Careers in hotels

There’s never a dull moment when you take on a position in a hotel. If you’re looking for a career with a focus on personal development, the hotel industry has some of the highest levels of training in the hospitality sector. The great thing is that employees can

experience a variety of positions across the business. You can opt to build a career in the UK or work around the world. You can progress gradually without qualifications, or fast-track into management with degrees and diplomas. And it’s not just about general managers,

housekeepers, chefs and receptionists. They also employ florists, gardeners, human resource

experts, engineers, accountants, sales and marketing teams and other types of professional. Fortunately for you, the opportunities are

abundant. Certainly, London is as good a place as any to hone your skills and some of the biggest brands in the world have their foothold in the city – Dorchester Collection, Four Seasons, Hilton – as well as some of the coolest – Z Hotels, Firmdale and Red Carnation, to name a few. It also commands some of the highest salaries, with general managers earning an average of £85,000, and top earners banking £200,000, according to Berkeley Scott’s hotel and leisure salary survey.

Why hotels are a great place to work “We become part of the story of our guest’s lives. It’s building a connection with guests, whether you spend a few minutes in one of our beautiful lobbies, or hours guiding them through a culinary journey. “You have the chance to make someone’s day, to

give them a reason to come back to a city or a hotel. But it’s not just the guests that go on a journey, it’s our employees too. Hotels offer a fun, dynamic, extended family. We will guide and develop you, and working with like-minded people offers the opportunity to grow your skills and leadership style to build a long-term, rewarding career.” Varinder Singh, HR director, Maybourne Hotel Group

Careers in foodservice

If you have a passion for food and want a varied working life, foodservice could be the area for you. You could be working within a museum designing menus for guests, preparing lunches in a bank’s staff restaurant, or managing the match-day food and beverages for a football club. You may not have heard of foodservice, but it takes in

everything from fast food to fine dining – it’s just supplied by a third party. So it covers city firms’ dining rooms, staff restaurants, airports, train stations, oil rigs, race courses, museums, hospitals, schools and the Ministry of Defence. They are all served by foodservice companies operating under contract – which is why they are also called contract caterers. Foodservice companies include multinationals such as Sodexo,

Compass and ISS, large independents such as BaxterStorey and CH&CO, smaller players such as Bartlett Mitchell, niche caterers such as Rhubarb or Vacherin, and in-house caterers. Each type offers different opportunities. The big boys provide

structured career development, while the independents may allow more creative input. Roles include chef, waiter and food and beverage manager through to operations, marketing and management. Few other sectors of hospitality let you start your career back of house and end up in head office.

Why foodservice? “It has to be the people that makes contract catering so great. Firstly, the customers. We work in diverse locations, from schools, universities and visitor attractions to corporate head offices, livery halls and healthcare, so you constantly meet a wide range of people of different ages and from really varied backgrounds and cultures. “Secondly, it’s the colleagues in the company and also the wider hospitality industry.

We’re equally diverse and a creative and enthusiastic bunch. As hospitality trends and technology evolve, you can continually learn from colleagues, regardless of age.” Andrew Merrett, marketing and communications director, CH&CO

“A background in catering can lead to so many different career opportunities; from roles that require different craft skills to leadership and management positions. Many of the skills learned in the industry are transferable and can be used for a wide variety of careers, from procurement to sales and marketing.” Claire Aylward, joint managing director, Harrison Catering

“Contract catering offers flexibility, excitement and progression. With so many industries using hospitality services, where else can you go from working in retail to fashion, motorsport, universities or even cathedrals. “Late nights or weekends are rare, giving you that important work/life balance –

that’s right, you can work in hospitality and not work Saturday nights!” Maureen Sandbach, people director, BaxterStorey


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