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What Experience Do You Need For A Career In Catering & hospitality

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All you need to know about the Catering & hospitality industry

The catering and hospitality industry covers food, drink and leisure businesses. At the heart of the work is ensuring that the customer’s experience is the best it can be. If you are attracted by the idea of helping people to enjoy their leisure experiences, then this could be the industry for you.

The roles in this industry vary considerably and cover everything that is related to food, drink and hospitality. Top sought-after jobs under this industry include chefs, catering/bar managers, butchers, bakers, hotel managers and staff. There’s a wide variety of roles that you can do and numerous different routes to get there.

A lot of the work in this industry will involve being front-of-house so you will need to be professional and have good levels of customer service. It can also be quite high-pressure, especially if working within events or in busy establishments, and you may have to deal with complaints.

Entry-level roles can be comparatively easy to source compared to other industries, particularly in cities or large towns where there is a bigger demand for them. However, like all industries, working your way up to management positions will require hard work and dedication.

Shift work is common in this industry, particularly in catering where the work is dependent upon specific events and venues. The benefit of this is that there is often the option to do flexible working. As these industries run 24/7, many roles will not be the typical 9-5 working day and you may be expected to work on the weekends.

Skills & interests needed for Catering & hospitality

The technical skills that you need will depend on your job role and, of course, a passion for food and drink will help you in the industry.

- Ability to Work Under Pressure
- Communication
- Customer Service
- Handling Pressure
- Time Management

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What work experience do you need for a career in Catering & hospitality

Lots of catering and hospitality jobs will have entry-level roles or training programmes that do not require much work experience. Bar work and waitressing are common choices for part-time work among students. A part-time role like this will show that you’re interested in the industry and may help you to secure a full-time placement later down the line.

Any experience where you have to utilise customer service skills will be useful in this industry as making the customer’s experience memorable is what the industry relies on.
The Government also offers catering and hospitality apprenticeships from age 16 or over. These are structured to help develop the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in the industry.

Industry Bodies

Gov.UK Catering & Hospitality Apprenticeships

Institute of Hospitality

Professional Association for Catering Education

British Hospitality Association

Hospitality Guild