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The hospitality industry covers a wide array of business models, from restaurants to hotels to amusement parks. While other industries focus on a specific niche for their businesses, any company that works primarily with customer satisfaction and focuses on leisure as opposed to basic necessities is considered part of the hospitality industry. Despite the rather broad definition of involvement, there are four main categories that businesses usually fall into: food and beverages, travel and tourism, lodging, and recreation. Here’s a general overview of those categories.


Food and Beverages


Known professionally as F&B in the business, the food and beverage sector is the largest category within the hospitality industry. It is the source of roughly 50% of all meals eaten in the United States of America, with most establishments in this category engaging in preparing meals, snacks, and beverages for immediate consumption on and off the restaurant’s premises. The F&B industry can also intersect with the lodging industry by becoming part of a hotel and, as a result, enhancing the guest experience through food and customer service. 


Travel and Tourism


People love to go on vacation, and for a good reason. Everyday life can be extremely stressful at times, so going somewhere new to take a breather from daily life is a must at some point or another. This is what makes the travel and tourism sector of the hospitality industry soar—so long as travel and tourism remain popular, people will need ways to get to their destinations and things to do once they arrive. Even if vacation isn’t the end-goal of your traveling, business trips still require transportation, lodging, food, and (occasionally) recreation. So long as people travel, money will be spent, and that money will go directly into the hospitality industry.




Intersecting with travel and tourism is the lodging sector of the hospitality industry. When you’re away from home for more than a day trip, you’ll need a place to sleep for however long you’re gone. Hotels, hostels, campgrounds, motels, and more are places where people can sleep, no matter whether they’re traveling for business or pleasure.




People need things to do outside of work and errands, and the recreational sector thrives on providing that entertainment to others. The primary goal of any recreational business is to provide a way for people to relax, rest, and enjoy themselves, refreshing a person’s mind and body in the process. From sports to amusement parks to theaters, there’s no shortage of things to do in the recreation industry.