Pros & Cons: Working at Big Hotels vs. Small Hotels
Sometimes larger is better—like winning a larger lottery jackpot or getting the largest slice of grandma’s pumpkin pie. Other times, smaller is where it’s at—like a smaller bill from the dentist or being part of a smaller pool of candidates up for promotion. In the hospitality industry you’ll find large corporate chains as well as small boutique establishments, and where you choose to spend your hospitality career brings its own assortment of pros and cons.
Large Hotel Pros
Because large hotels are exactly that—larger—they have more rooms, more visitors, and require more staff. This means you’re likely to find more hospitality job opportunities at a large hotel, which is a definite check in the “pro” column... right there next to the (usually) generous compensation and benefits package.
In addition to greater demand and higher compensation, large hotels tend to offer their employees a set schedule. If you desire stability and the ability to plan the rest of your life around your work hours without fear of last-minute changes, this is a plus. You’ll also find greater potential for continuing education in the form of off-site training and significant advancement opportunities. If you dream of relocating, building a career within a large chain may make that possible.
Small Hotel Pros
Small hotels also have many “pros” to consider. If you value a personal management touch and really want to get to know the person or company you work for, you cannot go wrong with a small hotel. Additionally, if you’re new to the industry, you may find that a boutique establishment is open to hiring inexperienced staff and providing on-the-job training.
If you are bored easily and thrive on variety, a small hotel may also offer you the chance to wear more than one hat, performing more than one role. You’ll also find greater schedule flexibility and more opportunities to implement changes and improvements without the need to navigate an extensive corporate hierarchy.
Large Hotel Cons
Of course, larger isn’t always better. If you need to be recognized and treated as an individual, you may find working as one of a vast number of employees feels very impersonal. Because they tend to favor experienced job candidates, those new to the industry may find fewer opportunities at large hotels. Additionally, you may experience less flexibility should you need to take unexpected time off or otherwise modify your schedule without significant notice.
Small Hotel Cons
If you’re looking for the highest paying hotel job, you might not find it at a small hotel. Compensation and benefits packages will be in scale with the establishment’s revenues. Fewer rooms can equate to fewer visitors and lower revenues. While a small hotel may be perfect for someone still “learning the ropes” of the industry, those who want to advance very far may need to change employers down the line.
Ultimately, you should base your employment decision on careful consideration of your needs. Some workers will thrive at larger establishments and languish at smaller ones—and vice versa. Regardless of where you find the next rung on your career ladder, opportunities should be plentiful.