Hospitality work can be profitable if you know which apps to use and what jobs are worthwhile. Learn how you can get started in the hospitality gig industry with guest contributor Royal Summers, who has experience in the hospitality field and does it part-time for extra money. Royal shares with you the Good, the Bad and the Freedom of hospitality work.

    Thanks to the pandemic, the hospitality industry took a significant hit and continues to struggle to maintain a strong and stable workforce. As people begin to get back to traveling, enter the wonderful world of gig apps for the hospitality sector. 

    On the apps that I use, here are examples of the roles available: busser, cooks, line cooks, servers, janitorial, and dishwasher. In addition, there are Event roles such as: parking lot attendant, directing traffic, guest services, crowd control, checking guests for vaccination status attending stadium events (e.g., Eagles and Ice Cube concerts).

    Quick Summary:

    • If you have some basic hospitality experience, it’ll open the doors to more work on other apps.
    • You pick and choose which jobs are worth the money for the work involved.
    • Choose jobs that fit your schedule and needs.

    Now, fast-forward to the present day; through the apps, you can work not only part-time but can make it a full-time affair. The requirements include any previous work in the hospitality field. For me, I had McDonald’s experience and Grand Canyon University graduation events. Once you get your first gig, then you can gain experience in other areas, but you have to use them on other apps because if you do not currently have experience in a particular area, you cannot add them at a later date.

    I am going to briefly share with you my personal experience. I hope you might be able to take something away for your own situation.

    The Good Parts of Hospitality Gig Work

    As a gig worker or freelancer, you set the schedule. If you need a day off, you simply don’t schedule yourself. I work when and if I wish. 

    While gig workers earn “58% less than full-time employees”, according to Fortunly, the gigs I work sometimes pay as much or more than the person supervising me. 

    On average, in the hospitality industry, I am getting $18-$22 per hour. I mainly do dishwashing and events. I do have some backup apps that pay in the $14-$15 per hour range.

    Examples of completed jobs

    My earnings from November 2021 through mid-March 2022

    Jobs that have been paid out to me

    I will be 60 in a couple of months, so I welcome physical activity. You will be exposed to prolonged standing and bending with some lifting sprinkled in the course of the engagement. 

    I’ve mostly enjoyed weddings (or any catering event) due to the higher pay and ease of tasks that need to be completed (i.e., help unload the truck and scrape dirty dishes). 

    The Bad Parts of Hospitality Gig Work

    Your very presence can generate resentment as you are getting premium pay (at least here in the Southwest). This translates into you getting unwanted attention. Some of the FTEs (full-time employees) will go out of their way to make your shift an unpleasant one.

    Everyone is in charge. As the contingent worker, you can be at the mercy of anyone there. The people in charge don’t welcome you to the shift and tell you that you report to them, so any worker will try to give you direction (whether needed or wanted). 

    Once a temp, like me, came to me and tried to change my work location from Pita Jungle to Subway. This is a rare example, and one I easily handled by going to the Operations Office and speaking with the Supervisor.  I told him that I wasn’t angry at her, but I wanted to be treated with respect, and the Supervisor agreed. The takeaway is to, respectively and tactfully, stand-up for yourself.

    I did a vaccination site, I directed traffic, and I’ve stood in 100+ degree temps in the summer. Some gigs will test your strength, stamina, and endurance. 

    I worked at an Arabian Horse show and almost fell asleep as I was guarding a gate for 12-hours. You will get dropped off at an intersection without any information regarding how to go to the bathroom, if there will be any break, will they be providing food. 

    Also, an unwritten rule (most rules you learn by word-of-mouth) is not to leave your post until someone gets you at the end of the shift.

    One of my apps charges a nominal fee for the opportunity to work for them, and it just so happens they offer the lowest salary (one-time fee per shift $5-$6 with an hourly salary of $14.15). I’m working to make money so, although it’s a small amount, I choose apps with a higher salary and no fee.

    The Freedom

    Since I have a full-time job, the bad just rolls off as I have the ability to no longer work with a specific app or not take a specific role. My daughter just started this week. She no longer has to worry if her baby is sick will she be able to take the day off. She can work days and/or nights. 

    Like me, I work evenings during the week and try to get mornings on the weekend days. I can do this seven days a week depending on financial needs; I cannot do it at all for a couple of days, weeks, or months.

    In rank order, my favorite go-to apps are:

    1. Tend
    2. Qwick
    3. WoNoLo
    4. Instawork

    Apps that I’m currently looking into are:

    1. Adia
    2. Jobble
    3. JobGet
    4. Opportunity Engine
    5. PopBookings
    6. Shiftsmart
    7. Trusted Herd
    8. Upshift
    9. Veryable


    Overall, I like the flexibility and ability to earn on my own schedule. These apps get me out and about, working around my city, earning more than minimum wage in my state, and work for my schedule. Also, you have the stability of being able to know how much you can make.

    I recommend you check out any one of the apps listed above and see if they’re available in your city.

    Have you tried working with a hospitality gig app? What has your experience been?

    -Royal @ RSG

    Royal Summers is a GIGPreneur who is exploring and expanding his knowledge, wisdom, and experience to the benefit of all seeking more personal freedom and flexibility in their life. Coming in on his second year of working via apps has given him first-hand knowledge of the ins-and-outs on how to be successful, standout against the competition, and keep a high-rating that keeps them asking for you and offering you more gigs!

    Related article: WoNoLo Review

    Harry Campbell

    Harry Campbell

    I'm Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.