Working in hospitality teaches you an abundance of skills that last you a lifetime: negotiation, the art of service, flexibility, organization, and countless others. The worldwide quarantine may force us to stay at home, but it won’t stop us from enhancing our current skills or learning new ones. This is why we’ve made a list of our favorite books that have taught us invaluable hospitality advice, inspired us to go the extra mile at work, and motivated us to improve our abilities. Here are 7 books that’ll make you a better hospitality professional:
1) 100 Tips for Hoteliers – Peter J. Venison
Let’s begin with the basics: this book has become, since its release in 2005, a bible of sorts. Many hospitality schools recommend their students to read this book alongside their studies. It contains tips for every step of the management process of a hotel, from the reception to the restaurants, rooms, customer service, staff management, it has it all. No matter whether you're working as a chef, hotel manager, receptionist, housekeeper, waiter or any other hospitality role, you'll learn something new by reading this classic industry book.
2) Without Reservations: How a Family Root Beer Stand Grew into a Global Hotel Company – Bill Marriott
Today, Marriott is one of the biggest companies in the world. Yet, it began as a humble family business. Over the decades, it has persevered through tough times to achieve incredible success thanks to constant effort, innovation, and growth. In this fascinating book, Bill Marriott Jr. shares the wisdom he and his father acquired along the road through a journey spanning eight decades. This must-read is full of tips and insights into the hospitality industry and makes you feel ultra-inspired and motivated to be part of our beloved sector.
3) The Art of War – Sun Tzu
This ancient Chinese novel contains precious knowledge and wisdom that inspired generations of Eastern generals and continues to serve as a focal point for Western strategists even today. The advice in this book can be applied to everyday life, work situations, politics, and marketing. Working in hospitality means that you need to learn when to “pick your battles” as you’ll have different conflicts to overcome, and this is what makes The Art of War so useful.
4) The Prince – Niccolò Machiavelli
This book is considered to be the “foundation of modern political philosophy.” Inspired by Machiavelli’s contemporaries, The Prince paves the way for people willing to learn how to obtain and retain power. As such, its advice can be applied in any organization where there is power and a chain of command. As a hospitality professional, it’s critical if you want to understand and master power relations between people.
5) A Technique for Producing Ideas – James Webb Young
Published in 1965, this small 40-page essay has helped thousands of people trying to become more creative. James Webb Young was an advertising professional who presented classes in Chicago and was one of the first to put his creative process into words. His teachings and methods can be applied anywhere in our industry, whether you need to come up with bright ideas to make your customers smile or to outsmart the competition and stay on top.
6) Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life – Hector Garcia & Francesc Miralles
In Japanese, Ikigai means “a reason to live”, and they think that everybody has one. This book doesn’t simply explain what an Ikigai is, it tells you why you should search for it, and how to find it. Just as The Art of War, this ancient wisdom is timeless, perhaps now more than ever when we struggle to find meaning. If you feel like you’re struggling in your career, or simply want to see your work in a new light, give this book a try.
7) The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change – Stephen R. Covey
“Be proactive, begin with the end in mind, seek first to understand and then to be understood.” It may seem easier said than done, but this book teaches you, step-by-step, how to solve work and life problems with seven methods inspired by the habits of extremely successful people. In hospitality, we always strive to progress and be better, and this book is a fantastic way to improve our work and life habits.
So, there you have Hosco’s pick of seven books that’ll make you a better hospitality professional. You might not read them all, but even after reading a few, you’ll feel more prepared to deliver better hospitality experiences, develop new ideas, and excel overall at work. You can read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, The Art of War, and The Prince via the National Emergency Library for free. This initiative is primarily for students to help them study remotely but it’s open to anyone willing to learn something new during the quarantine.