It’s not an easy lead into this article with all that is going on in the U.K and the Hospitality Industry.
As the 5th biggest sector in the U.K making it a totally viable career choice but rather than write a ranty piece, I am going to cast our minds back to pre-COVID-19 times…
Having started myself as a fresh-faced 18 year old behind the bar of a rough and ready pub way back in the smoky and hot summer of 2002 (smoky as people could still smoke indoors in pubs until 2007 cough, cough), I had no idea of the journey I was embarking on.
Once you have worked an England match in a football pub, you are pretty much ready for anything…
Crowd control, supply and demand and dealing with the deafening roars or cries- no problem!
Fast forward to 18 years IN with most job roles under my belt in the industry I love so dearly, here is my top 5 reasons why I think Hospitality is a REAL job.
Whether you dip your toe in for a short period of time or if it’s your life long passion, the skills you amass in Hospitality will stay with you for life.
It’s a job like no other!
1) Become an actual team player
You will learn to be part of a team (none of that made up ‘I’m a team player’ on your C.V along with other such claims). If you don’t all pull together on shift, it 100% shows resulting in being pulled up and eventually making your way towards the exit (whether by choice or managed out ) as it’s not how it goes in our industry…(INSERT cute teamwork makes the dream work reference here).
When the tills are down, the card machine decides to only work when you dangle it in a far-flung corner of the restaurant on a busy Saturday with a queue of tables staring at you and the sweat is running down your neck, a Chef walks out and then the beer delivery doesn’t turn up during the World Cup. Who is there for you? The Team.
2) Learn fast-thinking, problem-solving and crisis management like a boss
Again a variety of problems occur during a shift and you definitely don’t have the luxury of sitting down and thinking about a resolution.
Thinking on your feet is a vital skill you will hone over time, it propels you into action. Whether a spilt drink on a customer, a whole table’s meal gets missed off plus they have waited over an hour for their food (I am reliving the stress of it as I type) or you inadvertently put your finger in a couples wedding cake whilst moving it (it wasn’t me, honest!) and said father of the bride threw up his recently necked Jägerbomb on you an hour before your delightful shift finished on Christmas Eve.
It’s how you react, calm, soothe and then rectify the situation that matters, eventually developing negotiation skills like no other. These kinds of experiences define you and prepare you for the rest of your life and the handling of future situations.
3) YOU can rise quickly through the ranks
Hospitality is a rapidly evolving industry with different exciting foods, fresh drink inspirations, unique venue concepts emerging etc. The same can be said for developing your career. If you are great at what you do, exhibit the desire to move up in a company it can happen quite quickly, more so than other industries especially if you have an amazing Manager who can spot and nurture your potential. Your progression is yours for the taking!
4) Learn to interact with a range of people on the daily
The collection of the weird and wonderful to the sadly down-right rude are the range of people you get through the doors and opens you up to an all-encompassing experience of humans.
No day is ever the same and as you accumulate the skills to deal with a diverse selection of people, how to relate and communicate with them.
Whether it’s the worldly office worker who gets his pint at the same time every day, has his certain section of the bar to sit in and secretly you look forward to hearing his view on the whats going on in planet Earth that day. Or the rowdy lot from the recruitment company upstairs who you generally like but have to drag into line when its Friday team drinks, all rules go out the window as do sometimes items of their clothing in a sea of smashed glasses and no ‘ you can’t turn up the music any louder!’. You learn how to build, maintain trust and respect towards your regular customers (think of this as account management) and how to relate to the people you may only see once.
5) It’s not just about serving people
If people’s views of Hospitality are just the traditional roles of serving customers then they couldn’t be more wrong!
There is a host of management positions available, you could also be a trainer of teams, be responsible for designing and implementing the whole drinks menus for the company, be a social content creator or a top sales and marketing professional for the brand. The list is endless.
There you have my top 5 reasons and if I was to add one more to the list it would be that you truly make friends for life. Some of my oldest friendships have been made in Hospitality resulting in the best nights out of my life (some I remember more than others but that’s a different story).
So if you think Hospitality isn’t a real job then think again…