Catering and hospitality is a great industry.
That’s my opinion and I stand by it 100%, but not enough people know or believe this. I still to this day hear members of the public asking my professional, full time front of house staff, “ So, what else do you do?” and then seem to be surprised to find out that this is in fact their sole source of income. And why shouldn’t it be?
Sit in any Spanish or Italian street corner cafe and watch the waiters at work. They are consummate professionals who memorise orders without writing anything down then present the right dishes to the right customers without having to ask. It’s an art – a wonder! Hospitality is their career, one in which they have trained and developed to be the very best they can be. They’re proud of their jobs, and rightly so.
It’s a truly superb industry and we should all embrace it. After all, everyone needs to eat, drink and sometimes be away from home, and we want it to be the most enjoyable experience possible.
If we’re going to get young people engaged with our industry then we need to start them young and ignite sparks of passion. Let’s infiltrate schools and colleges and lead pupils and students throughout their learning journey from primary school to high school, and from college and into their first job with the catering and hospitality industry. Let’s provide talks, run workshops, provide role play opportunities, offer scholarships and organise work-based placements. This industry can lead to the most amazing journey with plenty of opportunities along the way.
Work experience is paramount to ensure that the student is a good fit with the business. Some employers now leave it for the staff to decide if a certain individual will make the team, as it is the team that will be working with the individual on a day-to-day basis and not the human resource department or manager. Almost X-Factor in its approach! The idea of “try before you buy” could be invaluable and cut down on any unnecessary recruitment, selection and induction and training costs.
It’s well documented that many people leave a business when they don’t feel engaged, feel undervalued and aren’t entirely sure what their purpose is within the organisation. So with this in mind, let’s start at ground level with engagement, work up and up-skill. Develop, develop, develop!
The second area of attack is to engage with the local community. Let’s create hands-on opportunities for our neighbourhoods to see, feel, taste and touch our industry. It’s imperative for all hospitality operators to open their doors and let others take a peek inside. We can become showcase our brand while getting people to understand what we’re all about and adding credibility to our industry.
Invite children from your local primary school to a healthy eating workshop at your restaurant, cafe or hotel and you kill two birds with one stone!
Victus Consultancy is passionate about recruiting, training & developing talent in the catering and hospitality industry. Contact us if you’d like an industry expert to help you attract, retain, coach and mentor the very best people.