Working Odd Hours in Hospitality

Working Odd Hours in Hospitality

Working In the Hospitality Industry


By John Rossheim
Monster Senior Contributing Writer


For most people, holidays mean a time for celebrating with family, eating too much or just taking an extra day off from work. But for hospitality staff, holidays are all too often just like any other day of the year -- workdays.

After all, somebody has to dole out the chips from casino cages on Christmas, perform the night audit in the wee hours of New Year's morning or manage the 24-hour parking facilities of a mammoth hotel -- Thanksgiving, Canada Day, Victoria Day or not. And if you choose a career in hospitality, chances are that sooner or later -- and probably sooner -- that somebody will be you.

Working Odd Hours in Hospitality

Even jobs with relatively conventional hours come with caveats. A recent posting for a front desk manager at a resort hotel described the job's hours as 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, but it also required the "ability to perform night audit duties if needed." If you're considering a career working in a restaurant, hotel or casino, you'd best assume you'll be working some tough shifts.

Easing the Pain of Tough Work Schedule

The holidays are a very difficult situation, especially Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve. Employers understand that for most employees, working holidays isn't easy. It's hard on the family and hard on the spouse especially. That’s why time-and-a-half exists.

Most hotels and resorts try to come up with a system that's fair and accommodates workers' wishes the best way possible. Many do a rotation and ask people what their priorities are. Some have a policy that employees who work a holiday get another day off the same week.

Swapping Shifts During the Holidays

Hospitality workers may also benefit from the increasing globalization of their industry. For example, one recent opening for an executive casino host -- the folks who pamper the high rollers -- lists as a minimum qualification the ability to speak Cantonese, Mandarin or Spanish. Workers fluent in languages other than English and French or those that hail from other countries may be interested in holidays apart from the ones that the bulk of Canadians hold most dear. This may create opportunities for scheduling swaps that benefit all parties.

But ultimately, the need for hospitality staff to work weekends, nights and holidays will create friction that can't be eliminated completely.

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