A comparison of student expectations and alumni experience concerning hospitality careers
As America's hospitality industry proceeds into the 21*' century, most industry professionals are projecting an optimistic future for the lodging and restaurant industry. Revenues from the lodging industry are expected to exceed $100 billion in 1999 and continue to climb nearly 6.2 percent in both the year 2000 and the year 2001 (PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P., 1999). The National Restaurant Association (1999) forecasts that restaurant-industry sales will increase 4.6 percent in 1999 to hit a record $354.0 billion. Realization of these projections is dependent upon hiring an increasing number of quality hospitality front-line employees and managerial professionals. The National Restaurant Association (1999) pointed out that the continued growth of the restaurant industry would challenge restaurateurs' recruitment and retention efforts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts that many job openings will be created for new lodging and restaurant managers as a result of the industry's high turnover rate (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1998). In addition, an exceptionally low national unemployment rate of 4.5% in 1998 is exacerbating the problem of finding qualified people. This shrinking labor pool is forcing hospitality employers to vie with other industries for qualified workers (National Restaurant Association, 1999).