Working at a Texas Guest Ranch

By bsozak | July 28, 2014

texas guest ranchPeople looking for a slow and relaxed lifestyle prefer to work at ranches despite the average pay, long hours, and seasonal work. What appeals to them is getting to see new places and meeting people from all walks of life. The work experience also makes anyone become well-rounded, getting to do tasks around the kitchen, office, cabins, and barns. If you’re considering working at a guest ranch, you have to match your expectations to reality. 

Expect different work hours

Don’t rely on the regular 9 to 5 hours when working at a ranch. As mentioned earlier, you may have to devote longer hours every day, including weekends, and you’re always on call. If you work in the kitchen, you may work 6 to 9 am for breakfast, 12 to 2 pm for lunch, and 6 to 9 pm for dinner. When there are events like weddings, expect to come in even on weekends and until the last guest has left.

You have to deal with customers

Guest ranches are in the hospitality business, so you are expected to perform good customer service to the guests, whether or not they are difficult or delightful. No matter what mood you’re in, expend a lot of effort to be courteous and professional to everyone.

You have to deal with your co-workers as well

Don’t expect your own room when working at a guest ranch. You’ll be living together with the other employees dormitory-style, or you’ll have at least one roommate. Since you’ll be breathing the same air during the whole work period, build great casual and working relationships with them and avoid conflict.

It’s not easy money

Some ranches have reduced monthly salaries and offer a bonus instead at the end of the season to make sure that the workers stay throughout the entire season. This arrangement may take some getting used to but think of it this way – you won’t be tempted to spend the money and it’s all saved up for you at the end.

Be ready to do more than one job

The required staff depends on the size of the ranch and its amenities, but the basic employees work in the kitchen, housekeeping, maintenance, and the office. The more specialized ranches may need people to work as daycare assistants, spa therapists, fishing guides, golf instructors, ranch hands, wranglers, work-out trainers, and other types of jobs for whatever the ranch will need. If more workers are needed in one area, expect to get pulled and transferred for another responsibility.

Are you still solid in leaving the city life in exchange for a summer at a Texas guest ranch? CBS Houston reveals the best dude ranches in Texas that should give you ideas on where to find the best ranches in Texas for a job – or a vacation.

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