How to get a job in hospitality

Tue, 02/04/2013 - 17:16 -- nick

UnemployedNet supports The Mirror's Get Britain Working campaign.

The campaign has moved on to hospitality, the work area covering waiting tables, bar work, hotels, and events management.

This career is ideal for people who love working with people, and those who take pride in offering good service to customers.

The hours can be long but are often flexible, with shift work common, making the work ideal for those who have children or others to care for.

It is also ideal for those who want to work part-time to support their studies; students have been picking up bar and waiting jobs for years.

'We find the sectors that currently have vacancies, bring you the lowdown on who is recruiting and where and what it’s really like working in the industry.

As part of our campaign to Get Britain Working we have discovered 21,457 jobs in the thriving world of hospitality.

Despite the recession, this industry keeps on powering ahead.

There are positions for everyone, regardless of age or level of skills, whether you are a school leaver, returning to work, seeking a career change or semi-retired.

Louise Routh from Springboard, an organisation which helps people into hospitality careers, said: “The industry is a dynamic, exciting place to work, offering a range of job opportunities with good career progression and great rewards.”

Those in need of flexibility thrive, with nearly one third of jobs being part time. And if you show talent and ambition, you can fast track.

Worker's view

No hospitality business can function without pristine linen in the bedrooms and restaurants – which is where Stephen Hall steps in.

As a production operator for laundry giant Paragon in Yeovil, Somerset – which is part of the Brilliant Laundry Group – he’s in charge of two 100kg washing machines.

He said: “It’s hard work but I love it. I sort through all the tablecloths, sheets, duvets, napkins and the like then treat them to remove stains and marks.

“Anything that’s condemned – torn, items with holes, or beyond cleaning – goes in the bin.”

At times he is also manning Europe’s largest washing machine which can take 14 100kg loads.

“That’s a lot of laundry,” he laughed. “But it is really satisfying to get it spotless.”

When Stephen, 49, started with the company 20 months ago, he was only helping to set up the presses.

“I had been working at a much smaller laundry but decided it would make sense to join somewhere larger where I would have the chance to progress up the career ladder,” he said.

Within months, Stephen was given the chance to start an NVQ in Laundry, at Bridgwater College. The course is studied and assessed at work and more than half of the 500 Paragon staff are working towards the qualification, which is equivalent to five A-C GCSEs.

“I’ve nearly finished it and it has been really useful helping me get on top of Health and Safety as well as processes in the laundry business. I’m hoping it will stand me in good stead applying for more senior jobs.”

When he’s not operating his machines, Stephen is often out delivering clean linen to hotels and restaurants.

“I love the variety of the job,” he said. “During the Olympics, I was delivering clean laundry down to Weymouth where the sailing was happening.

“At other times a hotel may have ordered short so I will go out at the last minute to supply what they need. It’s great to feel you are a part of something.”

If you want to follow in Steve’s footsteps visit Paragon at where you will find vacancies for positions including engineers and supervisors.

Where are the jobs?

We found 9,719 opportunities advertised with Jobcentre Plus.

These include 4,348 waiting staff and 3,409 bar staff, from a hotel room attendant in Windsor (£6.19 per hour) to a hotel receptionist in Glasgow (£7), a waiter in Preston (£6.19) and a waiter in Plymouth (£6.19).

Bar jobs include several vacancies in Glasgow and the surrounding areas (£6.19) and a cocktail bar supervisor in Exeter (£7). At we spotted 7,432 jobs in hospitality including a waiter in Manchester (£6.19) and a hotel front of office manager in London (from £22,000).

At  we found 334 jobs including an opening for a head housekeeper in Malvern, Worcestershire, (£33,000) and an events manager in Newcastle (£14,000).

Reed has 3,972 hospitality jobs including an assistant restaurant manager in New Milton, Hampshire, (from £20,000) and a barista in Watford (£6.75).

Check big employers which have recently announced the creation of tens of thousands of jobs over the next few years.

These include IHG InterContinental Hotels Group, Whitbread, owner of Premier Inn and Costa Coffee, Accor which has 4,200 hotels including Novotel, and the Compass Group.


For impartial information and advice try CareerScope at or on 0845 293 2515 because there’s a lot of options to consider. You can get a job and learn through experience. In this case you will usually be able to study for NVQs/SVQs or an apprenticeship, either via a part-time college course or through distance learning. Find out more from the Institute of Hospitality.

You can also become a trainee. Many employers and training providers offer structured programmes with work placements, where you can earn while you learn. Visit:'

Via The Mirror