I have been working in restaurants,
bars, and hotels for 13 years. I am also
completing my MBA in general management.
I know the best way to upper
management is through time and
experience, however, with my degree,
how can I leverage my experience and
schooling in the business of F&B?
THE STAFFING DOCTOR ANSWERS...
Education, experience, and desire
are not enough to achieve “upper
management.” You have to leverage
all of your experiences into a solid,
results-filled record over a period of
years. Also, any international experience
is becoming a trump card for
First, develop a clear picture of
your dream job and track backwards.
Talk to anyone, anywhere in that job
and get their download. Ask them
questions about what it takes to get
there, who might help you on your
quest, and whether they’ll make an
introduction. Find any association or
group of like-minded people and join
the conversation. Study the specifics,
master the skills, and move in
the circles of who you wish to be.
You will always have a better shot at
any job if you have previously established
relationships, with or without
the appropriate experience, education,
Second, get your values in order.
We all know life is a series of
tradeoffs. When facing an important
decision, many advice-dispensers suggest
taking a sheet of paper, drawing
a line down the middle, and writing
at the top of each side pros and cons.
Do not use this approach without
assigning weighted values to the details.
What’s most important to you?
For each individual,
all the ingredients
that go into the process
do not carry the
same cost or weight.
Values lead the
leader; spend some
time ruminating on
your values before
you step into the big
leagues of management
and decisions affect
more than yourself.
Third, have you
ever heard of compound
interest? I suggest that there
exists such a thing as compound
work experience. Compound work
experience provides that as you
learn, you automatically increase
your chances for advancement. Compound
work experience is acquired
by (1) working for the best organizations,
(2) working for a successful
leader-mentor, (3) working where
the opportunities for advancement
are plentiful, and (4) working where
the varieties of experience are bountiful.
This is a workplace where you
are allowed to challenge yourself
and to grow, a place where accepting
more responsibility will eventually
translate into more money
for you, a place that acknowledges/
nurtures your involvement/participation
a place that
holds you accountable
ultimately, a place
that provides a
wealth of value
to you through
means that are not
In order to find
that allows for compound work experience,
you must search, assess, and
evaluate the trade-offs. This, by the
way, is vastly different than conveniently
going to the nearest F&B factory
and applying for any ol’ job. Take
a shot at the job that gets you in the
door of the right place with the right
people. Look for those savvy business
carnivores who crave to maximize
Chase LeBlanc is the founder and CEO of Leadagers,
LLC, and is a hospitality management performance
coach with more than 25 years of experience. He is
also the author of High Impact
Hospitality: Upgrade Your Purpose,
Performance and Profits!