Hospitality Jobs Overview

Now that you are happy to choose a career in hospitality, finding the one that’s best for you can be quite daunting. Especially if you’re unsure of what types of careers are available and what is involved in various hospitality jobs. And there are so many jobs to choose from – it’s a very diverse industry. Here are some broad industry sectors to consider:

Hotels, resorts and Game lodges
Restaurants and all other types of foodservice operations
Cruise ships, airlines and luxury passenger rail
Theme parks and casinos
Meetings, events and incentives
Recreation and sports management
Local tourist destinations and attractions
Having so many options open to you allows you growth and progression within one single industry through a variety of diverse and interesting job opportunities.

We’ve done a little job research for you and below you will be able to find some information on various job overviews. The skill requirements, salaries and other information may vary from one establishment to the next, so please use the information below as an overview or guide.

Let us know if we’ve missed anything out or if there is a specific career you would like help with (you can mail us at: marketing@hotelschool.co.za with your request)

Junior positions:
Front Desk Clerks / Receptionists: Receptionists are responsible for looking after the reception area, which is the first place guests meet when they arrive their hotel. The position requires that you can verify a guest’s reservation, and if there is no reservation, you’ll need to check room availability and make a booking for the guest. You will also have to handle a guest’s payment transaction.

Porters / Bellhop: As soon as a guest checks in at the front desk, the porter helps the guest take their luggage to the room and also ensures that the room is in good order for the guest when he/she arrives. The porter should be knowledgeable about the hotels facilities and should explain to the guests where the breakfast room is, the gym etc so that guests can easily make use of the facilities.

Room attendant: The primary role of a room attendant is to ensure that the hotel is kept clean, and in particular, the rooms. There are also public area cleaners. Room attendants are required to make beds, clean bathrooms, change towels, replace toiletries and more. They are a vital part of the hotels housekeeping service.

Room Service: Room service waiters are required to prepare trays for meals to be delivered to a guests rooms. They are to take an order and check the order before it enters the guests room. They need to be able to set up the tray in the guests room and remove and clear the tray after the meal.

Waiter/Waitress: Waiting staff are responsible for so many valuable F&B tasks to ensure that a guests dining experience is a great one. They need to take the guests order, serve the meal, clear the plates, serve the drinks / wine, and process payment.

Food Prep: The food prep worker prepares salads, and other cold kitchen dishes such as platters, breakfast goods, garnishes, and so much more. They essentially get the ingredients prepared for a chef to assemble or cook.

Line Cooks / Commis: Line cooks or Commis are required to know and understand food safety rules and regulations and may work their way up the kitchen brigade with or without a formal qualification. They are required to know basic cooking styles and techniques and are taught how to prepare meals for a restaurant.

Supervisory positions
Concierges: Most full service or luxury hotels offer a concierge service. Concierge’s need to be able to arrange so many diverse things for guests so effectively, they become the ‘information’ portal for the hotel. For example, they need to be able to arrange restaurant reservations at nearby restaurants, theatre tickets, babysitters, transfers and so much more. An in depth knowledge of the local area is a must. In some hotels, the Concierge is considered more important than any other staff member – because they know how to ensure guests get what they are looking for with very little fuss.

Front Desk Supervisor: This position requires managing or supervising front office staff such as clerks or receptionists. The Front Office Supervisor conducts ongoing training with staff to ensure that customers always receive the very best level of service at the front desk. Supervisors may also be responsible for hiring, firing or disciplining front desk staff.

Housekeeping Supervisor: Like the Front Office Supervisor, the Housekeeping supervisor is also responsible for hiring, firing and disciplining staff, as well as conducting ongoing training. Scheduling staff rotas and ordering supplies may also be included in this role.

Restaurant Manager: The Restaurant Manager is responsible for ensuring that the guest dining experience is amazing. The role involves meeting and greeting guests, and making sure that the waiting staff are looking after the guest in terms of service, whilst the kitchen is sending out the food on time and in a professional manner. The Restaurant Manager is also responsible for conducting staff training, and should be able to deal with guest complaints.

Accounting Clerks: Accounting clerks ensure that a hotel is paying its bills on time, its taxes, its’ staff as well as recovering monies owed by guests and other vendors.

Purchasing Clerks: Purchasing staff are responsible for stock taking, stock ordering, goods receiving, distribution and storage.

Event planners / co-ordinators: Planners are responsible for liasing with guests to ensure the planning and execution of weddings, events, conferences, seminars etc. It is an incredibly demanding role and requires planners to be empathetic to guests needs and also be able to provide a service within the operational scope of the property.

Assistant Banqueting Manager: Assistant Banquet Managers have the job task of helping assisting Banquet Managers operate a food-serving facility. As it says in the job title, they’re there to assist, so the duties of Assistant Banquet Managers will vary depending on the needs of their Banquet Manager and the type of event they’re catering for. Events can include weddings, corporate functions, political events, and PR launches. Read more here.

Assistant Hotel Manager: The assistant manager is often an administrative role with admin type job tasks aimed at helping the General Manager. It also includes overseeing operations, compiling reports, preparing budgets and generally assisting the GM at every level.

Sous Chef: The Sous Chef answers to the Executive Chef but will also manage other members of the kitchen staff and is in charge when the Executive Chef is unavailable or on leave. As assistant to the Executive Chef, the Sous Chef is responsible for: Menu design; Cooking different cuisines (food types); Overseeing the kitchen team; Ensuring cleanliness and order in the kitchen; Management of food resources and inventory to ensure sufficient supplies; Management of suppliers to ensure quality standards are maintained. Read more here.

Senior / management positions
Executive Chef: The executive chef plans the menus for all meals, according to hotel policies and guidelines. He or she is in charge of supervising all other cooks, Sous chefs, and all other kitchen employees. The Head Chef may order all the food and maintain a food budget. He/she should be able to assist the purchasing department and also be able to maintain a reasonable food cost. Menus, costings, purchasing etc are all part of the job.

Sales and Marketing Manager: Successful, profitable hospitality properties tend to have a great Marketing and Sales Department headed up by an effective Manager. The hospitality industry is highly competitive and good marketing is vital to the continued profitability of a hotel. The Marketing and Sales Manager is the person who controls the marketing, advertising, promoting and sales of the hotel’s products in order to make financial success a reality. Read more here.

Hotel Manager: A General Manager is also known as a Hotel Manager or sometimes a hotelier. He (or she) oversees the efficient operation and profitable running of the hotel or lodging property. The General Manager’s duties depend on the size and main function of the hotel (for example, a convention centre). A General Manager at a large full-service hotel will have more of an administrative job, overseeing managers and departments, while a manager of a smaller hotel is likely to take on some of those roles himself. Find out more here.

Financial Manager: A Financial Manager is a hotel’s head honcho when it comes to money. He plans how to spend it, save it, and increase it. The Financial Manager basically controls the finances of the hotel or hospitality property. Read more here.

Chief Engineer or Maintenance Manager: A Chief Engineer oversees the Engineering Department of a hotel. The Engineering Department takes care of the maintenance of the hospitality property which is a permanent, on-going job. For a list of the types of duties and responsibilities assigned to a chief engineer, click here.

Security Manager: A Security Manager is in charge of a hospitality property’s security. He oversees the Security Department and a number of security systems which protect the guests, the workers and the hotel buildings. For a list of responsibilities, click here.

Spa & Recreation Director: A Spa and Recreation Director is responsible for running the spa facilities and for providing guests with entertainment and leisure facilities and services. The spa and resources department of a hotel is a viable and a generous revenue-producing outlet as it can be where guests spend the most amount of time during the day. Most guests that use the spa are normally in the facility between 2 and 6 hours each day, and it’s the Spa and Recreation Director’s job to make those are pleasurable and well-spent hours. More information can be found here.

Executive Housekeeper: The Executive Housekeeper responsibilities include: Overseeing day-to-day cleaning responsibilities of housekeeping team; Maintaining relationships with all employees in their department; Handling all personnel issues within their department; Dealing with hospitality suppliers: linen, cleaning materials and guest supplies, such as soap, aftershave, etc.; Administrative tasks like controlling budgets supply costs, laundry, maintenance and wages; Organising staff schedules; Reporting on overseeing stock-takes, budgets and other paperwork, such as maintenance reports and safety audits. For more information, click here.

Food & Beverage Manager: A Food & Beverage Manager forecasts, plans and controls the ordering of food and beverages (drinks) for a hospitality property. He also manages the finances related to the whole process of purchasing food and drink for the hotel premises. “Purchasing” includes sourcing, ordering and transporting of F&B. Find out more here.

Front Office Manager: The Front Office Manager is responsible for: Managing and training the Front Office staff; Ensuring the front desk provides a professional and friendly service for guests; Dealing with guests; Arranging staff scheduling; Acting as liaison between General Manager and staff. For further details, click here.

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