The definition of hospitality is the friendly and generous reception of guests, visitors, or strangers. The hospitality industry, therefore, are those services involved in receiving, serving and hosting people, often for entertainment purposes. Typically when we think of hospitality, we think of:
You can see that the field is vast, and many career opportunities exist.
This flexible course aims to provides you with a range of foundation skills and knowledge to launch a career in hospitality... where the journey takes you from here is up to you!!
There are 5 core modules and one elective to select from 5 modules.
To obtain this certificate, you need to complete a total of six modules, spread over 600 hours of study.
Note that each module in the Qualification - Certificate in Hospitality is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
WORKING IN HOTEL MANAGEMENT
A hotel is a permanent establishment with four or more bedrooms, and usually includes some kind of permanent food facility. It can be little more than a hostel, offering minimum services and standards, or a luxurious establishment with a complete restaurant, several bars and lounges, and a range of personal services and facilities. Hotels vary widely in size, clientele, business structure, services, and style. Some aim at meeting specific needs (such as providing basic services and neat rooms close to an airport for business people or visitors in transit), while others aim to appeal to a wider market to encourage greater occupancy and to ensure more even occupancy through seasonal or other changes (such as low tourist seasons).
As a good hotel manager, you will keep a very close eye on every aspect of the business - kitchen, service, cleaning, maintenance, front desk etc. You will continually monitor guest satisfaction, and deal with the many problems that arise in the business. You will also establish and maintain relations with others working in hospitality, tourism, the media and the community in order to promote your business and to keep abreast of issues, trends, and possibilities that can affect your business. This makes hotel management an exciting, challenging career, with much opportunity for personal and professional growth and social interaction.
The key roles of a hotel manager are:
- Ensure the business meets the needs of its users
- Ensure that the hotel and its services (e.g. function rooms, restaurant) are marketed and promoted
- To ensure that booking, reservation and other selling processes are efficient and effective
- Ensure that the hotel is well-maintained, safe, clean and generally meets expected standards
- Ensure the care, comfort, satisfaction and goodwill of the guest or customer
- Plan and manage the business for present, short term and long term success.
Tasks (some or all) that a hotel manager may be required to do are:
- Recruit, induct staff
- Train staff
- Delegate and schedule tasks and responsibilities
- Supervise staff
- Control quality, which includes regular inspections
- Establish and monitor procedures
- Establish and communicate standards
- Ensure staff and client safety and wellbeing
- Elect supplies or suppliers (linens, equipment, food etc)
- Increase staff productivity
- Promote the business and its services
- Update, renovate or redecorate the building or rooms
- Plan and budget.
Given the differences in kinds and sizes of hotels, hotel managers may be assigned different roles and tasks by different employers. Some may manage only one section of a hotel, coordinating their activities with those of managers in other sections. For instance, one person might manage to the food areas and another might manage housekeeping. In other hotels, the manager is in charge of all areas. If you are a hotel owner, you may manage the entire business on your own, or hire managers for some areas.
Therefore, one can enter this field of work by developing skills and knowledge in one main area (such as housekeeping, food and beverage management, marketing and sales, or maintenance), or by developing a broad range of generic and transferable skills in hospitality and management.
Job opportunities might also be found in other accommodation and tourism businesses, such as resorts, health farms, cruise ships, inns or motels. Any of these can also provide a pathway to a position in a large hotel, if that's where you want to go. Other opportunities may exist in the non-profit sector: hospitals, aged care centres, orphanages, women's refuges or refugee centres.
A hotel manager might be self-employed (the business owner). Otherwise, hotel managers are employed by small, medium and large accommodation business. These may or may not be hotels, for hotel management skills are applicable to a range of accommodation businesses, such as bed & breakfast establishments, guesthouses, trailer parks, motels, inns, resorts, school camps, and so on.
With the very high demand for jobs in hospitality, and the typically high turnover of staff, it is advisable to approach potential employers and let them know you are seeking work, rather than relying on job advertisements. Many simply do not advertise.
Remuneration will vary considerably, depending on many factors, including your interpersonal skills and initiative, the employer, and the region in which you work. Hotel managers in some countries or in small businesses can expect a modest salary, while in other countries or in very large hotels, salaries may be generous. Either way, you can expect to work hard for your income, but also can expect a degree of job stability that is not found in many other fields, because of the specialised knowledge that you gain about the business you work in. In general, you can expect management level remuneration - which will vary from country to country, so take the time to find out what managers in hospitality are paid. As you prove yourself through successful management, you can expect your income to rise. If it doesn't (perhaps because the business simply can't afford more), you will be in a better position to find a more lucrative position elsewhere. This is definitely a field in which advancement can depend on your willingness to travel and move, as much as on your abilities, since excellent opportunities often exist in regions that are still developing their hospitality or tourism infrastructure.
Risks and Challenges
A hotel is like a small kingdom, and running it is hard work, requiring attention to detail in many areas. Yes, it is stressful work, and you need a degree of psychological and physical stamina to maintain it. All aspects of hospitality and tourism are affected by so many factors that are simply out of your control: weather, political situations of unrest or calm, economic trends, social issues and trends, and so on. A dangerous situation in the region can bring tourism, even business travel to the area, to a virtual standstill overnight. Other things that can cause high stress are:
- visits by important persons (politicians, entertainers, royalty etc.), most of whom have very special requirements and an entourage to be tended to, plus special safety and privacy needs;
- incorrect bookings of groups, or late or early arrivals of large groups;
- bookings that do not provide accurate or complete information about guest requirements;
- unexpected shortages of supplies or food items;
- transportation problems;
- staff absences, errors or laxness;
- interpersonal conflicts;
- irate or offended customers and so on.
How to become a Hotel Manager
One common career path in this industry is through education, such as a qualification in hospitality or sometimes, in management. This can start you off with sound skills and knowledge that you can apply while gaining necessary experience. Another common career path is through experience: you can find work in any area of a hotel and work your way up by demonstrating your commitment, abilities and personal qualities. Surprisingly, many top hotel chains prefer people to work their way up at the hotel, as those people will be thoroughly trained in that hotel's ethic, standards and procedures. Therefore, you can start your career by starting with any job in a hotel, or by studying to gain at least basic hospitality skills, then proving yourself on the job - and be sure to let management know of your ambitions and your commitment.
To be successful in Hotel Management, you need more than just a good knowledge of the hotel industry. You need to develop excellent management, time management, interpersonal and research skills, and good interpersonal skills. A good hotel manager knows how to delegate, but always keeps a close eye on every aspect of the business and is always in touch with staff and guests. To succeed in this career, you need to become a good communicator and to actively seek information about what's going on in the hotel, the industry, and in the wider society.
If you are building your career by working your way into a management position, you might begin with a low-paying job, but keep in mind that hoteliers and others in hospitality usually appreciate good, loyal and committed staff, and if you are persistent and a good employee, you can often advance to a well-paying position within a few years. Many such businesses prefer to promote existing staff, where possible, to create a loyal and knowledgeable workforce. If you are self-employed, you might find that much of your income goes into building and developing your business. It is not unusual to find owner/managers of hotels and other accommodation businesses living and eating at the establishment, even though they are making good profits. In many ways, the greatest remuneration for the owner comes from the wealth of mutually beneficial relationships, prestige and power this position brings.
As you build your career in this field, focus on developing and consistently reflecting a high degree of professionalism. Pay attention to your dress, hair, makeup (all of which should be understated, simple and neat) at all times; do your job (whatever it is) to the best of your ability at all times; be polite, respectful and truthful to colleagues, superiors and guests; be scrupulously honest; listen carefully, and do not be afraid to suggest improvements or to identify areas needing improvement; greet guests, colleagues and superiors by name where possible; and let the manager and/or owner know that you want to prove yourself and advance. Take every opportunity to learn and develop new skills, and to help out in other areas to gain further skills and exposure. Also, become informed. Keep track of what's happening in the hotel (such as what groups are arriving, special visitors, seasonal variations, or special events), and get to know the layout and sections of the hotel, and what is offered. This will help you identify advancement opportunities, direct guests to different parts of the hotel, and when you do speak to managers or the owner, you can show that you are interested in the business, and willing to learn. Never try to advance yourself by degenerating others.
There are also future opportunities to go in a different direction. With additional study you will be qualified to teach hospitality or hotel management at vocational colleges or secondary school.
Success in hotel management depends a great deal on good relationships, as others will often refer groups or guests to you and provide good word-of-mouth promotion for your business. Also, it allows you to be of service to others, to do favours (eg. offer special rates to a group or friends), increasing your business and their loyalty to you. Therefore, it is helpful to join some professional bodies or organisations, though not necessarily in hotel management. For instance, you might find it more useful to participate in a state or city tourism body, your local Chamber of Commerce or other entrepreneurial body, and some community organisations. Community organisations not only provide opportunities to contribute to the community and be seen as an active community member; they are often attended by people in all kinds of businesses with whom you can establish good relationships. On your way to becoming a hotel manager, you can benefit from participating in community organisations where you can establish contacts and pass the word about your availability and skills (this is a proven job-seeking strategy).
The best way to ensure that you meet insurance needs is to consult insurance experts, and other hotel managers or owners. Given the range of activities that may be involved, you will at least need good insurance cover against loss or damage (such as damage caused by guests), glass breakage, fire, electrical damage, loss of income, as well as public liability insurance (covering harm to guests), product liability insurance (against harm caused by food etc.)
You may require a range of licenses and permits, both local and national, to operate a hotel, to prepare and serve food, to sell liquor and so on. These may vary from country to country, so check with your local government. If you are starting your business from scratch, you will probably need city approval to open, and may need to meet different building, safety, and environmental standards and requirements, all of which require government or official approval. You will need health department approval, and will usually undergo regular official health inspections to ensure that you meet established health standards, or be forced to close. As an employer, you might need to meet government requirements regarding superannuation, wage scales, workman's compensation, and discrimination on basis of race, age, gender etc, though requirements vary between countries. Do your research and find out what is required in your region.
Other Related Jobs
- Bed and Breakfast Manager
- Tourism Operator
- Wedding Planner
- Event Manager
WORKING AS A CATERER
There are many different types of catering, from small intimate gatherings to large corporate events to oil rigs out at sea. Caterers may be involved in providing fine dining experiences, or serving from a buffet at a sports event. Some caterers may specialise in a particular industry (such as weddings, mining, or corporate functions), or a particular type of food (such as vegetarian, or finger food). There is one thing that is the same across the board, that as a caterer you will be involved in the preparation and provision of food.
A catering business may be operated by one person (who may hire casual staff to help out for an event), or may be a large catering company that hires a team of caterers on a full time basis.
Depending on the type of business you work for, and the type of event you are catering your job may change, but the generic duties you will undertake include:
- Food preparation
- Food service
- Cleaning up afterwards
If you have more of a managerial role or run your own business, you will also be responsible for:
- Ensuring the quality of the food
- Maintaining good customer relations
- Networking to gain more clientele
- Meeting client needs
- Working to a budget
- Managing, recruiting and training staff
- Plan menus
- Arrange food attractively
- Marketing and advertising
There are many different opportunities in catering. Some caterers will own their own business. Others will be employed by large catering firms, or by establishments such as hotels or casinos. There are catering roles that are more focused on food service, such as chefs, wait staff, bartenders etc (these are usually hired on a contract/events basis), roles that are focused on marketing, advertising and networking, supervision and managerial roles, creative roles (menu preparation and food presentation), business operations role and event manager roles. These roles may all be done by the same person in a small business, or by a team of people in a larger company.
Caterers may work onsite, or may be mobile – preparing food in their own kitchen and delivering it to a premise.
There is continuing growth and development in the food and services industry. There are many jobs available for catering staff. You may start as wait staff and if you prove yourself to be a good worker you may work your way up in the organization. As well as advancement within an organisation, there is also opportunity for advancement through starting your own business and increasing the size of the operations.
Risks and challenges
Catering is a very competitive industry, and it can be a challenge to balance customer needs, budgets, and still maintain competitive offers.
Caterers can at times work long and unsociable hours, sometimes catering for more than one event in a day. Caterers will often be required to work evenings, public holidays, and weekends.
Catering can be physically demanding, standing for long periods of time, setting up equipment, loading and unloading equipment, carrying heavy food platters, and working long hours.
There can be a significant amount of pressure to ensure the food is prepared in a timely manner and presented well. Mishaps can produce high levels of stress, for example burning the food, a late delivery of produce, dropping a plate of food, etc.
How to become a Caterer
There are many different ways to become a caterer. Many people will start as wait staff then work their way up. Others may come from an event management background. Others will train as chefs then move into catering.
There is no one route to becoming a successful caterer, and ultimately it will come down to developing a certain set of skills, which will probably come through work experience, personal experience, and training of some sort (cooking, business, hospitality, event management etc).
Some of the skills you will need include:
- Leadership skills – depending on your role, most caterers are responsible for running a smooth event. You will need to be confident, and able to use your initiative to solve problems, and have good communication skills to ensure your team gets the job done in a manner that keeps the client happy.
- Time Management – it is crucial that everything is ready for the event you are catering for. It can’t be 10 minutes late, let alone a day late.
- Culinary and creative ability – You will need to be able to develop innovative and appealing menus that please the client, as well as having the ability to produce the food.
- Customer service – this is an important part of a catering role. You will need to be able to give great customer service to your client in the preparation of the event, and excellent customer service to their guests during the event. Having good interpersonal skills will also help you to network and gain new clients.
- Business skills – you will need to have good business skills to effectively manage your business. These skills range form administrative tasks to marketing skills, to financial management skills.
Other Related Jobs
- Hotel manager
- Wedding Planner
- Bed and Breakfast Manager
- Event manager
- Chef or Cook
- Small business owner
WORKING AS A COOK OR CHEF
Chefs will prepare a variety of foods, from entrees to desserts. Chefs are responsible for creating recipes and menus, then preparing the foods for customers at restaurants and other food service establishments. Chefs and head cooks are also responsible for supervising and managing other kitchen staff to ensure the quality and uniformity of food presentation is maintained, such as junior chefs, chef assistance, kitchen staff, and prep staff. They will also be responsible for ordering the correct quantity of food to be able to fill requirements.
In larger restaurants there may be a team of chefs and kitchen staff. They will each have a designated job that they complete.
Chefs may work across a variety of different roles, or may specialise in a particular food, such as pastry chefs, breakfast chefs, short-order chefs, teppanyaki chefs, soup chefs, executive chefs.
There are so many different opportunities for a chef. They may start their own service establishment, or work for someone else. The type of establishment they can work in varies from a fast food restaurant to fine dining, a beach side café, a hospital or school cafeteria, a retirement village, a holiday resort; not to mention to mention the different types of food that may be prepared at different establishments.
Other chefs work as private household chefs, preparing meals for individuals and families. This type of chef prepares meals to the client's specifications and dietary needs and personal chefs prepare a week's worth of meals that can be reheated. They can be self-employed or work for a company that provides this service.
There tends to be a fairly high turn around for chefs, and chefs are generally in high demand. You may find that if you get a job in the kitchen you will be able to move your way up to a head chef position relatively fast.
Risks and Challenges
Working as a chef can be very physically demanding. The environment is often very hot, they spend a lot of their time standing, and lifting heavy pots and pans.
Their work is highly stressful. The kitchen can be very fast paced and the environment can be highly pressurised.
Many chefs will work long and unsociable hours, including late evenings, early mornings, weekends and public holidays.
How to become a Chef
Whilst much of the learning will be completed on the job, a chef will generally have undergone some form of training. There are many different options available for training, from short courses to courses lasting several years. Ultimately it will be the experience that is gained on the job that will be of most value.
When you start as a chef you will most likely start at the bottom of the ladder working as a dishwasher or kitchen hand, then working your way up.
As a chef moves up the ranks they will need to develop leadership and management skills to run the kitchen efficiently.
Other Related Jobs
- Food Retailer
- Food Manufacturer
- Food Distributor
- Wait Staff
- Hotel Manager
WORKING AS A RESTAURATEUR
It takes hard work and persistence to own and run a successful restaurant, but the rewards are many. You get to meet and work with many different people; your schedule is varied; the work is very satisfying. If you plan well and put in the required effort, a restaurant business can provide a good, reliable profit, turning you from a struggling entrepreneur into a successful, comfortably well off, or even wealthy, businessperson. As the owner, you will reap all the rewards of your success. If you are committed to good customer service, and have or are willing to develop strong administrative and management skills, this might just be the business for you.
The opportunities for a restaurant owner are vast. There are many different kinds of restaurants, and many different ways to get started:
- You can buy an existing restaurant, and follow the established procedures and concept,
- Open a new restaurant with a different concept.
- You can join a franchise company and be trained in their system.
- You can buy or lease.
The remuneration also has a vast range. A restaurateur’s profits can range from being heavily in debt and losing money through to being very successful and earning a large income.
Risks and Challenges
As the business owner, you set the pace for the growth of your business and establish the basis for improving your profits. Yes, this puts the entire financial burden on you (and your partners, if you have that kind of arrangement), but you are also the main beneficiary of profits. Do not expect immediate wealth, though. If you bought or built your restaurant, it can take years to be free of debt because there is considerable overhead associated with a restaurant - wages (your own included), equipment maintenance and repair, food and beverage stock, energy for ovens, cold rooms, etc. A restaurant owner might do it tough for a few years, paying off loans or a large mortgage, before enjoying more of the profits.
A restaurant owner must keep a very close eye on all aspects of the business, and there are many areas where things can go wrong. Power blackouts, equipment breakdowns, spoiled food, complaining customers, incorrect or late deliveries, cash missing from the register, sudden slumps in business, meals arriving to customers too slowly, customers arriving late for bookings, chefs quitting on a busy night, staff failing to show, high staff turnover, escalating costs, arguments between staff, temperamental or flustered cooks - all these situations are part of the normal life of a restaurateur. This is a high stress job. It takes careful planning, self-management, and focus to keep things under control. For many people in this business, these daily challenges are part of the fun; they test the owner's abilities and inner resources, and make sure that the job is never boring.
How to become a Restaurant Owner
There are many ways to develop the skills to become a restaurateur. You can work your way into the business by learning from experience, listening and observing - even a former dishwasher or kitchen hand can become a successful restaurateur! You can take hospitality or cooking courses then strike out on your own.
Most restaurants fail for one of two main reasons: poor customer service or poor business management. (If your food is awful, the business won't even take off). Even if you are an excellent cook, you should prepare for this career by developing good customer service skills, and learning even the basics of good business practice, perhaps through a solid course. Look for a hospitality course, or, if you have experience in the food side of hospitality, a business course. Also, gain as much hands-on experience as possible in restaurant food preparation and service, which is nothing like cooking and serving food at home.
As an owner, you are not competing for a job, but you are competing for a place in the restaurant market. Therefore, do your research. Before setting up or taking over the business, study the demographics of the area (the kinds of populations - family, aged, students etc. that live there), and find out about the competition. Choose a target market and offer them something they want, and preferably, something that they can't easily find elsewhere (such as low-cost, healthy food; a child-friendly environment; special ethnic foods and atmosphere). Actively promote your business - offer special deals, extend invitations to important people, donate to community events, keep the media informed, reward repeat customers. Finally, always deliver what you promise: quality of food, reasonable prices, special atmosphere, and excellent service.
Because an investment is such a big investment, you should give serious thought to insurance. To set up and run a restaurant business, you usually need product liability (against possible harm from your food) and public liability (against possible harm to customers on your facility) insurance. You may also need insurance coverage against fire, theft, loss of income, and coverage for damage to glass, machinery and equipment. Insurance requirements may vary from country to country, so check on the insurance requirements in your region. Also, talk to restaurateurs in your area to find out what kinds of insurance they have. Insurance is expensive, but it can be far more costly to go without.
To open a restaurant, you need a special license. If you plan to sell liquor, you need a liquor license as well. You usually also need a workplace health and safety certificate, and provisions for workman's compensation. If you are building, you will probably need approval from the city council or a similar body. Check with your local government to find out what is required.
There's a lot more to running a successful restaurant than just investing money and buying or starting one. Above all, you need to know the industry, where you can make mistakes, and how to avoid problems. One of the best ways to do this is to study a good foundation course. You may consider studying both food and beverage, as well as management and business skills.
Other Related Jobs
- Event Manager
- Small Business Owner
- Bed and Breakfast Manager
- Hotel Manager
- Wedding Planner
- Tour Operator
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