Hospitality Jobs

Overview

South Africa has a thriving tourism industry and the hotel, catering and events management sector is a growing and lucrative career option. Auxiliary roles in this field include waiting, cleaning, maintenance, administration and customer service, but whatever the specific position, those in this industry focus on serving their customers to make sure they are comfortable and well fed, be it during a conference, at school or on holiday.

Specific tasks include being able to receive and greet guests, managing large and complicated staff schedules, taking delivery of food and cleaning items, cleaning and maintaining rooms or halls, managing bookings, taking payment, advising tourists, dealing with complaints, implementing budgets, ordering and preparing large quantities of food on a tight schedule, decorating lobbies and hotel rooms, creating a menu, hiring and training staff, coordinating laundry and utilities for large buildings and much more.

Required Skills

Work in the hospitality sector will differ according to the specific role and service offered to the guest. Food and beverage preparation requires training and several courses and diplomas are available. Hotel management skills can also be learnt via specialized training courses, but they are not mandatory, and experience and strong networking skills can prove more useful. Other skills include:

  • A natural desire to serve and make guests feel welcome
  • Strong communication skills
  • Highly organized and meticulous with details
  • Quick thinking and ability to manage occasional high levels of stress
  • Adaptability, flexibility and creativity to solve problems as they emerge
  • Nurturing, friendly attitude and good listening skills
  • Good numeracy and IT skills
  • Assertive and outgoing personality
  • Calm and composed

Career Trajectories

Two main paths into the hospitality industry include general hospitality, and catering. The former concerns all operations associated with a particular venue, for example a hospital cafeteria or the front desk of a busy hotel. The latter is far broader and contains all jobs connected with food preparation (chefs and cooks), kitchen staff, waiters, hostesses, barmen, cashiers and cleaners.

A separate branch of hospitality also includes events planning and management for corporations, or else privately for functions like conferences and weddings.

Possible Job Titles