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Hospitality Industry: Restaurants, Hotels, & Lodging Resource Guide

Manuals & Guidance

Many of the titles on managing hotels as well as eating establishments like restaurants, tea rooms, and soda fountains are somewhat newer. What we have tried to provide are sources that will help researchers understand how these businesses were run throughout the 20th century. As the industry matured, publishing from and about the industry increased reflecting the growth, its importance to local and national economies, and its position as a large global industry.

This is not an exhaustive list but should be enough information to start a research project. We have tried to include a few titles, particularly those that may have a number of earlier editions, as a way to trace the history. With that in mind, we included a number of titles from various dates looking at the accounting and running a hotel or restaurant as a way to trace the changes in the industry. Beginning in the second half of the 20th century much of the industry discussion happened increasingly though trade groups and associations. However, if you are looking for information in the first half of the 20th century and earlier, one person, J. O. Dahl, wrote quite a bit on various aspects of managing restaurants including a series of pamphlets he called the Little Gold Books as well as other books on managing restaurants. Included in this list:

Gottscho-Schleisner, Inc., photographer. Schrafft's, Esso Building, Rockefeller Center, New York. Serving table. 1948. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
  • The Efficient Waitress Manual
  • The Efficient Waiter Manual
  • The Efficient Maids Manual
  • Dining Room Management for Head Waitresses and Hostesses
  • Profitable Cafeteria Management
  • Profitable Menu Making
  • Planning Profitable Hotel Advertising
  • How to Exclude and Eject Undesirable Guests
  • The Efficient Bellman and Elevator Operators
  • The Efficient Room Clerk
  • How to Increase Restaurant Profits
  • Planning Profitable Restaurant Advertising
  • Planning Profitable Hotel Advertising
  • Soda Fountain Profits
  • Profitable Resort Hotel Management
  • How to Cash Check Safely
  • How to Guard Against Hotel Crooks
  • Business Methods for Executive Housekeepers
  • and titles on seasonal menus and profitable menu items

Many of the titles included here have very specific information about departments and jobs within the hospitality industry. If you are interested in learning more about those areas, there are titles that look at managing activities like housekeeping, maintenance, food buying, food prep, etc.

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available.