Looking out for a career where every other day is not the same? The hospitality industry is full of excitement and challenges and may be able to offer many a career opportunity. The hospitality industry is one of the fastest growing industries, with a growing number of hotels, B and B, game lodges, clubs, pubs, restaurants, cafeterias and fast food outlets. Careers in the hospitality sector encompass catering services at conferences and meetings, hospitals, prisons, mines, school and university hostels and company canteens.
Hospitality industry offers excellent opportunities for ambitious graduates in functional areas such as operational management, personnel, marketing, sales, finance, training, facilities management, conference management and purchasing. Hospitality Career progression is often rapid with companies offering very attractive financial and development recognition for qualified persons.
But aspiring incumbents must bear in mind that the work is physically demanding, especially when you have to be on your feet, serving people who can be hard to please. Still the payoff is worthwhile and you can climb up the career ladder with the right combination of drive and motivation.
Hospitality career opportunities
The scope and gamut of the hospitality industry is wide. A major chunk of occupations in the hospitality industry involve service jobs such as housekeeping, maids, linen-room attendants and laundry workers. Others are chefs and cooks, waiters and waitresses, bartenders, food counter workers and various kitchen workers. Some of the career opportunities available in the hospitality sector are listed below:
- Hotel Manager
- Banqueting Manager
- Food and Beverage Manager
- Rooms Division Manager
- Food Services Manager
- Restaurant Manager
- Bartender or Wine Steward
- Executive Housekeeper
- Room Attendant
- Concierge, porters, bellboys, doorman and valet
Nature of Work
As a manager in restaurant, you will be responsible for extending an enjoyable experience for both vacationing families as well as business travelers. Hotel managers help their guests enjoy a pleasant stay by providing many of the comforts of home, including cable television, fitness equipment and voice mail. In general hotel managers are responsible for ensuring that the operation of their establishments is efficient and profitable.
The managerial duties vary with the size of the hotel. Large hotels will have managers assigned to various departments of the operation, all of whom generally report to the general manger. However, in small hotels, motel or inn with a limited staff, one hotel manager may oversee all aspects of operations.
Resident managers live in the hotels and are on call 24 hours a day to resolve problems or emergencies. In some hotels, the general manager itself acts as a resident manager. The general manager takes care of the overall hotel operations.
Executive house keepers ensure that guest rooms, meeting halls, banquet rooms and public areas are clean, orderly and well maintained. They also schedule and supervise the work of house keepers, inspect rooms and order cleaning supplies.
Front office managers take care of the front office functions, which includes help desk, attending to customer queries and complaints and requests for special services.
The food service operations are taken care of by food and beverages manager. The F and B manager oversees the restaurants' cocktail lounges and banquet facilities. Some bigger restaurants have convention managers and assistant managers to take care of the day-to-day activities.
In addition bigger hotels have computer operators who maintain and keep track of the guests' bill, reservations, room assignments, meeting and special events. These operators closely work with hotel managers and assistant managers and keep and assist them in the daily activities.
Cookery is another major area of work in the hospitality industry. Listed below are some of the career opportunities in the cookery wing of the hospitality industry:
- Head Chef
- Sous Chef
- Chef de Parties
- Commis Chef
- Trainee Chef
- Kitchen Porter
- Kitchen Assistant
- Catering Assistant
Hospitality career qualifications
A degree in hospitality management or related major could fetch you a career in hospitality industry. Most hotels emphasize on specialized training, postsecondary training in hotel or restaurant management for hotel management positions. Many hotels induct fresh graduates with a flair for the service industry and relevant experience.
Internships or part-time or summer jobs are ideal for young aspirants who want a feel of the hospitality industry. Traits most important for success in the hotel and motel industry are good communication skills; the ability to get along with people in stressful situations; a neat, clean appearance; and a pleasant manner.
Work in hotels and other accommodations can be hectic. Hotel staff is expected to process large number of impatient and irate guests with efficiency and equilibrium. Since many hotels function round the clock, careers in the hospitality industry may involve working in varying shifts. Careers in food preparation and food service necessitate working on your feet for long hours. Kitchen workers may need to lift heavy pots and kettles and work near hot ovens and grills. Food service workers need to carry heavy trays of food, dishes, and glassware.