts to make sure that cleanliness is being held up to the highest of standards. While this position doesn’t require any formal schooling per se, it does require a strong background in housekeeping and management, especially at the hospitality level.
What are some tips & tricks for getting these high-paying jobs?
Not everyone in the restaurant and hospitality industry qualifies for these high-paying jobs, of course. So, how do you get a chance to get a crack at these jobs?
First, and foremost, get some experience under your belt. If you truly want to be in the restaurant and hospitality industries for the long haul, you need to pay your dues. Second, make sure that you remain as professional and cordial as possible in each and every job, so that you can be assured of getting a good letter of recommendation each time you leave.
Finally, but certainly no less importantly, make sure that you foster as many industry connections as possible and stay up-to-date on professional opportunities.
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