Holiday time is upon us, and many hotels and restaurants are getting ready for the high season – Summer time. This is when the majority of people take their annual holidays. With the warm weather and lack of energy to do serious work, it’s an ideal time to relax, play and rejuvenate with family, friends or loved ones.

The hospitality industry is always on the lookout for a good caterers, reception and front desk personnel to make their guests feel right at home. It’s those personal touches that make all the difference in the hospitality business. Many times, a single action taken by a key individual can make the difference between creating a loyal, repeat visitor and leaving a sour impression, with the result of alienating a customer.

Excellent food preparation skills are also of top priority. Cooks are a dime a dozen, but a qualified professional chef is worth their weight in gold. Good food practices, care, knowledge and a sense of focus during even the most high pressure situations can make this somewhat high pressure job a very much well sought out position, for which employers are prepared to pay top salaries. For seasonal needs, some employers “hold on” to a good chef with a small but adequate income throughout the year in order to retain their loyal services. The nightmare of every good restaurant is that their valued chef will find a better offer and leave them stranded during high season!

How to get a good job in the catering and hospitality industry? To get in this business, some education is desired. There are associate programs in the local colleges, both private and public, offering a two year hotel management program. There, you can get familiar with the basics, standard practices, which paperwork you will need to be familiar with and what to expect on a daily basis. First aid procedures, safety, safeguarding of assets and guest privacy are also important points that people in this industry must tune into. A person who is flexible, knows how to think on their feet but also is a stickler for details and can follow a harmonious daily rhythm is an excellent candidate for work in the hospitality field.

If you’re interested in a job as front desk clerk or receptionist, it may be possible to get on the job training if you are lucky enough to be a person with good communication skills. There are situations where a person is in the right place at the right time and is trained on-the-spot. A hotel receptionist should be precise, detail oriented, orderly, disciplined, and well groomed and always smiling. Some reception positions, especially in the four star hotels, require that their person “never sit down”, except on their meal break! This may seem demanding, but is meant to show that the employee is prepared to receive them at any time of the day or night, 24/7.

Conversely, successful chefs must definitely attend a structured course to learn the basics of cooking. Most chefs in training will be understudies of older, more experienced “maestros” who have learned the ropes through years of experience. Like other apprentices, they must put up with tasks like cleaning and preparing vegetables, and helping in a support role before being allowed to cook serious entrees with expensive ingredients. No one likes to waste food, and new chefs must be ready to listen, learn, and develop their own creativity based on the hard work and experience gained in the kitchen. With a few years’ experience as a junior chef, the mature chef can now consider working as the new “general of the kitchen”, one that can make or break a successful restaurant.

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For information on general catering recruitment or chef recruitment check out CSI.