The hospitality industry has been thriving in recent years, growing at the fastest rate compared to any other sector in the country since the financial downturn in 2008. This has occurred for various reasons including as a result of the weaker Pound post Brexit and the rise in popularity of ‘stay-cations,’ fuelling local economies in the UK. The industry increased in size by over 70% in 2017 (source: pWc).
All of these growths and improvements have helped to make the hospitality industry the UK’s fourth largest employer, with nearly six million employees around the country. This means that there are many jobs and sectors in the hospitality industry. Furthermore, hospitality staffing is now easier than ever, with the likes of Rota placing many people in their ideal roles in the industry.
There are many different roles within hospitality. However, one way to make the industry and the various positions and types of jobs a little bit easier to understand is to look at the hospitality industry split into five distinct sectors:
Accommodation – Whether it be hotels, B&Bs, hostels, cruises or camping, accommodation is one of the largest sectors within the hospitality industry; with excellent customer service skills being one of the most important attributes employees must have to work in this area. Employees in this area tend to need to focus on making their residents’ experiences enjoyable to entice them to return at a later date.
Travel and Tourism – This sector is all about moving customers from one place to another, so this part of the hospitality sector tends to relate to and involve travel via aeroplanes, cruise ships, trains and more. Crew members, as well as others who work in the leisure segment of hospitality are usually required to provide activities for holidaymakers during their travels.
Food and Beverage – Food and beverage is a huge sector within the hospitality industry, with staff playing a very important role in creating the best customer experience possible. The food and beverage sectors include those working at bistros, catering events, restaurants all the way up to silver service.
Entertainment – One of the most important aspects of running a successful hospitality company is to have as many entertainment activities as possible. For many holiday makers it is an incredibly important part of travel, particularly if they have children and dependents. This may include activities in different locations and venues such as bars, nightclubs, cruise ships, sports venues and marinas.
There are a variety of different careers available in the hospitality industry, all of which have differing career progression prospects and routes, for example:
Hotel Managers – Working as hotel manager means that you will need to have excellent communication skills, as many of your responsibilities will include things such as dealing with customer complaints and supervising and recruiting staff, as well as making sure day-to-day hotel operations are running smoothly.
Travel Agents – Working as a travel agent means that you help holidaymakers with their travel arrangement, as well as selling holiday packages.
The entertainment sector plays an integral role in the hospitality industry, and this requires event management services, usually provided by a dedicated events manager from the venue hosting the event in question. Those with positions in event management will generally help organise shows, book venues, arrange accommodation as well as organise provisions for food and drink.
If you work as a restaurant manager, your typical responsibilities will include ensuring and maintaining high standards of food quality and hygiene, planning shifts, maintaining excellent customers service and implementing health and safety procedures. Restaurant managers also require having good communication and organisation skills to ensure that the service runs smoothly.
Waiting staff are at the core of the food and beverage sector, helping to create a positive customer dining experience and delivering the service customers are paying for. Typical responsibilities as a waiter include taking customer orders, bringing food and drink to the tables, greeting customers, processing payments as well as cleaning duties during and after services.
For waiting staff positions you will need to be energetic and be able to remain calm under pressure in a fast-paced environment. It is very common for people in this role to work seasonally or on a part-time basis or even for a number of companies.
Of course, the food and beverage sector would fall apart if it wasn’t for chefs preparing the food. As a head chef you will generally oversee all kitchen activities ensuring that service is structured, hiring staff, creating menus and new recipes, and utilising food surpluses.
Similar to those work as a waiter or waitress, many who work behind the bar work on a part-time basis due to the flexibility this position provides. As a bar attendant on a typical shift, you would be serving drinks for customers, keeping the bar cleaning and tidy, as well as maintaining stock.
As a concierge in hospitality, you will need to be outgoing and thrive on excellent customer service. Working as a concierge means that on a typical day, you will greet guests and take in suitcases as they arrive at the hotel, handle guests’ storage, and attend the entrance at all times.