Getting Ahead in Hospitality

The hospitality industry is a huge sector, serving millions of customers globally every single day. The industry continues to grow, and due to this the need for a skilled workforce increases. The hospitality industry is driven by its strong workforce, with customers satisfaction pinned on the professionalism and service provided by its staff.

Getting a foot in the door of the hospitality industry isn’t difficult. Where the challenge lies is in working your way up the ladder into more senior or skilled roles. There are a number of ways to acquire experience and skill to move up through the ranks, helping you to get ahead in the hospitality industry.

The hospitality industry is huge, with several venues crying out for skilled and talented staff members to fill waiting staff, bar staff, chef and catering staff roles. Here is some advice on how to best get ahead in hospitality.


Most hospitality jobs don’t require further education or qualifications above GCSE’s, however, to get ahead in the industry it is worth exploring the hospitality subjects available in higher education. 

Various A-levels can lead to degrees that relate to the hospitality industry. These include business studies, tourism, sociology and hospitality management to name a few. Attaining these skills, whilst working in the industry can help you apply your learnings and once you’ve graduated, propel you into senior roles within the sector.

There is a lot of competition in the hospitality industry, so these qualifications and skills will help you stand out and get ahead of the competition, alongside placements or work experience in various venues.

You could choose a specialism if you’ve got your heart set on an area of hospitality in particular or you can select broader subjects to help you become an all-rounder in hospitality.

There are also many certifications you could work towards achieving to give you the edge over your competitors. These include the AHLEI certification and the TISOH certification. 

Networking and Making Contacts

Another way to get ahead in the hospitality industry is to network and build a list of contacts to help you in your career. Sometimes it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know. 

Networking with valuable contacts can assist in promotions, knowing when opportunities come about, seeing a gap that you could fulfil and develop pivotal relationships. Ways to network include integrating yourself with co-workers and being sociable. Learning more about your team and the business you work for as well as the inner workings. Become more involved where possible by volunteering yourself to complete tasks or work overtime that is needed.

A Good Work Ethic

To get ahead in the hospitality industry you must have a good work ethic. It’s a fast-paced industry where you require stamina and determination. Showing a strong and reliable work ethic will get you noticed and you will receive respect from those you work for and with.

Hitting your KPI’s and targets will show that you’re a valuable asset to a team and that you are not shy of hard work. Keeping morale high and being easy and flexible to work with will also gain you the recognition you deserve.

Flexibility and Commitment

Hospitality is a challenging sector to work in. The hours can be long and sometimes anti-social. It can be fast-paced and high pressured. However, at the same time, it can provide a flexible working routine for you to achieve the perfect work/life balance.

Showing your passion and commitment for your role, each shift you work will result in you being recognised and valued for your approach to your work. Rather than treating the role as ‘just a job’ and clocking in and out without much thought to your job, treat your job as a career and progress yourself, improve yourself and upskill. Take the opportunity with both hands and climb the ladder to success.

Put the Customers First

There is a well-known phrase in hospitality and that is ‘the customer is always right.’ Okay, we know they aren’t, but in a customer-facing role, you have to remain calm, professional, helpful and friendly at all times. 

Showing that you care about your customers and their experience will certainly put you ahead in the industry. If you go out of your way to make sure a customer feels valued and cared for, you’ll likely feel better job satisfaction and fulfilment. 

When dealing with customer complaints, by being non-confrontational and understanding and displaying empathy even in the trickiest of situations you’ll help the business reputation and provide an experience for the customer they won’t forget. Whilst dealing with customers you are the face of the brand and therefore it is your responsibility they come away with a good impression of the company you work for.


Working in hospitality there are systems, processes and orders to follow to make the shift run smoothly and seamlessly. If you spot areas that could be improved with better efficiency, or you have an idea to make customer experience better, put forward your ideas of innovation to management.

The industry can be accused of being stuck in its ways, rigid with traditional ways of doing things. But this is changing and if you can provide a fresh approach to the old ways of doing things, you’ll be bringing something new to the industry that others don’t.

This attention to detail is so important in the sector and will help you get ahead in the hospitality industry as a whole. Whether your idea aims to save money, reduce waste, make a task simpler or faster… no idea is a bad idea.