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Helping you find a career in the Hospitality industry

The hospitality industry covers a massive area, from exclusive hotels and Michelin starred restaurants to nightclubs and fast food outlets. The industry offers roles as diverse as air hostess, sous chef and hotel manager, making it one of the most interesting and varied that you can to work in.

The central aim of hospitality is, of course, to ensure an enjoyable and memorable leisure experience to a customer – so customer service and a friendly personality are absolutely key.

Hospitality is hugely varied, always busy, and requires long hours - but the enjoyment and fond memories that you can bring to customers is the reason why so many people choose it. It’s creative, you’ll be given responsibility early on, and it opens opportunities to work anywhere in the world. Aside from that, you’ll be making people’s day – every day. And that’s a great feeling to go home with.

The hospitality sector could mean working in a hotel, an events venue, a restaurant, a bar – or anywhere else that a member of the public would come for a relaxing experience or to feel looked after. Within this, you could be hosting, providing front- of-house services, working behind the scenes in planning, events or logistics, or coordinating projects from an office.

Here are some of the roles that you could take on within the hospitality industry:

  • Hotel manager - taking overall control of a hotel and the staff within it whilst also managing guests’ expectations

  • Restaurant host - welcoming guests to the restaurant and ensuring the flow of business throughout the night by managing tables, etc.

  • Restaurant manager - ensuring all the aspects of running the restaurant go smoothly

  • Concierge - welcoming guests to hotels and ensuring they have all the information they need

  • Head chef - leading and developing the menu for an establishment that serves food

  • Bar manager - taking responsibility for the stock and staff behind a bar, and ensuring that customers receive a quality experience

  • Events manager - managing all aspects of an event, whether for invited guests or members of the public


Skills & interests required for a career in Hospitality
Of course, to work in certain areas of hospitality you’ll need specialist skills – you can’t become a chef, for example, without the required training.

Individual career routes will require specific technical skills, but there are also some skills that you’ll need in general to work in a customer-focused, high-energy industry like this. They include:

  • Proactivity

  • Organisation

  • Critical thinking

  • Ability to think on your feet


In general, the most important skills you’ll need to work in hospitality are a personable nature, almost limitless patience, and the ability to stay calm and measured in difficult situations – get all of these and those on the list above, and you’re likely to be a success in this industry.
Graduate schemes & other typical career progression routes in Hospitality
The hospitality industry has been praised for the career opportunities that it offers, particularly for graduates. Because much of the industry is very hands-on, you’ll be learning new skills and dealing with new situations often, if not daily – and this learning curve should be directly recognised by your superiors, who can provide mentoring and advice for your career progression.

The hospitality sector offers those that work within it the opportunity to progress relatively quickly. Because many parts of the industry are so busy, you’re likely to be given responsibility early on, and it’ll be up to you to prove that you can successfully complete the tasks that you’ve been given – including dealing with any challenges that appear along the way.
Tips for getting into the field
It’s important to know what employers will look for when you’re applying for roles in hospitality. Obviously, a knack for customer service and a logical approach are both essential.

There are a large number of general, non-industry-related things that you can do to put yourself in a good position to start applying for jobs. These include:

  • Tailoring your CV for each specific role, making sure you focus on previous experience and relevant skills

  • Applying for internships and/or work experience – this is a no-brainer: as well as ensuring that you’ve experienced the field before you start applying for jobs within it, it’ll show that you’re committed and allow you to start acquiring the practical skills you’ll need in your future job

  • Take on similar roles – for example as a hotel front desk assistant or similar, in holidays or whilst you apply for higher-level roles right after graduation

  • See what the top companies in the field require – start by looking for case studies from the big firms, and note what backgrounds and skills their current employees have

  • Use your contacts – university professors, those you met on work experience, people you can approach through social media or LinkedIn – they’re all potentially the stepping stone to your next role, and they might very well be happy to help you
How much can graduates earn in Hospitality?
The vast range of careers within the hospitality sector means that average salaries are almost impossible to calculate. A well-respected chef will earn a significantly higher salary than a steward or catering manager, for example, and the ability to manage teams or run your own businesses means pay can rise hugely.

Here are a few average salaries for various jobs within the hospitality sector in the UK:

  • Head Chef: £27,000

  • Hotel Manager: £35,900

  • Concierge: £19,600

  • Restaurant Manager: £23,000

  • Hotel Receptionist: £17,000

  • Flight Attendant: £21,000

  • Events Manager: £25,848
What qualifications do I need for a career in Hospitality?
Graduates with degrees in any subject can move into hospitality, although knowledge of the industry and previous experience working within it are of huge benefit – so if you’ve got hotel, bar, catering, events or any other work experience, make sure you focus on it in applications.

If you’ve done a degree specifically related to this area – for example in hospitality or events management – the knowledge and practical skills you’ve acquired will place you in the perfect position to move into this industry as a graduate.

If you’re committed to a career in this area, it might be worth looking into a course such as Events or Hospitality Management that can train you for the demands of the industry and allow you to go into roles at a higher level.
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