5 essential traits for building a career in hospitality

Today is Job Fair day, so let us help you figure out if hospitality is the right sector for you

The hospitality industry might be one of the biggest employers in the UK, with over 9% of the country's workforce employed in some kind of hospitality role, but that doesn't mean everyone is cut out for it. A career in hospitality is challenging and varied, and for the right person the rewards are huge. So are you that person?

When making a hire, we find ourselves looking out again and again for the same traits, no matter what the role. Here are the top 5 that give us that warm and tingly feeling, which tells us someone is likely to fit right in with us.

Empathy

Empathy isn't just about reading other people's feelings - it's about feeling what they feel, their highs and their lows.

Hospitality is an industry completely focussed on the customer and on giving them what they want. So if you're the sort of person that gets a huge kick out of seeing the look on your mum's face when she opens a perfect gift, which you picked out, hospitality could be the most satisfying industry you could pick.

Creativity

Don't listen to anyone who says they don't like surprises. People love surprises, some just prefer ones that stay in their comfort zone.

Being genuinely creative is about giving people something they don't expect. We find it's the best way to give people an experience to remember. Those little unexpected treats or fabulous displays around our desserts - it's what makes our customers love what we do. So creativity is a must-have for anyone who joins our team.

Hunger

And we mean literally - hunger. You have to love food. You have to think about it all the time. You have to devour every new cuisine and dish you come across, and love finding out about the best new recipes and restaurants.

If you're happy to slap some food on someone's plate and don't have much interest in tasting it and talking about it, a job in hospitality won't give you much happiness. But if you know you'll be excited about what's on the menu every single day, you should give us a call.

Flexibility

There is no set way of doing things. There is no "this is how it's always been done." Customers' tastes change all the time so we do too.

Whether it's making practices more sustainable, changing how we present our food, or emphasising healthier dishes, there are always ways to do things better. Being open to change is one of the best possible qualities hospitality pros can have.

Honesty

Sure, this goes without saying in any field. Really, what we mean by honesty is "taking ownership". This isn't about blaming yourself - a good company should make you feel able to admit to mistakes and work out how to avoid them in future. It's about telling customers clearly when something goes wrong, being able to apologise and improve.

It's also about being prepared to feed back to people clearly what is and isn't working, and suggesting ideas and improvements. Customers won't wait patiently while things continue chugging on inefficiently, so we rely on our team members to tell us quickly and honestly when we need to make improvements.

What do you think? Can you think of other essential qualities for building a hospitality career? Let us know.