Hospitality management: Being the jack of all trades

When working in hospitality management, or generally wider hospitality jobs, there is no such thing as being able to say: 'That's not my job'. If you are a manager of a hotel, restaurant or bar, you will need to have a number of skills under your belt that go beyond the most comprehensive of job descriptions. You need to be a jack of all trades.

A multitude of skills

Having the right information to deal with both your employees and your customers is crucial in running a tight ship. You will solve disputes better if you know who does what and why, and where the company stands on a variety of issues. This means that a manager can act on the issue quickly and efficiently, rather than waiting around for someone else.

This means that a hospitality manager will also be a frontline manager, recruiter, hotelier, teacher, stocktaker, cleaner, cocktail creator, cellarmaster, waiter, bartender and ultimate host. All of this may seem a bit extreme, but think of the many times a manager has come on the restaurant floor to serve customers due to a problem arising. This will therefore mean that your communication skills also have to be top-notch.

You will inevitably be working under huge amounts of pressure. On a daily basis, you will be receiving requests and demands from customers, staff and owners, so you will need to multi-task and also prioritise which tasks are the more important. As manager, you will be the person anyone goes to for any concerns or questions, so as a 'middle-man', the ability to work under pressure is a prerequisite.

Because of all of the above, you need to possess great communication skills. Monitoring your workers while resolving problems with customers will mean that you are the glue that holds everything together. If you cannot explain procedures, delegate responsibilities, or deal with concerns, the whole thing will fall apart. While a manager should be able to accept directions, they must also be able to dish them out. Pardon the pun.

Drive yourself into success

Whether it is a hotel or a pub, the whole system would crash if there is no proper hardworking hospitality management in place. If you are aiming to climb up the career ladder, you will need to be naturally driven to stay on top of a lot of things. This means that these jobs are not suitable for those who get bored easily, cannot work under pressure or give up quickly.  

Be sure to do your research before committing to anything. If you are angling for a management spot, it may be worth speaking to your existing managers to see how life is like for them. Listen to their first-hand experiences and stories to determine if management really is for you. Most importantly, before you climb the next step, ensure that your skillset is varied as this is what truly will propel you along your career.