Why Hospitality Jobs Rock (and Why Ottawa County is the Best Place to Find Them!)

It’s hard to believe, but summer is just around the corner. And for those in Ottawa County, we know what’s coming up shortly: the start of tourism season!

With local attractions like the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, numerous public beaches, the Port Clinton African Safari Wildlife Park, and, of course, all of the restaurants, wineries, and fun activities on Put-in-Bay and the other islands in Lake Erie, it’s not surprising why Ottawa County is a premier destination for tourists in the summer.

But what does this mean for Ottawa County residents?

Easy: tons of hospitality job opportunities!

Are you a student who’s considering looking for a summer job? Or have you ever thought of a career in hospitality before or after graduation? Then this article is for you!

Learn about what it’s like to work in a hospitality career in this article, why these types of rock, and why Ottawa County is the best place to find them in this post!

What Kind of Hospitality Jobs are Available in Ottawa County?

When you hear the word “hospitality,” what’s the first thought that comes to your mind?

For many people, the word “hospitality” is associated with hotels. You might picture a fancy hotel like the Park Hotel in Put-in-Bay: a beautiful white Victorian that has whiffs of the past and of sophistication. Hospitality careers may conjure up the image of a bellhop or a concierge in fancy clothes checking in ritzy guests.

This is definitely part of it. But jobs that fall under the “hospitality” umbrella are actually way more than that!

According to The Balance Careers, the hospitality industry “includes jobs working in hotels, restaurants, casinos, theme parks, cruise lines, and other facilities that help customers meet their leisurely needs.”

Generally, hospitality job types can be grouped into four different categories: hotel management, event planning, food operations, and front-of-the-house.

The Balance Careers Jobs in the Hospitality Industry

Source: The Balance Careers

Besides the job types listed above, you can usually come across other positions like the following:

  • Barista
  • Bartender
  • Caddy
  • Cashier
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Director of Hotel Sales
  • Dishwasher
  • Host/Hostess
  • Hotel Clerk/Receptionist
  • Housekeeper
  • Kitchen Manager
  • Meeting Coordinator
  • Reservations Agent
  • Sales and Marketing Manager
  • Server
  • Shift Manager
  • Valet Attendant
  • Waiter/Waitress

Some of these positions do require degrees or certificates, but many are open to people with little job experience or people who have experience and are willing to be trained.

Regardless of your education level, though, a key part of hospitality careers is on-the-job training. Every kitchen, hotel, restaurant, resort, or other establishment has its own rules and regulations, and many of the things you’ll need to learn to be successful will be taught just by working there.

And if you do well in your job, show initiative, and are willing to take on new tasks and responsibilities, you often will have the opportunity to move up – even to management!


The Benefits of Seasonal Summer Jobs for High School & College Students

As a high school or college student, it might seem like you have many things competing for your time. Summer school, vacations, sports, family obligations, volunteer activities – not to mention just having time to relax and hang out with your friends or significant other. And this is definitely true!

But the summer is also the perfect time to get a seasonal job.

What’s great about the hospitality industry is that plenty of seasonal and short-term jobs are available – especially during tourist season.

Thinking about getting a hospitality job this summer? Or are you on the fence?

Here are four benefits to working a seasonal job over your summer break:

1) You can build up your resume.

Most job seekers will tell you that it’s easier to get a job if you have work experience than if you’ve never worked before. Even if you’re in high school, summer work experience will look great when you’re applying to different jobs in the future. This shows employers that you know what it’s like to work and that you have some of the skills they’re looking for in job candidates.

As a bonus, work experience can also make your college applications stand out if you’re in high school!

2) You can learn new skills that aren’t taught in the classroom.

The moment you enter the workforce for the first time, whether it be caddying at a golf club or working as a server at a local restaurant, you’ll quickly realize that skills you need to be successful aren’t exactly ones you’re taught in school. These are transferable skills that are often learned only by getting out there in the “real world.”

What kind of skills might you learn? To begin with, you’ll learn how to work well with others. In the workplace, you’ll most likely have to work with people who are different than you – different ages, backgrounds, religions, personalities, and more.

You may even have to work with people you don’t like or annoy you, but in order to make it in the workforce, we all need to learn how to work with people who are different than us. Simply by working with people who are different than you, you will be able to navigate future work situations more successfully.

You will also learn how to handle a fast-paced environment. Since summer is hopping for Ottawa County employers, if you’re in a hospitality career, you’ll most likely have to work somewhere where things can be super busy at times – maybe even all of the time. This is an important skill for any workplace, but something you don’t really run into until you have your first job.

You’ll also learn about customer service. You know that phrase: “The customer is always right”? This doesn’t just apply to retail. This phrase actually applies to most industries – even healthcare. To succeed in any job, you will need to know how to help or serve the customers, patrons, or residents you are working with.

It’s extremely important to be able to be nice to people even when they’re being rude or mean to you. Remember: everyone has bad days. (And unfortunately, some people just aren’t very nice, period.) But if you’re in an environment where you have to use customer service, it’ll quickly become easier and easier. You’ll be able to learn from your managers and your coworkers and from your own experience.

3) You can make new friends.

A job = the opportunity to meet new people.  Whether they’re people you’re working with or your customers, you’ll be able to meet people that you may not have met or talked to before who could become friends or even mentors!

4) You can make money.

Of course, we can’t forget perhaps the #1 benefit of working a summer job: you can make money! It goes without saying why this is a huge advantage for students – especially if, like many high school and college students, you have little to no time to work during the school year, which can be pretty hectic.


When – and How – Should You Apply for Summer Jobs in Ottawa County?

The best time to start applying for summer jobs is in March or April. Most employers start looking for seasonal help in the spring – and in fact, if you wait until school is out for the summer, it might be too late to find a summer job (or at least considerably harder). It’s best to begin your job search as early as possible.

Employers advertise open positions in several ways. You could go to a job site in person or call them to learn about what they’re hiring for. Job search websites like OhioMeansJobs, Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn are also great resources to visit to look for jobs in Ottawa County.

Also, many employers list their open positions on their websites, so visiting their sites directly is definitely recommended. And don’t forget social media; it’s becoming increasingly common for local employers to post about open jobs on social media sites like Facebook. Another option is to contact a local employment or staffing agency or attend an upcoming job fair.

Search for jobs Ottawa County Ohio

And last but certainly not least, there’s always word of mouth! Ask your friends, family members, teachers, or people in your network to see if they know anyone who’s hiring. They may even be willing to make a recommendation, or you might find out about a cool job opportunity you never would have known about without asking.

Why Hospitality is a Great Career During & After High School

But hospitality isn’t just a career option for high school and college students who are looking to pick up a job over the summer. It can be a rewarding career both during and after high school – one you could make permanent if you want to.

Curious to know why? Check out these four reasons why hospitality can be a great career choice!

1) Daily interaction with regular customers that you develop relationships with.

These strangers turn into friends who invest in your life and become proud of your accomplishments and life milestones. When you work in hospitality, you’ll experience interactions in general with people from all walks of life. Going above and beyond to make someone’s day and experience will be a priority and be very rewarding! You can go home knowing that you made someone happy or even brought a smile to their face.

2) Every day is different.

Are you someone who likes things to be constantly changing and thrives in a fast-paced environment? Someone who likes challenges?  A job in hospitality gives you just that. No day is the same, and things always change. There can be no better feeling than leading a rush and ensuring all customers receive the optimum quality of service (and, if you’re working for a restaurant, food!).

3) You can be promoted to new jobs at the same company.

Many restaurant owners and hotel managers start the bottom and work their way up. A career in hospitality is perfect if you want the opportunity to move up and be promoted to new roles, whether in training, management, or even another department altogether. It’s not uncommon to see line cooks eventually promoted to chefs or kitchen managers or hotel clerks promoted to assistant and then general hotel managers.

4) There’s always work available.

One of the best things about the hospitality industry is that there are always available jobs out there. Maybe there aren’t as many openings as there are during peak summer months, but most restaurants, for instance, are often recruiting new cashiers, bussers, servers, and/or dishwashers. So, if you’re looking for a career where you won’t have to search for work, hospitality might be a great option for you!


What are the Options for Hospitality Jobs in Ottawa County?

Whether you’re looking for a summer job or something that more long-term, you’re in luck: there are many different places for you to work in hospitality in Ottawa County.

As of 2018, there were 2,568 jobs for accommodation and food services (a.k.a. hospitality) in Ottawa County at a total of 224 different establishments. This includes food markets, restaurants, bars, hotels, inns, museums, zoos, recreation places, and more! Towns like Port Clinton, Marblehead, Oak Harbor, and Put-in-Bay are home to many different restaurants and other facilities where you can find a hospitality job in our region.

Employer Spotlight: Catawba Island Club

Located right on Lake Erie in Port Clinton, Catawba Island Club is a great place to work if you’re interested in exploring a career in food service and culinary arts.

Learn how to prep and serve meals, bartend, or even bake pastries and bread from scratch in one of the many open positions at this continually growing club.

Want to hear what it’s like to work there and about the different opportunities available for you? Check out this short video!



Hospitality careers can be very rewarding both as summer jobs and as careers to pursue both during and after high school. You have the opportunity to meet new people, earn a decent income, gain new skills, and try out some pretty cool things.

And since our region boasts so many hospitality openings, where better to look for a hospitality career than in Ottawa County?

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