Ethics in the Hospitality Industry

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Managing Ethical Behavior in the Workplace

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:03 Example & Definition of Ethics
  • 1:24 Ethics for Hospitality Workers
  • 4:29 Ethics in the…
  • 5:29 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed Audio mode

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Allison Tanner

Allison has a Masters of Arts in Political Science

This lesson discusses important ethics in the hospitality industry and describes why they are necessary to keep customers happy and to ensuring a company's success.

Example and Definition of Ethics

Ethical Amy (EA) has just started working for Top Sun Hotel and Resort. Mary, who has been working for them for the last five years, is teaching EA the ropes. Mary explains to EA that, as a server, it is her job is to take orders and deliver food to the pool side guests.

Mary discusses that the days can be long, so sometimes she sneaks food or makes a drink for herself. Mary then explains it is ''no big deal'' because she knows that her friend Annie in housekeeping, has occasionally taken forgotten items from the rooms after guests have left. She tells EA that no one is getting hurt from a few drinks here and there and the guests forgot the items. Right?

EA is a bit concerned about this behavior, so she asks what Mary and Annie do if their supervisors ever ask about missing items or increasing food costs. Puzzled, Mary explains that they just pretend they don't know anything. They are not ''really'' harming anyone so there is no need to discuss it.

EA explains to Mary that her behavior is unethical. Ethics are the established principles that form a belief system that differentiates what is right, and what is wrong.

Ethics for Hospitality Workers

EA then discuss that ethics are especially important in the hospitality industry because workers are faced with a broad range of ethical dilemmas. Hospitality workers and professionals often have the opportunity to do something against an ethical value, such as taking food because it's'' no big deal.'' In an ethical dilemma, a person chooses between doing what is wrong, or doing what is ethical because it is the right thing to do. Some of the most important ethics in the hospitality industry include:

  • Integrity
  • Trustworthiness
  • Respect for others
  • Accountability

Each of these ethics are essential to supporting an ethical environment.


EA explains that integrity, or the internal force which drives a person's honesty and desire to do the right things, is one of the most important ethics. She tells Mary that her willingness to break the rules or lie shows a lack of integrity.

If a company in the hospitality industry doesn't have integrity, then their clients can't trust that they will serve their best interests.


EA explains that trust is essential to integrity. She tells Mary that if you can't be trustworthy, or able to be trusted, customers won't come back, and supervisors won't give you good tasks. However, the same goes for supervisors. They must be trustworthy so that the staff feel that they can approach them. If there is a lack of trust, the entire company will suffer.

EA tells Mary that every time she takes food or makes a drink for herself, she is indicating to the company that she isn't trustworthy.

Respect for Others

In addition to being trustworthy, EA explains that having respect for others is also an essential ethical principle. Respect for others means that you are interested in doing what is good for others and you value them as a person. This includes respect for clients and co-workers. She tells Mary that respect for others builds trust and shows that you are interested in the overall well-being of the organization you work for.

For example, every time Annie takes something from a room, she is showing a lack of respect for the guests. When she does, it decreases the trust that the customer will have in the location. This can cause them to never come back.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account