It is always a bit scary to embark in a new adventure and start a new stage of your life, especially in a new place. You might feel like you don’t belong and aren’t really sure how to act. We have all been there.
To help you make a choice, we have gathered 10 different ways you will have fun while learning hospitality skills:
You have probably heard it many times and it is true: good communication is key in everything you do.
While studying hospitality, this is a skill you will mostly learn to master while working in the kitchen. You will learn to communicate both with the chefs and with your teammates. It may be stressful but don’t worry, you are not alone there and it is impossible not to have fun while working in the kitchen. Creating dishes, putting them together in an artistic way while closely working with your team for hours at hand in (sometimes) crowded spaces will create unparalleled bonds. You will learn from chefs the best way to communicate in a kitchen and if you listen carefully you will understand what it takes. Communication will also teach you the importance of teamwork!
Working with a team is crucial in hospitality. You have probably had some group projects during high school and you probably noticed that it is not always easy. However, teamwork while you study hospitality management is a completely different ballgame!
As you will work in teams for every workshop, you will quickly see that working together is way more efficient and fun that doing it alone.
You will learn to trust your teammates and share tasks with them. In fact, working in teams is not only fun but also allows to leverage each person’s skills and strengths while at the same time allowing you to learn from the people around you. Teamwork is not always easy but working daily in groups will allow you to learn from one another. Last but definitely not least, working in group also means meeting new people, making new friends and expand your mind even more by listening to other people’s point of view.
They say that multitasking is a women’s thing. Well, in hospitality it is everyone’s thing. Don’t worry, it sounds harder than it actually is. It is strongly linked to the above-mentioned teamwork: you must always be ready to help your teammates when needed. Imagine you are working as a barista at a coffee shop. Many people are waiting to be served their coffees. You are taking the order of a group of three friends that are asking for three different things. Multitasking can take many forms but in this case it means being able to serve the whole group at the same time.
Multitasking is a skill you will learn with practice, it will not come at once but gradually.
Being able to multitask will come easier every day, you will need first to get familiar with the space you work in and the things that surround you. Everyone can learn to multitask if you are willing to give 100% to what you are doing. The more involved you are in what you do, the easier it becomes. Look at multitasking this way: listen, watch and talk at the same time. These are basic things we all master, you just need to combine them. This way, you will be able to be aware of what is going around you and help your teammates while making everything easier for you both.
Adapt to different cultures
Hard skills are not the only skills you need in the hospitality industry, learning soft skills is just as important. You probably know that you will be surrounded by many different cultures in your future career. You have for sure already have interacted with people coming from different parts of the world and you know that each country has a different culture and therefore different ways of interacting with one another.
Being surrounded by these cultures daily will help you adapt to them in the simplest way and learn that what works in your country may be disrespectful for others.
Do not panic if you do not know the etiquette of all the countries, you are here to learn it and there is no better way to do so than seeing each person act their own way. Sometimes you may be surprised but you will soon see what a beautiful and fun thing it is to learn different behaviours and collecting them for further use.
You may not had to deal with this yet, but if you are interested in hospitality you already know that flexibility is a skill you need to have. It is not so much a skill as it is a mindset that you will acquire.
Flexibility can be about different things: it can be about the schedule but also about the tasks you will do.
In fact, working hours in hospitality may vary depending on the day and how busy it is but it can also happen that some departments will be busier than yours and you may be requested to go and help your colleagues. As said previously, flexibility is not a skill but a mindset simply because you will need to accept the changes and once again, see there an opportunity to grow and learn. It is not a difficult mindset to acquire and it is even easier when everyone around you is going in the same direction. It certainly keeps things fun and interesting when you know you might have to quickly adapt to unforeseen situations!
You can’t have a good day with a bad attitude and you can’t have a bad day with a good attitude.
This quote is definitely what it takes to understand how a positive attitude impacts your day-to-day life. It will make the job somewhat easier. Once again, it is not a skill but a mindset and you need to know what it takes to have it.
During hospitality studies, you will learn that everything that happens is an opportunity to learn more. You need to grasp every opportunity that comes to you even if you are not sure of how you can get the task done: say “yes” and figure out how to do it later. Just show you are willing to learn and try to do your best in the first place. A positive attitude will also make everyone around you be in a better mood and therefore make the work environment more enjoyable for everyone.
Attention to detail
This skill is probably one of the most important ones to have in the hospitality industry and maybe the one you are less familiar with or that you pay less attention to. Don’t worry, we all did at the beginning: when we are at home, if a glass has some water stains on it we don’t really care and we use it anyway. However, in hospitality, it is this kind of details that make the difference that upgrades a “good service” to an “excellent service”.
To acquire this skill and keep it fun, try to think of the service you would like to receive if you were in your customer’s shoes.
For example, if you overhear a customer saying that they crave chocolate, go to the pastry to ask if they can provide you with some. Attention to detail is something you learn by watching your supervisor but also your teammates that have some work experience. You get to learn from one another and it creates a unique bond between you.
Time management is the typical skill that you will need in any aspect of your life. At first you probably feel overwhelmed by all the things going on around you but you will slowly learn to deal with it. It is a mix of good sense and positive attitude. It can be stressful at the beginning but, like everything, you just have to start. Just start and you’ll find it is actually fun. To understand how you can optimize your time, you will first need to understand the tasks that need to be done and then see how you can combine them. For example, you are working at the bar and you just started to make a coffee, while it is pouring, go take the order of another customer.
As said, you just need to start and things will flow.
Time management can also mean helping your teammates if they are very busy and you have less going on. Once you get used to it, it is incredibly satisfactory to see how much you are able to achieve as a team.
You probably already know that you should always have a back-up plan. This applies to the hospitality industry as well. Don’t take this the wrong way by thinking that you always have to solve a problem. Sometimes it isn’t possible however, the most important thing is that you try your best to solve the problem. It can be anything. Remember the customer that was craving chocolate? Let’s imagine the pastry couldn’t provide you with some; try to find something else that may satisfy him, like cookies for example. This will show your customers that you are trying your best and they will truly appreciate the efforts while minding less than the problem even existed.
This one is definitely not a way to learn hospitality skills but it will for sure help you in that matter. You are about to begin your university years, enjoy it! Everything will appear so much easier to learn! You probably feel like you don’t but you have everything it takes to succeed and learn the necessary skills, all you have to do is start! You are allowed to make mistakes, no one will judge you for that.
As they say, the only people that don’t make mistakes are the ones that don’t do anything.
Just show you are willing to learn: you are surrounded by top professors and chefs, interact with them, and ask questions and tips… Enjoy the time with your teammates and learn from one another, the rest will come.