Working within the hospitality industry can be extremely rewarding. Not only do you help customers on a daily basis, there are ample opportunities for career progression. Having said that, every career path obviously has its ups and downs. Working as a Commis Waiter or a Kitchen Porter, for example, can be quite tedious, but even these menial roles can provide you with a valuable set of transferable skills.
So, what are the skills you learn whilst working in hospitality? The list is endless, but we’ve whittled it down to just 10 – you might be surprised at the skills you already have.
Almost every job within the hospitality industry involves teamwork. For example, if you are a Restaurant Manager, you have to work with your Front of House staff to ensure your customers remain happy. In the kitchen, Chefs must work together to make sure that food is prepared on time and to perfection. Without effective teamwork, customers won’t experience the quality service that they expect.
No day is the same within the hospitality industry. Customer footfall varies on a daily basis, therefore, staff must be able to multi-task in order to deal with a potentially high number of jobs in one day.
Not only do the majority of hospitality staff work long and difficult shifts, they are also required to work during the holidays. Christmas and New Year, for example, are typically the most profitable time of year for hospitality businesses. Staff must remain flexible with their personal plans to ensure that they can work when needed during the busy period. Of course, there are benefits to working these difficult shifts. Most companies will offer incentives such as bonuses, or extra holidays to take later in the year.
4. Attention to Detail:
In hospitality, everything is judged by your customers, therefore, everything needs to be of the highest standard in order to build company rapport. Attention to detail will be drilled into your work from day one of the job. What’s more, as a skill, attention to detail is highly transferable across job sectors due to its importance in providing excellent customer service.
5. Industry Awareness:
This may seem quite obvious, but working within the hospitality industry will increase your knowledge of it! Not only will you be working in accordance with industry standards and procedures, you will pick up knowledge from your colleagues. This is also a skill that you can refine outside of work… Why not research hospitality news and trends in your own time?
6. Time Management:
Jobs need to be completed in a timely manner in order for all aspects of a restaurant or hotel to run smoothly. For example, new customers can’t be waiting for their hotel room to be cleaned after previous occupants have checked out. If this was the case, you could almost guarantee that the hotel would receive a bad review!
There is nothing worse, as a customer in a restaurant, when you approach a member of staff who is dismissive and rude. Communication skills are vital in ensuring that customers are happy. Don’t worry if you aren’t naturally confident when talking to people you don’t know. The hospitality industry is ideal for individuals who want to develop and refine their communication skills. This is due to the sheer number of people that hospitality staff encounter every day, each with their own queries and/or problems.
8. Interpersonal Skills:
Again, these skills are essential in customer service, and will therefore be practised everyday whilst working in the hospitality industry. Interpersonal skills are those gained by interacting with people around you. They are social skills such as empathy, negotiation, listening, creative thinking, patience, and tolerance.
As the hospitality industry is customer-focused, staff have to deal with multiple questions and problems every day, sometimes at the same time! The ability to ‘think quick on your feet’ is learnt swiftly, so that staff can deal with these issues effectively. Problem-solving is also essential in order to manage your time. Thinking of ways to make your back of house jobs less time-consuming means that you free up time to focus on more customer facing tasks.
10. Hazard Awareness:
This skill is vital when you work in a potentially dangerous area, such as a kitchen. Health and Safety regulations should be taught to, and followed by, all members of staff. The knowledge of hazards within the workplace is highly sought after by many employers. Completing a course, such as the ‘British Safety Council’s entry level award in workplace hazard awareness, makes this skill transferable across multiple industries.
Have you seen some skills that you never knew you had? If so, update your CV in order to demonstrate them. You may even be able to think of certain times that you have used these skills – which would be great examples to mention in future job interviews!