Working in hospitality

Jobs in hospitality and catering involve food, drink and hotels. Most also involve customer service.

As well as preparing and serving food and drink, there are jobs in planning, ordering and buying supplies. You could work in a small restaurant, a fast food outlet or a huge hospital kitchen. You might work for a catering company, covering events of all sizes in different venues. Hotels range from small B&Bs to huge 5-star establishments, or you could work at a holiday centre, campsite or on a cruise ship.

It's important to be flexible. When there are customers to serve, everyone needs to help out, which may mean doing things that aren’t usually part of your job. 

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Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Most entry-level jobs will be paid at the minimum wage.

Pay level graph

Future careers

As more people are interested in healthy eating and good food, there may be more jobs in smaller, special interest food outlets (including restaurants, cafés, pop-ups and food stalls). Smaller boutique hotels are also becoming more popular. There are opportunities to become self-employed, running your own small food outlet, bar or hotel.

Things to consider

Things you may need to know:

  • You need customer service skills in most hospitality and catering jobs. People want to enjoy eating and drinking, even if they are at work or in hospital.
  • Hygiene and cleanliness are very important. Everywhere (including toilets) must be kept clean and safe for staff and customers.
  • You could work anywhere in the world or on a cruise ship. Accommodation may be provided.

Useful links

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Hospitality Guild

Plan your career in hospitality

All About Careers

Learn more about working in hospitality and tourism

Tasty Careers

Careers in food and drink