Careers Service Occupations

Hospitality & Catering

Hospitality and Catering

About

The hospitality sector is the UK’s 4th largest employer with over 180,000 businesses employing 4.49 million people, according to the British Hospitality Association (BHA)

Careers advice

Industry news

Professional bodies

These represent people working in the sector, providing training and networking opportunities. They often provide careers support for students and graduates. They also provide development for people already working in the sector. Follow them on LinkedIn or visit their websites for news, contacts, work experience and vacancies.

The main professional associations for this sector include:

Making contacts

Making contacts is important for success in this sector. Many jobs in this field come through networking and speculative applications. You could start with:

Social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, is useful for making contacts, finding employers and opportunities. Find out more about how to use social media for your career.

Events

Recruitment fairs, open days, talks and events give valuable insight and opportunities to make useful contacts. For events for this sector see Careers Service events and External Events.

Roles & Skills

The following job profiles include descriptions of typical duties, entry requirements and case studies.

Catering manager

Fast food restaurant manager

Public house manager

Restaurant manager

Accommodation manager

Hotel manager

Skills employers look for

  • excellent communication, interpersonal and customer service skills
  • flexibility and the ability to think on your feet and use your initiative
  • a tactful and diplomatic approach
  • the ability to motivate and manage people effectively
  • organisational and planning skills with the ability to manage a budget
  • an up to date knowledge of health and safety and licensing legislation

Gaining Experience

Work experience is an essential requirement in the catering and hospitality sector. Customer service experience in particular is beneficial.

See TARGETjobs: getting a graduate job in hospitality: suitable work experience for ideas. 

A part-time job in a restaurant, hotel or event catering is a good way to gain experience of the sector. Use Vacancies Online to search for both work experience and part-time jobs.

JobsOC is an on-campus jobs agency offering temporary and casual university work assignments to current students. Assignments can include working in on-campus cafes and restaurants and helping out at catering events, drinks receptions and graduation ceremonies.

Smaller restaurants and hotels often don’t advertise jobs. You may need to contact them with a speculative approach.

Internships

INSPIRE work experience has taster days to year-long placements in hotels and food and services management.

See also Internships, placements & shadowing for more sources of work experience.

Specialist recruitment agencies

VIP International is an international hotel recruitment company. REC Directory of Members allows you to search for catering recruitment agencies.

Finding companies

Find companies that interest you and get in touch, always with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for. 

Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlighting any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

See Researching Employers for more information on finding companies.

Finding Jobs

Use the following resources to find advertised vacancies and research employers for speculative applications.

See Prospects: getting a graduate job in hospitality and events for more information.

Hospitality and catering

Vacancy sites

Hotel and accommodation management

Vacancy sites

Graduate schemes & entry level jobs

Specialist recruitment companies

VIP International is an international hotel recruitment company. REC Directory of Members allows you to search for catering recruitment agencies.

Finding companies 

Not all jobs are advertised. You can approach companies or find work through networking in the industry. Find companies that interest you and get in touch, always with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for. Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

See Researching Employers for more information on finding companies.

Self-employment

Being self-employed is common in the hospitality or catering sector.

There is the option of opening up a franchise or running your own pub or restaurant. See Greene King: How to run a pub for an insight into managing your own pub.

Rise Up provides information on activities and support for eligible Newcastle students and graduates interested in developing enterprise skills or starting a business.

COBRA provide factsheets and reports on starting up and running a business. COBRA can only be accessed through a University computer on the Newcastle campus.