How to Succeed in Hospitality

David Soffer, October 4, 2018 7:05 pm

Working in the hospitality industry can be extremely rewarding and provides a varied experience, no matter the particular role you work in. There is always the potential of being able to work across a number of roles across the industry and even the world. The skills, qualities and experiences you gain and acquire in hospitality are hugely transferable, desired by employers everywhere.

However, not everyone is necessarily aware of or even has the crucial skills and qualities required to be able to succeed in the hospitality sector, and to continue forward, carving out a career with much sought after career progression. So, what are the characteristics that employers within the hospitality industry are likely to be looking for when recruiting for new positions?

Knowing some of the most common personality and professional traits that employers, managers and clients alike are looking for in the UK and all around the world, could get you that dream job. Excitingly, by brushing up on some popular skills, you could get your foot in the door of the UK or even the global hospitality industry.

For those in the temporary hospitality sector, perhaps working in the hospitality industry alongside another job or studies, the skills acquired in hospitality will stand you in very good stead for the future.

Excellent Communication Skills

It goes without saying that having excellent communication skills is vital when it comes to being a top hospitality employee, no matter where you work. Almost all roles in the sector are customer service and customer facing type roles, which means ensuring that the customer is always happy. As a result, you need to be able to enjoy engaging with customers on a daily basis, especially if you are working front-of-house or working as a concierge and you need to be able to maturely and calmly deal with all and any customer complaints that should arise.

The knock-on effect of providing excellent customer service is the possibility for you to be able to benefit from tips or bonuses in return for doing so. Nevertheless, great communication skills are just as important if you are working back-of-house too and teamwork is crucial everywhere within the hospitality industry. In order to be successful, you will need to be able to effectively communicate with your colleagues as well as customers in order for things to run efficiently and as successfully as possible.

Ability to Work Under Pressure

The nature of the hospitality industry and its customer-focused nature, means that it essential for those working within it to be able to manage working in a fast-paced, dynamic environment, often under pressure. You need to be able to thrive in these situations and be able to easily deal with having to juggle multiple tasks at once whilst on your feet for many hours.

For example, you may have to deal with difficult customers, whilst also having to meet the demands of management and supervisors.


Time Management Skills

Being punctual and able to juggle tasks whilst doing in a timely manner is vital to be successful in this sector. If you struggle to work to tight schedules and deadlines, then it may be the case that this is not the career for you. For many, working hard at their time management skills through working in hospitality is a great way to improve yourself and your time management generally.

By having to work in potentially pressured, but rewarding environments to strict time frames, you may find yourself improving your punctuality and timeliness in general, throughout the rest of your career and daily life, which is never a bad trait to possess.

Great Problem-Solving Skills

There is always the possibility of problems arising whilst working in the hospitality sector. For example, you might be working in a bar as a temporary staff member, and have to deal with an outdated menu, a difficult customer, or perhaps some form of miscommunication between team members. Therefore, you will certainly be required at one time or another (or much of the time) to think quickly on your feet and find an appropriate way to fix the issue at hand in the most amicable way possible.

This might mean being creative enough to come up with exciting new ideas that will keep customers happy. For example, that might be the beverages you create, the food you are serving, or the service that you provide them.


Flexibility in Work – Working on Demand

A definite advantage of working in hospitality is the ability to be able to work flexible hours. However, this also requires you to be flexible in the hours that you can work too, which is vital when it comes to remaining employed and proving successful in this sector.

Many hospitality roles involve working somewhere which is open around the clock, for example a hotel, bar, café or function hall and it is very common for employees to work longer hours than you typically would if you were working in a typical 9-5 office job. Often with unusual working patterns, no two days are the same. This means that you need to be happy to work additional hours at a moment’s notice if something unexpected occurs, a team member drops out or an emergency arises.

Similarly, you should be adaptable enough to be able to work in multiple positions throughout the hospitality sector, as this can often happen if the company is short-staffed. If you manage to cultivate this very desirable skill, it will prove invaluable in the long run, making you far more valuable to employers, who will appreciate the larger skill set.


Organisation and Logistical Skills

You will likely have to deal with a multitude of tasks at once as a hospitality employee. Things are also always on the move and undergoing change; be it a venue’s refurbishment, new menus or simply new clientele and customers, you will need to be able to organise yourself.

In addition to being organised on a personal level, it is equally important to be able to organise various other people and arrangements. This could mean that one week you are having to plan a venue’s layout, whereas the next week you need to organise who goes where in a conference centre. Altogether, this means that you will absolutely need to have excellent organisational skills if you want to work in this field, whatever the position and the level you are working at.

Teamwork Skills Are Crucial

Most of your time will be spent working with members of a team, as well as working with other teams from different departments and even organisations. Therefore, being able to work effectively and productively alongside all of the above, will be vital to you succeeding in the hospitality business as a whole. You will need to be happy taking instructions from others if needed, as well supporting other team members if needs be, to ensure that the quality of service is maintained and delivered.

Also, often overlooked by many people is that the hospitality industry is big and there are many employers and roles. However, the world is a small place and simply working well alongside others within your industry goes a long way in the future – after all, you never know who might be your manager one day.

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