Hospitality and Catering

What's it all about?

Hospitality and catering offers many career opportunities – in hotels, restaurants or pubs, at tourist attractions, outside events and private parties. Increasingly, staff are being expected to carry out a variety of duties rather than concentrating on one job. There are a range of career paths available, and for those with experience who are willing to move around, promotion opportunities are good. There are also courses available if you want to move into management.

There are a variety of jobs on offer – after all the sector is already one of the UK’s biggest money earners and it’s still growing. It’s also one of those sectors where you can work your way to the top, even if you start from the bottom.

Hospitality and catering careers cover a wide area which divide into three main areas: 

The accommodation sector

This includes hotels, bed and breakfast places (B&Bs) and self-catering resorts. Health clubs or spas, leisure complexes and golf clubs are also starting to provide accommodation. Jobs can include caretaker, concierge, conference organiser, hotel manager, hotel porter, hotel receptionist and housekeeper.

The drink industry

This includes pubs, bars, clubs and off licenses. Jobs include bar person, publican, and sommelier (wine waiter).

The food/catering sector

This mainly covers restaurants. As you’d expect this is very wide, covering take-aways and other fast food outlets, ‘fine dining’ and ‘ethnic’ restaurants (like Indian, Italian, Thai and Chinese), hotel restaurants as well as coffee bars. In fact restaurants are the single biggest part of the hospitality and catering industry in the UK. Jobs include catering manager, chef, confectioner, contract caterer, fast food service assistant, kitchen assistant, restaurant manager and waiter/waitress.

Working Hours

Because of the nature of the business there are no regular working hours. Staff can work long hours and shift work – weekend working and late nights are typical. It gets very busy over weekends and public holidays. The industry is customer-led and customers want the service when they are not at work!

Most people in the industry seem to thrive on these working patterns, adapting to them and preferring the flexibility.

Find out more about this sector

Jobs in this sector allow plenty of opportunity for those of you who like to work with people, and almost all jobs involve meeting customers. The saying ‘the customer is always right’ applies here, as it’s your job to ensure that people enjoy a high quality of service.

As you can see, there are many different jobs available in hospitality and catering.

For more information on career opportunities, see Springboard UK, People 1st - sector council, and check out the Hospitality Guild.

You could also ask your careers adviser for more information.

Compare jobs you like and see if they are predicted to grow

To find out what you will earn in different jobs (you can put in up to three) and see other facts including whether this job is predicted to grow in the UK, use the Careerometer which is on the left of each Job Sector page (yellow box).

Is this a predicted growth area in the South of England?

The Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have been asked to predict which job sectors will grow. This information could help you develop your skills and gain qualifications for specific job roles, sectors or particular places where there are likely to be opportunities. No growth doesn't mean there are no jobs but growth does mean there are likely to be more jobs!

The sector isn't identified as a growth area by the Local Enterprise Partnerships but people are eating takeaways or eating out more that they did as well as going away on more short breaks.

Oxford and Thames valley -  While this is not identified as a growth area for hospitality and catering there are popular destinations for breaks and holidays such as the Cotswolds meaning holidaymakers will need accommodation and food.

Solent -  Again not identified as a priority sector but the south coast is a popular destination to visit for days or longer, and these visitors need to be catered for.

South West - The South West is a popular destination for short breaks and holidays. Tourism is identified as a priority sector by most of the LEP's.  All those visitors will need hospitality and catering!

Find out more about growth industries in the South of England.

Find out detailed information about employment in the West of England 2015 for FOOD TECH.

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