To work where others go on vacation – that sounds like a wonderful dream to some. As a trained hotel manager, however, this is typical everyday work. They can be found in cafés and restaurants as well as in-country inns, hotels, or health clinics and are the most important interfaces here, so that business runs smoothly. Your tasks range from calculations and finances to personnel planning to the management of purchases, bookkeeping, and public relations. They act as all-rounders in their company, which is why there are one or two prerequisites for learning this profession. Anyone who likes to be on the move, values contact with people, always prefers to have action, and wants to get to know beautiful places, is at the right place.
Training as a hotel clerk
This job is a recognized training occupation, so that interested parties must complete a 3-year training as a hotel manager in advance. This usually takes place both in the training company and in the vocational school to get to know the basics in a practical environment and to get an overview of the theoretical basics. The occupation belongs to the categories of “nutrition and housekeeping”. However, the main focus is usually on the hospitality industry and housekeeping. There are no specific requirements for training. However, the companies are happy to accept trainees with a university entrance qualification.
Important requirements for the job
Anyone interested in a career as a hotel clerk should not only be communicative but also bring other skills with them to cope with everyday life. Most companies, for example, work with professional software for inventory management. This provides an overview and processing of customer orders, warehouse management, and, of course, smooth operations. Commercial thinking, negotiating skills, and a good grade in mathematics and economics are an advantage here. The same applies to the creation of price lists and delivery notes, whereby practical samples are often available. In this context, technical knowledge in dealing with computers and programs is also very important.
Whether in a hotel, restaurant, or travel agency – the job always involves a lot of planning, preparation, and a good overview.
Further requirements that a hotel clerk must meet are:
- Customer friendliness and service orientation are very important prerequisites to be able to advise guests at any time and to be available to them as a constant contact person. A good grade in German is very helpful in this regard.
- A high degree of flexibility should also be one of the strengths to be able to react quickly to problems in everyday life. These are situations when an employee is sick or an unforeseen event threatens to paralyze daily operations.
- Planning skills are one of the most important requirements, as many organizational tasks, from structuring an event to a warehouse and purchasing management to the allocation of staff, are on the daily to-do list.
- Competence and openness are two characteristics that everyone in the hotel or hospitality industry should bring with them to represent the company successfully.
- Knowledge of foreign languages is very important, as it is not only German-speaking guests who visit restaurants and hotels. English is a must, other foreign languages are desirable. But it also depends on the region in which the work is being carried out.
Places of work and tasks of this professional group
The locations are varied because in principle it is possible to practice this profession wherever the hotel and hospitality industry can be found. From hotels, inns, and guesthouses to restaurants, cafés, and health clinics to cruise ships – the industry offers a wide range of opportunities to develop. The main place of work is primarily the office, as, as already mentioned, there is a lot of organizational work to be done. Also, hotel clerks get to know the entire company during their training. They work in every area and know what to look out for in the kitchen, in the dining room, at the reception, or in the storage rooms. That is why they can be used flexibly anywhere even after the training. This is a great benefit when employees are sick or an emergency arises. The general motto in the industry is Everything for the guest! The customer is king, which is why the wishes and needs of the guests are always the focus.
During their training, hotel clerks get to know all areas of the workplace, which is why they can always step in if help is needed in the service, preparing the dining room, or in the kitchen.
The tasks of a hotel clerk include:
- Calculations, administration, organization,
- Planning, purchasing, personnel,
- Public relations, advertising material, trade fairs,
- Accounting, finance, pricing,
- flexible use in all areas of the company.
It is important to know that there is a difference between hotel management and hotel management. While a hotel specialist is basically responsible for the essential processes in the company – i.e., service, kitchen, and cleaning – as a specialist and contact person, the focus of the hotel clerk is in the commercial area.
Training opportunities for hotel clerks and hotel clerks
According to the figures from the DEHOGA federal association, there were around 1,123 apprentices in the hotel clerk sector in 2018. Those who choose to do this have several options for further training in the further course of their career.
- Further training to become a hotel manager: Both the area of responsibility and the competencies are expanded since specialist and management positions are acquired here.
- Further training to become a specialist in the hospitality industry: In this position, the focus is on a commercial nature. Further training is aimed specifically at middle management.
- Academic advanced training at a vocational academy to become a business economist: With this advanced training option, interested parties can also set the course for their professional career on the commercial path. Besides, there is another specification in this direction, namely further training to become a state-certified business economist.
- Hotel management: A further education in the tourism sector is a hotel, tourism, or event management. Hotel managers occupy leading positions in the company, guide the staff, and can build a career in national and international countries.
- Tourism/travel: Anyone who recognizes early on that their interests go beyond the hotel business can, after completing their training, also switch to tourism with a focus on travel.