Five Books Everyone in the Hospitality Industry Should Digest

Books are one of the best ways we gain knowledge. Still, over one-quarter of adults in America won’t read a book this year. There are several reasons: too tired, not enough time, not interested, or they simply don’t want to. However, reading books can give you a leg up on your peers. It helps you be more open-minded, creative, improves critical thinking skills, and increases concentration.

For those of us that work in the hospitality industry, finding time to read is often the most difficult part about it. Working erratic schedules and long hours certainly isn’t conducive to finding time to sit in a comfy chair and digest a good book. But, the benefits are endless for those who can find 30 minutes of their day to read. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of five books everyone in the industry should read. Hopefully, you’ll learn a few things from them.

  1. The Simple Truths of Service by Ken Blanchard & Barbara Glanz

This book is perfect for those who don’t have a lot of time to read. It’s a book that you can finish in 30 minutes, but has a message that can change the way you think about the hospitality industry. Blanchard and Glanz note that it’s very easy to get lost in the trivialities of how to do your job without considering why. The duo offer some simple advice that can apply to everyone in the industry, from rookies to seasoned veterans.

  1. What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith

In this book, Goldsmith asks a simple question: what do you think is keeping you from getting the promotion or job that you think you deserve? Chances are your answer to this question ranges from blaming the hiring manager to questioning the minutia of your resume. But, Goldsmith contends that these factors don’t matter. You can have a perfect resume and nail your interview and still not get hired. Why? Because of your behavior, Goldsmith contends. This book offers some perspective on the behavioral side of business that most people overlook. Change your behavior, and you’re on your way to changing your world.

  1. Radical Candor by Kim Scott

This book brings its readers into the mindset of a leader and shows them how to motivate a team without becoming a tyrant. To Scott, radical candor just means you care personally about your team and challenge them directly to succeed. Once a leader learns how to challenge each of their team members individually, their team reaches new heights. NBC News says this way of thinking has become Silicon Valley’s go-to for growing companies.

  1. Setting the Table by Danny Meyer

It’s very easy to forget why you work in the hospitality industry. But, you need to remember that you chose to, and that choice says a lot about your personality. You love to interact with people and help them make decisions that benefit them. If you’ve forgotten some of these simple truths, pick up a copy of Meyer’s book and read it cover to cover. The principles in this book have helped Meyer build his restaurant, Shake Shack, from a small-time operation to a nationally franchised chain.

  1. It’s My Pleasure by Dee Ann Turner

Kirkus Reviews says this book is a blueprint for managers that want to develop a workplace culture that’s conducive to both success and moral development. This kind of workplace can keep both customers and employees satisfied, leading to higher profits and less turnover. All of these are important for restaurants because they help attract and retain top-tier talent. If your business is struggling with retention, make sure you pick up a copy of this book.


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