Working in hospitality with GCSEs (or similar)

You could be preparing or serving food or clearing tables and washing up. Your workplace could be a pub, restaurant, café, fast food outlet or workplace kitchen.

Other catering jobs include preparing pre-packed food such as sandwiches, ready meals or airline food. Over 18s can serve behind a bar. Hotel work could include being a room attendant.

Case study

James, bar assistant

What do I like most? Working in lovely places at lavish weddings. It’s good to be part of making it a great day for the couple and their guests...

James, bar assistant for a catering company

Example jobs

Catering assistant
Serving, clearing tables, operating a till.

Kitchen assistant
Food preparation, washing up, keeping kitchen clean and tidy.

Sandwich maker
Working in a team to make sandwiches, baguettes, etc.

Coffee bar assistant
Making and serving hot and cold drinks and snacks, clearing tables.

Room attendant
Cleaning bedrooms and hotel public areas.

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Most jobs at this level are at the minimum wage.

pay levels graph

Typical working conditions

You may have contact with customers or work as part of the kitchen team. Work is likely to be fast-paced and physical. You will wear protective clothing or a uniform. You may handle cash and/or be in guest rooms. Many jobs are part-time or involve shift work.

Qualifications needed

To handle food, you need a food hygiene certificate. The employer may provide this training. Otherwise, no specific qualifications are required. You need a good attitude towards customer service and the ability to work in a team.

Career path

You could become a team leader or supervisor in a large catering outlet. In a small business such as a café, you could progress to manager. If you work in the kitchen, you could progress to a customer service, front-of-house role. Room attendants can progress to housekeeper.

Useful links

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Hospitality Guild

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