What Does it Take to Start a Business in the Hospitality Industry?


Did you know that there are currently more than 90,000 motels and hotels in the United States? There are then more than 660,000 restaurants across the country as well.

What Does it Take to Start a Business in the Hospitality Industry?

There is no denying that this is an industry that is thriving at the moment and there are plenty of opportunities for anyone who wants to start a hospitality business in the United States. This is especially the case when you consider that we have faced lockdown and quarantine restrictions for the past couple of years and now everyone is eager to start taking trips and living their lives again.


The hospitality industry is attractive for a number of different reasons. Not only is the hospitality industry growing but it is an industry that is always going to be in high demand. Plus, there is always room for new and exciting concepts and ideas. Innovation provides small businesses with the pathway to stand out from the competition.


However, this is not to say that starting a hospitality business is easy. There are lots of different factors to take into consideration. With that being said, below, we are going to discuss all of the different things you need to start a business in this sector.

A gap and need in the market

If you want to start a business in the hospitality sector, you need a thorough understanding of the industry around the world and in your specific location. We recommend some time being spent on finding reliable and enjoyable sources of hotel news, and you need to make sure that you remain dedicated to staying informed.


As mentioned in the introduction, there are a lot of different businesses in the hospitality sector at the moment. This means that competition is fierce and you need to make sure there is a need for your hospitality business.


There are lots of different ways that you can go about this. You can spend some time researching online to understand the market in the location you are considering. Make sure that there are going to be enough customers for your hotel. You should look at the different rates in terms of hotel vacancies and demand.


You should also spend some time reading review websites and forums to get a general feel about what people think about tourism in the area and what the hotel industry is missing.


It is not only about establishing the need for a hotel or similar type of business in the area but establishing the need for a certain type of hotel. For example, the location you are considering may not have a lot of budget options and so by entering the market with a budget hotel you may find that you can tap into a part of the marketplace that has not yet been explored and where there is a clear level of demand.


With so many different hotels in the United States, it is important to make sure that you do not simply reinvent the wheel but that you actually offer something that people are looking for and that fulfills a gap in the marketplace.

The right pricing strategy

One of the biggest mistakes new business owners make is getting their prices wrong. This can see your business quickly close its doors because you end up running at a loss.


In the hospitality world, an accurate food cost calculation is a must. This is a critical metric that shows how much of your overall sales are being spent on food supplies and ingredients. If you keep tabs on your food expenses, you will be able to optimize profits by setting the right menu prices.


One of the biggest misconceptions about food cost percentage is that every hotel or restaurant should be looking to achieve the perfect number. The reality is that a healthy percentage is very much dictated by the products you sell, the market you serve, and food cost control.


For example, a percentage of 28 percent may be more acceptable for a restaurant that serves pasta as the main dish on the menu, whereas a steakhouse can run at a bigger percentage, such as 35 percent, as the ingredients cost a lot more.

A good team

In addition to the points that we have mentioned so far, you will need to have a good team in place at your hotel. By hiring experienced and friendly employees at all levels, you will put the foundations in place to deliver great value to your guests.


After all, you can have the most beautiful hotel in the world, but if your staff are rude and unhelpful, your reputation is going to suffer and this can be something that is incredibly difficult to come back from.


A lot of new hotels will look to hire departmental and executive positions first, which sets the direction and tone for the rest of your hiring decisions. These leaders are able to determine what they would like to see from their own teams and how many members of staff they need.


Every team should determine the skills and roles they are looking for and they should put together a plan so that they can reach and secure excellent new hires.


One of the big issues when it comes to hiring in the hospitality industry at the moment is that the application process can be full of friction. You need to make sure it is easy for people to submit their applications and that the interview process is easy and effective.


Look at different ways to communicate the core values and mission of your business throughout the hiring process so that you can attract the right sort of candidates for your brand.


Once you have hired an amazing team, make sure you spend some time on onboarding and training so that they have the best chance of success. Your employees who are going to be interacting with your guests should get extra training on guest relations and customer service so they are able to lend a helping hand whenever it is required.


You also need to think about job satisfaction. One of the main reasons why so many people leave their jobs today is because they feel like there is no opportunity for progression and that their work is not valued. Remember that when your staff are happy, this is going to reflect in terms of the atmosphere in your hotel and the way they deal with customers, so this is incredibly important.

A successful marketing plan

An effective marketing plan is also incredibly important to make sure that your start-up hospitality business is successful. You may want to consider using a professional service if this is an area you do not have a lot of experience in. Sharing your concept with the world is something you need to consider carefully well in advance of opening your hotel doors.


You need to effectively spread the word about your hotel and make sure that your business launch is as profitable as possible.


Your marketing plan is a critical part of the overall strategy for your business and it will guide decisions in terms of customer service, communications, day-to-day operations, decor, and much more.


When you are putting together a marketing plan, you really need to think about your target audience and the sort of people you are looking to attract to your hotel.


You will be able to conduct more extensive research about your target audience in terms of where you will find them online, the sort of things they value, and how to communicate with them effectively.


The best marketing plans are those that are multi-layered and involve different approaches that are integrated and work together. You need to consider everything from search engine optimization to social media marketing. Influencer marketing is also thriving at the moment and can be incredibly beneficial in the hospitality space.


However, you still need to make sure that there is great cohesion and that your brand is consistent across all platforms because it is easy for things to get messy and for people to be confused if you do not have a solid strategy in place.

Final words on starting a business in the hospitality sector

As you can see, there are a number of different factors that you will need to take into consideration if you want to start a successful business in the hospitality sector. While this is an industry that is definitely growing at the moment, it is also one that is fraught with competition.


Therefore, you need to make sure that you have a solid business plan, and do everything in your power to stand out from the crowd. If you use this guide as a checklist, you can make sure you have everything that is required to establish a successful business in this space.