Working in the hospitality sector can be very rewarding, personally and professionally. But it takes a certain type of person to be successful in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries. Unsure if you’ve got what it takes? Don’t worry. We’ve outlined some of the key skills that you’ll need to work in hospitality and remember – there’s always time to learn something new if you don’t tick all the boxes.
1. Customer Service Skills
The customer is always right. Always. The hospitality industry runs on the business of pleasing people. So it’s up to you to ensure that all your guests have a wonderful time, receive quality service and have nothing to worry about. It’s about meeting (and exceeding) your customers’ expectations.
Being good with customers involves a few skills. You need patience, resilience, good communication skills and good people skills. You also need to be presentable, charming, polite and punctual. Good customer service is all about sending your customers away happy – happy enough to leave you a good review and give positive feedback to others. And positive feedback can spread quickly, but negative feedback will spread even faster.
2. Language Skills
If you work in hospitality, you’ll get used to meeting people from different places. So the ability to communicate with speakers of other languages is an extremely valuable skill. Most people who are successful in hospitality can speak more than one language, as this is an international industry. Having more than one language on your CV can make you more employable.
But if you can’t speak two languages, don’t worry because plenty of people make it in the hospitality industry with one. Showing that you can listen to and be patient with people from other countries is just as important. If you want to brush up on your language skills, check out our articles on learning a new language.
3. Communication Skills
In the hospitality industry, communication is key because you’ll interact with customers on a daily basis. Being patient with people is important, as is addressing their needs with positivity and a smile! People that work in hospitality can work very long hours, so if you’re not a morning person or you’re naturally quite grumpy then it might not be for you.
Professionalism is key when communicating with customers. It’s how your business will grow and survive. Any miscommunication can result in an unsatisfied customer which can have consequences later down the line. And remember that body language can be just as important at communicating how you feel!
4. Financial Management Skills
Don’t worry if you’re not a born mathematician. Not being a whizz with numbers isn’t a dealbreaker, especially with the technology that runs through the hospitality industry. But having a knowledge of the mathematics that go into business can be a huge plus for any CV or hospitality job application.
Having a working knowledge of things like cash flow, profitability and tax liabilities will help you to run a successful business. Good mental maths will also speed up transaction times.
5. Industry Knowledge and Expertise
The hospitality industry is constantly evolving and changing with current trends. So having the ability to listen to what people want, and see what others are doing is key. Anybody in this billion-dollar industry must keep up to date with the latest trends, success stories, business launches and news. So you should make it your goal to understand what your guests want and need.
Get to know your customers as you know your friends and family and you will be very popular in this industry. Immerse yourself with industry news, email newsletters and social media groups. Joining a community is one of the best ways to stay ahead of the competition.
6. Cultural Skills
Finally, cultural awareness is important as you’ll need to interact with people from a wide variety of countries. You must be culturally sensitive, and respectful of other peoples views and customs if you plan to operate internationally.
Being understanding of different cultures and behaviours is important for any career but more so within this industry. Keeping an open mind can help you to avoid any misunderstandings that can occur as beliefs and values represent a person’s culture.
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