Want to work in an industry driven by its customers’ every need? Try hospitality for size…
Naturally, this role involves managing a hotel – everything from recruiting staff, to budgeting,to overseeing housekeeping. This makes the hotel manager’s position one that demands high levels of organisation, and the ability to keep a cool head under pressure. Depending upon the size of the hotel, a manager may be in charge of just one particular department, and report to the general manager. To become a hotel manager, you can work your way up through the more junior positions. Alternatively, you may decide to study hotel management at degree level, and enter as a junior manager or manager following your graduation.
The job of a hotel porter is defined by a great deal of face-to-face contact with customers, as well as physical work. You will help guests carry their luggage, welcome them to the hotel, and run errands, such as giving directions, making reservations and arranging taxis. Work is usually organised in shift patterns, and you’ll spend a lot of time on your feet, so it’s not a role for those who don’t enjoy being on-the-go. Employers generally won’t expect qualifications. However, having a good general education, a polite manner, and maybe a basic qualification – such as a Level 2 Introduction to Employment in the Hospitality Industry Award – may give you the edge.
Also referred to as room attendants or housekeeping assistants, housekeepers are responsible for keeping guests’ rooms spic and span, and fully stocked.
From changing bed linen and towels, to stocking toiletries and toilet paper, to vacuuming rooms and corridors, a housekeeper must ensure that the hotel is always pristine – especially in four- and five-star establishments, where attention to detail is premier.
Remember that although you may not always be dealing with customers directly, as a housekeeper, you will be expected to represent the hotel at all times, and have a courteous attitude to all the guests you meet, so people skills are a must. Communication also forms an integral part of the role when working alongside the rest of the housekeeping team, and assisting other departments.
The catering manager of a hotel is responsible for the development of its food and beverage services. This includes developing new menus and organising dine-and-stay packages to attract guests to use the hotel dining services. The role also involves overseeing catering for events in the hotel, in partnership with the events manager.
The catering manager will spend time consulting with the chefs, managing staff (including hiring, arranging shifts and training) and overseeing administrative and financial aspects of catering. A culinary or management background is necessary for the role, and a related degree is useful – but experience will always be the most critical requirement when working at a managerial level. An experienced catering manager can expect to earn from £25,000 to £40,000.
Words: Jessie Bland
[This article was originally printed in Jobs & Careers with Hilary Devey magazine in May 2013]