The hospitality industry

  • Created by: Louise98
  • Created on: 10-06-15 15:06

The hospitality industry

The hospitality industry is important because it:

  • is a national employment provider
  • benefits the local economy- by providing jobs and using local businesses e.g. butchers, plumbers and florists.
  • has important links to leisure, travel and tourism.

Hospitality is the fastest growing industry in the UK and covers a vast area of employment. There are over 2.5 million people employed in the industry in the UK. Many employees are British, but now there are over 40% from other countries. Many establishments try to employ local staff, howvever there is a shortage of staff available so some jobs are advertised abroad. The quality of training offered in the UK also means that people are employed in prestigious placements abroad.

The hospitality industry has links with tourism as people travel for work or pleasure and they require food, drink and sometimes accommodation.Overseas visitors spend 1/3 of the cost of their holiday ion accommodation and catering. However the numbers of tourists fall if the weather is bad or there are increased risks to health and safety, for an example an outbreak of disease or act of terrorism.

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Organisations in the industry

There are several organisations within the hospitality industry:

  • Institute of Hospitality
  • RIPH- royal institute of public health
  • CIEH- chartered institute of environmental health
  • SSC- sector skills council
  • People 1st- Sector skills council for hospitality, leisure and travel and tourism.
  • BHA- British hospitality association
  • BII- British institute of Inn-keeping
  • RSPH- Royal society of the promotion of health

Many of these organisations set and promote standards of safety, management and education in the hospitality, tourism and leisure industries.

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Sectors in the industry

Sectors in the industry:

  • Accommodation- hotels and guest houses which provide accommodation, food and drink and sometimes entertainment for the customer.
  • Food and beverages- Cafes and restaurants prepares and serves food and drink to the customerr. Outlets include fast food, restaurants, public houses and contract caterers.
  • Meeeting and events- Hotels and Conference centres provide rooms to hold meetings and events. They may also provide food and drink for the clients and sometimes even accommodation.Clients specify what kind of service they require e.g. boardroom-style meeting room with lunch and refreshments served at given times.
  • Entertainment and Leisure- Spa centres, golf clubs, cinemas and bowling alleys. People often want food and drink when they attend these establishments and this sector meets those needs.
  • Travel and Tourism- Aeroplanes, Cruise ships and hotels. Customers who are travelling by plane, boat, coach or car all require food and drink on the journey.

Staff working in these sectors can be Full time, Part time or casual staff. The hospitality industry links with the tourist industry as they both provide customer service and giving information about establishments that have the facilities the customers need. This could be being close to attractions or having leisure facilities for the Customer.

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Types of Service the hospitality industry provides

Accommodation: Customers may need accommodation for one or more nights. Accommodation can come in basic single, twin or double rooms with en-suite facilities or in a more luxurious room or suite. The cost will depend on the facilities, the geographical location and the level of service. Services like WIFI, mini bars will have additional charges.

Food and drink: Customers may need full meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meals may be from a set menu, table d'hote menu or a a la carte menu where customers have the choice of starter dishes, main courses and desserts on lunch and dinner menus. Breakfast may be continental, full english or 'mix and match' which is often served buffet style to cut down on staff numbers needed. Some establishments have special 'meal deals' where customers get the cheapest meal free. Many establishments offer children's meals at a reduced price.  Delegates at a business conference and guests at a wedding reception often have pre-arranged set menus. 

Snacks, including tea and coffee-Some establishments may have a snack menu, usually in the bar, where customers can order snacks instead of meals at specific times during the day. Cafeterias offer both snacks and meals at all times.

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Types of service continued...

Conference facilities: Many establishments offer a facility for meetings  or conferences to take place, ranging in size. Rooms for a conference can be laid out in a number of styles. The main styles are:

  • Theatre- rows of seats so delegates can watch a presentation or listen to a speaker or presenter.
  • Boardrom- a large table (rectangular, oval or round) where all delegates can see one another.
  • Cabaret- lots of small tables for groups of delegates to work together.
  • Top table- the most important people sit on the top table facing everyone else (often used at wedding receptions.

Function facilities- Customers may need a venue to hold a function such as a wedding reception or a birthday party. Many establishments offer these facilities e.g. church halls, public houses, civic centres, historic houses, restaurants and hotels. Costs will include the hire of the room and other requirements. Customers often want to provide their own food, drink and entertainment such as music. Some establishments allow this; and others don't.  Hotels usually offer an 'all in one' price for the room and food. Prices will vary depending on the establishment and its facilities. 

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Types of clients

There are a range of client groups who require different services from the industry.

Businesses often use facilities and services in relation to work, such as conference facilities, food and accommodation for meetings, training sessions and other courses. These services are usually paid by the business. They may use contract caterers to provide food and drinks for in-house meetings so are profit making.

Private- this is where a customer's individual demands are met. Private events may include weddings and parties and can be held in a variety of establishments scuh as hotels, restuarants, local venues or at home. Private events are usually non comeercial so don't make a profit.

Groups include tourists, associations and clubs. They have a variety of requirements. Some customers have speial requirements because of their culture or dietary needs. Customers can also be grouped into ages and each group will have their own needs.

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Job Roles

  • Manager- who is in charge of the day-to-day running of the company, and is responsible for making a profit and organising every area.
  • Assistant manager- who is responsible to the manager and may have work delegated to him by the manager. They will also be in charge in the manager's absence.

Front of House:

  • Head receptionist- who is responsible for taking the bookings and ensuring staff are given the correct information. The receptionist is the first person the customer comes into contact with. They help customers check in, and deal with any complaints. They inform other departments about room bookings, and may also complete staff rotas and deliver staff training.
  • Assistant receptionist- who assists the head receptionist, helps customers to check in, deals with bills and answers the phone.
  • The porter- who delivers the cases to rooms and helps setting up rooms for conferences etc.
  • The night porter- covers the reception at night and ensures any complaints or queries are dealt with effectively.
  • Concierge- who moves the customer's cars, help with booking trips and theatre tickets, call taxis and look after luggage.
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Job roles in Accommodation

Accommodation services: Head housekeeper- who is responsible for ensuring all the rooms are ready for customers, compiles rotas for staff, ensures staff are aware of what rooms need to be cleaned and checks laundry.

  • Housekeeper- who is responsible for allocating jobs to chambermaids, checking laundry and toiletries, checking rooms are cleaned correctly.
  • Room attendant- who cleans rooms, changes the beds, and checks toiletries, towels etc.
  • Maintenance officer- who completes any repairs that can be done in-house, gets specialist maintenance staff in when required.

Working together:

Within the hospitality industry it is important for all areas to work together. 

  • Housekeeping must prepare the room and let reception know it is ready for the customers.
  • Maintenance may have completed some repairs that were reported by the room attendant.
  • Concierge are the first to greet the guests when they arrive at the hotel and tell them about events close by.
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Working together

Working together:

Within the hospitality industry it is important for all areas to work together. 

  • Housekeeping must prepare the room and let reception know it is ready for the customers.
  • Maintenance may have completed some repairs that were reported by the room attendant.
  • Concierge are the first to greet the guests when they arrive at the hotel and tell them about events close by.
  • Reception are contacted if the guests need any special equipment e.g. baby cot.
  • The porter assists the guests with their luggage.
  • The restaurant staff are notified by the reception what time the guests would like to eat.

All this may have occurred because the administrative staff have developed and advertised a special weekend deal for families.

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Conference Managers

Conference managers are responsible for organising conferences and events to be held at the establishment. When a customer makes enquiries about holding an event or conference they speak to the conference manager who will arrange a meeting. At this meeting the customer will tell the manager the date and time of the event, how many people will be attending and what sort of facilities are required. The conference manager will keep in touch with the customer at frequent intervals to check that the requirements have not changed. For example, they need to know of any special dietary needs of the guests. Prior to the event the conference manager will ensure all staff are booked and that the room is set out to the needs of the customer. On the day of the event they will meet the customer and bried them on the fire and safety regulations. They will be available throughout the event to answer any questions and to sort out any problems that may arise.

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Planning an event-based function

When planning an function or event, the following must be considered:

  • date and time of event (term time, daytime, evening) must be planned well in advance. The date and time must be suitable for the organisers as well as the guests.
  • choice of venue and booking (on/off site, without/with cooking or reheating facilities) Look at areas within the workplace that are big enough and discuss the pros and cons.
  • cost, portion control and profit (profit may not be applicable for all events)
  • advertising and promotion (invitations, posters and flyers)
  • number of guests (must be a minimum of 10)  Think about the number of organisers.
  • type of menu (buffet, sit down meal, etc)
  • dishes chosen (consider specific dietary requirements)
  • style of service (self-service, assisted service, wait service)
  • decor and room layout (colour scheme, decorations, flowers, dance space, buffet or sit down style, layout of tables and chairs)
  • table layout (place setting, style of napkin fold, table decorations)
  • menu cards and place names (to match theme, decor, invitations, etc)
  • risk assessment (safety, hygiene, fire, first aid)
  • staffing (reception, kitchen, food service, housekeeping)
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Menus and types of service

Table d'hôte menu- this is a set menu for a set price. This type of menu may have a selection of starters, main course and dessert. The customer then selects which one they would prefer, usually there is a vegetarian option on the menu.

A la carte- This is a selection of courses, all priced individually and cooked to order. This menu usually has a wider choice for the customer for each course and many include a fish course and a wider selection for vegetarians.

Take-aways- These menus give a list of various products that are available at set prices. They aren't eaten on the premises and may be delivered to the home.

Children's meals- Children's meals are often on a separate menu that is more colourful and may include a theme. The choices available are limited and now often include a healthier option or multiple choices so the parents can make up the meal to suit the need of the child.

Set menu- usually have a choice for the customer and then may choose one option for the guests or ask each guest what they require from a limited choice.

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Menus cont and things to consider when planning a

Fast food/cafe- these menus have a choice of quick to prepare foods at set prices. The foods may range from snacks, sandwiches and cakes, to a full dinner or breakfast. They also include drinks that can be bought separately or with the meal or snack.

Things to consider when planning a menu:

  • colour- food should look appetising with a range of colours.
  • texture- should have a range of textures
  • flavour- range of contrasting flavours but not too many
  • the skills you have- choose recipes that will be successful, the equipment you have
  • temperature- the food needs to be cooked at
  • time- it takes to cook the food
  • foods in season- keep costs low goods which are imported may be more expensive.
  • cost- the meal according to ingredients purchased.
  • customer needs- special dietary needs considered
  • the occasion- affects the type of menu
  • the type of menu- e.g. buffet for charity event but three or four course wedding reception.
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Preparation and presentation of food

Soups- should be served hot, in hot bowls on a side plate. Always add some garnish before serving and ensure the bowls arent too full. Use a ladel to ensure accurate portion control.

Starters (hot and cold)- these portion shouldn't be too big, as customers should not be too full to enjoy the main course. Hot starters should be served on hot plates and cold starter on cold plates. Add a garnish to enhance the look.

Main courses (inc veggie)- an average serving of 200g of meat or protein product and 200g of vegetables.Don't overload the plate and ensure that all portions are the same. Garnish such as a side salad can be added to meats such as steak and chicken. Fish dishes can be served with a wedge of lemon and some parsley to enhance the look.

Desserts (hot and cold)- individual portions should be served and should be consistent in size. Cold desserts should be served on cold plates and hot desserts on hot plates.

Beverages (non-alc)- if you are serving non alchoholic wine alternatives use the appropriate wine glasses. Water and fruit juice should be cold and served in wine goblets or tumblers. Tea and coffee should be served piping hot and tea not stewed.

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How to serve customers correctly

  • Before guests arrive, make sure that all tables are set correctly and no cutlery is missing. Check that all knives are facing inwards and that cutlery is straight. Ensure that napkins are set out correctly and all the condiments are ready for the meal.
  • When customers arrive, the first thing staff should do is make the customer feel welcome and show them to their table. This is called greeting and seating and is the manager's responsibility.
  • A seating plan for guests can help when serving the meals. Make sure that staff stick to the seating plan to avoid disruption later.
  • Customers should be asked what they would like to drink.Check if they have pre-ordered, and if they have not, give them the menu. When staff return with the drinks they should ask if they are ready to order. Staff should be polite at all times. When taking the order staff should stand to the left of the customer. They need to be familiar with all dishes on the menu and be prepared to answer any questions.

Serving the food

  • As a general rule women and older people should be served first. Some establishments serve food from the left and clear from the right, others do the opposite. However, drinks should be served from the right whenever possible. The staff should do a 'satisfaction check' in the first few minutes to see if the meal is satisfactory.
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Customer service/care

Customer care means:

  • recognising customers needs
  • maintaining customers comfort and security
  • making sure customers are satisfied.

To achieve customer care staff need to:

  • put customers first
  • provide safe, secure, comfortable and hygienic surroundings
  • make customers feel valued so that they want to return
  • deal promptly and effectively with customer complaints.

If a customer complains:

  • listen to the details of the complaint
  • repeat the complaint briefly to show you understand the problem.
  • Handle the complaint properly.
  • make an immediate adjustment if you can.
  • apologise and always treat the customer in the way you that you would want to be treated yourself.
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Standards of customer care

  • Standards of customer care include:a clean and well presented entrance
  • a warm welcome from head waiter, restaurant manager or receptionist
  • sample menu and drinks list on display
  • staff who are smartly dressed and well groomed
  • staff who smile when talking to customers
  • customers shown to their tables quickly
  • if there is a delay staff apologise and give a reason / customers are served efficiently
  • staff who are polite and attentive
  • staff who are helpful/ understand the customers' needs
  • staff who have a professional attitude
  • Staff who escort customers to the door at the end and say goodnight.

Measuring customer satisfaction helps organisations provide more effective customer care. This is done by:

  • comment cards
  • questionnaires
  • focus groups
  • talking to customers/ some may be mystery customers
  • observing customers/staff feedback
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level of service/Customer satisfaction

If the level of service is:

  • attentive and efficent- but not rushed
  • friendly and welcoming- but not too familiar
  • helpful- when advising on drinks and dishes

The the expectations of most customers will be met. 

Measuring customer satisfaction helps organisations provide more effective customer care. This is done by:

  • comment cards
  • questionnaires
  • focus groups
  • talking to customers
  • observing customers
  • using mystery customers
  • using staff feedback. 
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Problem solving

Problems occur in the industry all the time. Often there are immediate solutions to a problem but sometimes they need a long term solution.

The soup is cold

  • Immediate respnse: apologise and take back to the kitchen and replace or offer alternative.
  • Long term response: refer to head chef to make sure correct training and checking procedures are in place.

A tap is dripping in a hotel bedroom

  • immediate response: send maintenance to fix the problem. This will prevent accidents, water damage and loss of water.
  • Long term response: regular checking, reporting,maintenance and repair.

When given compliments you should do the following:

  • thank the customer andshow you are pleased to receive the compliment
  • Ask if anything could be improved next time
  • pass on compliments to others, especially to the chefs if they are about the food.
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Corporate image

Many companies within the industry have their own corporate image eg McDonalds. They are easily identifiable by

Logo Uniform/dress code Menu Layout of establishment Advertising  Logos Typically, a logo's design is for immediate recognition. It may be more effective than a written name, especially for logos designed to be recognised in many different countries. Eg the Coca cola logo is instantly recognised in any country by its colour and distinctive ribbon wave. Different colours are important in representing emotions. Eg loud colours such as red will attract the attention of drivers, green is often used for health foods, pastel colours suggest dependability, quality and relaxation. Warm colours (red, orange & yellow) are linked to hot food and can be seen on many fast food logos. Cool colours (blue, purple) are associated with lightness and are often used on diet products.

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Corporate image

Uniform/dress code: Some companies insist that all staff wear the same uniform; this makes it easier for the customer to identify them. It also saves staff paying for their uniform and they are often laundered by the company. The uniform may change depending on which area of the establishment they work in.

Menu: Often the menu chosen in large companies is the same no matter where you are in the country or abroad, e.g. Mcdonalds, Brewster's fayre and Beefeater. This enables the companies to arrange large orders with manufacturers and possibly make big savings and therefore bigger profit. Customers get  to know the menu and are familiar with it.

Layout of the establishment: can be the same or similar across the country: this makes the customers feel secure and at home no matter where they are: little chef, Mcdonalds and burger king. Again the customer knows what to expect.

Advertising: Large international companies spend millions on advertising and promoting their products and services. May companies combine with others to run joint promotional activities for example virgin atlantic offer special discounts on car hire and accommodation when buying tickets. Mcdonalds have link with disney so gives away 'free toys' when new films are released.

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Quality assurance and quality control

Quality assurance and quality control are systems that are used within the hospitality and catering industry to ensure that customers have products and service that are a consistent standard. The best known quality assurance systems are produced by the national tourist organisations and AA where stars are awarded to establishments to show the quality of facilities and service they offer. 
Restaurants are also involved in star ratings. Michelin stars are awarded every year to those providing excellent standards of food and restaurants that are rated 'very good' or better feature in the 'Good Food guide'.

Reliability: carrying out service at the expected or appropriate time. This means guests aren't kept waiting. Hotel bills should be accurate so that guests do not have to question or challenge them. Accurate records are kept for any queries.
Responding quickly to customers: members of staff deal with customers willingly and promptly.
Competence: Members of staff have the skills and knowledge to carry out the service.
Accessibility: Members of staff are easily accessible. No matter what time of day or night it is. Staff are also approachable and friendly.
Courtesy:Members of satff are polite, considerae and friendly without being familiar. Staff are also well groomed and show respect to customers and their property.

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Quality assurance and quality control 2

Creditability: Members of staff are trustworthy and honest. Staff have the customers' well-being and enjoyment as their first control.

Communication: Members of staff should be able to cater for different customers' needs-this may involve addressing the customers in their language, or simply being clear and concise when dealing with problems and queries. Customers need to know that problems will be handled quickly and effectively.

Security: Customers need to be assured of their physical safety, to have financial security and confidentiality.

Meeting customer needs: Members of satff find out what they customer needs are, and meet or exceed these needs with good customer care. Staff should recognise 'regular' customers and make them feel welcome.

Other factors that contribute to quality include the surroundings, the appearance of the staff and the tools or equipment used to provide the service. Quality will also be affected by other customers. If other customers are noisy or disorderly, it will affect people's enjoyment of a meal or stay in a hotel. 

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Accomodation ratings

One star Hotels

Courteous staff provide an informal yet competent service. All rooms are ensuite or have private facilities, and a designated eating area serves breakfast daily and dinner most evenings usually near by. Room service isn't usually available. These hotels are usually situated near major motorways and few have swimming pools.

One star Guest accommodation

Minimum quality requirements for cleanliness, maintenance, hospitality, facilities and services. A cooked or substantial continental breakfast is served in a dining room or eating area, or bedroom only.

One star self catering

Minimum quality requirements for cleanliness, maintenance, fixtures, fittings, and furnishings. Items provided are adequate and functional, all in working order, and are fit for the purpose intended.

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Two star

Two star Hotels

These are often situated near office parks, airports and shopping/retail areas. Usually these hotels don't have restaurants or room service but offer free parking and sometimes a pool. Usually a restaurant or dining room nearby serves breakfast daily and dinner most evenings. Transport may be available to nearby airports.

Guest accommodation

Courteous service, well-maintained beds, and breakfast prepared with a good level of care.


A good standard of quality overall is required, with improved coordination and use of space, and a wider range of items provided.

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Three star


The hotels are usually situated near motorways, in city centres and suburbs. Staff are smartly and professionally presented. The restaurant or dining room is open to residents and non-residents.

Guest accommodation

Friendly welcome, and good-quality, well-presented beds and furniture. A choice of good-quality, freshly cooked food is available at breakfast.

Self catering

Detailed evidence of care and external maintenance. A good provision of local information and additional recreational items; well-finished fittings and décor and a kitchen well-stocked with cookware, crockery, cutlery and utensils.

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Four Star


These are usually situated in a prime location near to desirable shops and restaurants. They offer Professional, uniformed staff respond to your needs or requests, and there usually are well-appointed public areas. The restaurant or dining room is open to residents and non-residents, and lunch is available in a designated eating area. Usually offer comfort, class and quality customers can rely on.

Guest accommodation

Attentive, more personalised service. At least half of the bedrooms are en suite or have private bathrooms. Very good beds and high quality furniture. Breakfast offers a greater choice, and fresh ingredients are cooked and presented with a high level of care.


Very good to excellent standards throughout, with high quality coordinated furniture, fixtures and fittings. Ample space with well-planned layout of furniture; high quality and very good range of kitchen equipment.

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Five Star


These offer first-class services. Luxurious accommodation and public areas, with a range of extra facilities and multilingual service available. Guests are greeted at the hotel entrance. High quality menu and wine list. Facilities may include valet parking, concierge service, room service, well-equipped fitness centres and modern business centres.

Guest accommodation

Awareness of each guest's needswith nothing being too much trouble. All bedroom are en-suite or have a private bathroom. Excellent quality beds and furnishings. Breakfast includes specials/home made items, high quality ingredients and fresh local produce.


Exceptional and outstanding levels of comfort throughout, with an excellent range of items. High quality furniture with striking interior design, an excellent range of kitchen appliances, cookware, crockery, cutlery and utensils  all in pristine condition.

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Diamond ratings for (B&B'S, guest houses, inns and

One diamond- These offer clean accommodation with an acceptable level of comfort and functional decor. Breakfasts may be continental or cooked. There is an acceptable level of quality and helpful service.

Two diamond- These offer clean, comfortable accommodation with functional decor. Breakfasts may be continental or cooked. There is a sound quality of quality and customer  care in all areas.

Three diamond- These offer a good overall level of quality, including comfortable bedrooms and a well maintained decor. Breakfast offer a good choice of quality items, freshly cooked. There are very good levels of customer care, showing attention to customers' needs.

Four Diamond- These offer a very good overall level of quality, including comfortable bedrooms and a well maintained decor. Breakfasts offer a good choice of quality items, freshly cooked. There are very good levels of customer care, showing attention to customers' needs.

Five Diamond- These offer an excellent overall quality with plenty of space, high-quality furniture and excellent interior design. Breakfasts are fresh and often use seasonal, local ingredients when possible. There are excellent levels of customer care, showing attention to customers' needs.

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Self -Catering

Self catering properties have to provide the following before they can be considered for a star rating:

  • a high standard of cleanliness throughout
  • the prices and conditions of booking made clear
  • local information provided so that customers make the most of their stay.
  • comfortable accommodation with a range of furniture to meet needs.
  • Colour TV at no extra charge.
  • Kitchen equipment to meet essential needs.

The more stars, the higher overall quality. Once properties have met the minimum requirements, increased levels of quality apply.

Caravan parks:

  • one star- acceptable quality
  • two star- good  quality
  • three star- very good quality
  • four star/five- excellent and exceptional quality.
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Design and layout of work environments

Reception Areas: You only have one chance to make a first impression. It is the first contact point with the customers. The reception desk needs to be seen clearly from the hotel entrance. The staff should be friendly and welcoming. It needs to be fairly spacious. Customers often wait in reception to check in/out, wait for friends, taxis…etc. It needs to be well signed to bedrooms, restaurants and other areas of the hotel. The desk should be positioned so that staff can keep an eye on the whole area, to improve security.

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Accommodation areas

Accommodation Areas Basic requirements are that guests require a bed, somewhere to hang their clothes, a bedside cabinet and some form of luggage storage. It is fairly standard these days that guests desire en-suite facilities (own toilet, hand basin, shower and/or bath. Rooms can be modern or traditionally furnished . Some city centre hotels ensure guests have all the facilities they need to carry on their business from their hotel room. Some country hotels like to create the atmosphere of a luxury country house to attract foreign visitors. All these factors depend on the type of hotel, corporate identity, level of comfort needed and the level of facilities and services needed.

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Restaurant areas

Restaurant Areas Some guests may not want to dine formally. Larger hotels will have several restaurants, formal dining, bars serving coffee and light snacks. The interior design of a restaurant all work together to create a particular atmosphere.Factorsthat influence the design of the restaurant/eating areas include The sort of menu that is on offer The sort of service that is needed – self service or waited service. How the food and drink is displayed or served. How many staff will be needed.

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Kitchen areas

Before a kitchen is planned several factors have to be taken into consideration such as the type of customer, the menu and the style of food service. They should be designed so they are easy to manage in terms of efficiency and hygiene. It is a good idea to have a flow of work through the kitchen, from delivery –storage-prep-cooking-chilling- hot holding – serving – washing up – refuse disposal.

Factors that influence kitchen design include : The amount of money available to spend Whether the kitchen is new built or a re fit. The space available The size of the food area and number of covers needed The style of food service (e.g. a carvery service had different needs to fast food) The proximity (nearness) of the food service area Services available: Gas, electricity and water.

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Kitchen areas continued...

Staff skills The menu to be offered, is it using a lot of convenience/pre prepared foods in which case fewer staff will be required. The equipment available Storage areas (Fridges and freezers should be in a separate area to the hot kitchen environment for them to work efficiently)

Legislation – kitchens must conform to Food hygiene regulations, the food safety act.

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Teamwork and communication

In the hospitality and catering industry, it is usual to work as a member of a team. This might be being part of the Kitchen Brigade or the Wait brigade. Sometimes teams are called groups. Every member of staff needs to feel part of the group or team. The industry relies heavily on 'teamwork'  to provide the products and services the customer wants.

How teams work?

In an organised team such s the kitchen brigade, every member of the team has a responsibility in the production of food. Each kitchen brigade will have a definite structure and set procedures. The team leader will:

  • Decide who works in the team
  • decide what the team has to do
  • take responsibility for the standard of work produced
  • make sure that current legislation standards are met.
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Stages in teamwork

Stage 1:

  • The team is given a task. Each person in the team had to understand what the task is and the best way of achieving a good end result.

Stage 2:

  • The team goes through a stage of 'disagreement' when different ideas are put forward and discussed.

Stage 3:

  • The team starts to work together as one unit, instead of one person trying to dominate the others or get all of their ideas chosen.#

Stage 4:

  • The team works very well.
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How can you recognise good teamwork?

  • team members communicate effectively
  • team members feel able to suggest ideas
  • team members know what is expected of them.
  • team members 'share' responsibility to make sure that tasks are done
  • tasks are carried out quickly and effectively
  • team members are happy in their jobs
  • team members have high self-esteem.

What affects team behaviour?

  • strong personalities that want to dominate
  • individual characteristics (qualities of team members)
  • cultural differences
  • social skills of team members
  • conflicts or personality clashes within the team
  • pressure and stress
  • change in home circumstances or working practices.
  • attitude and behaviour of the team leader.
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Qualities needed for a team leader

Team leaders or supervisors often have very good technical skills, knowledge and ability. Good team leaders should be able to:

  • delegate tasks effectively
  • motivate their teams
  • communicate effectively
  • give advice,support and training
  • help team members to develop performance
  • maintain quality
  • monitor the work of team members
  • gives praise
  • recognise individual contribution to the team.
  • give constructive and positive feedback
  • check the team is meeting its objectives-could be financial targets or gaining a michelin star.

To have an effective team in the hospitality industry, you need a good team leader. Good communication is key to success.

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Communication is essential in order to have good teamwork. This means you must listen to your staff, express yourself clearly and check understanding.

The accuracy and importance of communication in these areas:

  • Administration, for example when dealing with telephone calls, enquiries, reservations, registration and guest accounting.
  • customer billing-methods of payments
  • booking systems- bookings are the first contact a guest will have with an establishment so it is important to be accurate and create the right impression
  • Customer care- welcome, body language, meeting, databases, word processing, email
  • ICT SKILLS- databases, email, word processing
  • Storage of personal data- staff must be aware of their limitations under the Data Protection Act because they are responsible for the guests' security.

The effectiveness of communication is particularly important in customer care for example meeting and greeting guests, checking in/out, dealing with enquiries and complaints.

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Administrative procedures

Front office departments carry out many of the administration tasks required in the industry. Front office consists of: reception, reservations, administration, guest services, and porters. The work covers:

  • reservations
  • dealing with ammendments, cancellations and enquiries
  • Communicating with other departments e.g. housekeeping
  • security e.g. dealing with lost property, issue of keys.
  • check in/ registration
  • guest accounting
  • check out
  •  guest services e.g. concierge, porters
  • administration, e.g. filing, updating guest records etc.
  • customer care
  • answering the telephone
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Billing of customers

This can be very complex. When guests book into a hotel they start to make changes to the account for example, through the bar, restaurant, room service, in-house movies, leisure facilities etc. In large hotels, each department notes these changes and this information is sent to the front office. Front office staff are responsible for placing all charges on a guest's bill. in most hotels the charges must be recorded and carried manually to the front desk. Accuracy is essential in any guest billing or accounting system so that up-to-date records for every guest are maintained. Guest billing also supplies each department of the hotel with accurate financial information. 

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Booking systems

Booking Systems

Bookings may be taken by post, email, telephone, via the internet and in person. A booking is very often the first contact that the customer has with the establishment therefore it is important to create the right impression. Most establishments use some form of booking sheet, which can be manual or electronic. Bookings can be taken or accommodation, a table in a restaurant, a wedding reception etc. When taking a booking some essential information is needed:

  • guest's name and telephone number
  • the day and date the booking is needed
  • the number of rooms/covers
  • the time the booking is needed
  • any special requests

It is a good idea for the person taking the booking to repeat the information back to the guest for confirmation that the information is correct. Some guests may want written confirmation of their booking, particularly if the booking request was recieved by post or email.

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Customer Care

Front office staff play a vital role in customer care because they are the first people to see when they book in. Staff appearance and welcome guests receive when entering an establishment will determine a guest's first impression. Good customer care is vital because it:

  • benefits the guests, as they feel welcomed and cared for
  • benefits the organisation, as it leads to repeat business and therefore more profit.
  • benefits the staff, as it leads to higher self-esteem and greater job satisfaction.


ICT skills are increasingly important because of the advances in computer technology. It doesn't matter how simple or advanced the computer system is, it will not be effective if the person using the system doesn't understand it or operate it successfully. All front office staff need:

  • Good literacy skills e.g. accurate spelling
  • good communication skills for letter writing
  • good word-processing skills
  • accuracy when entering data on a database
  • a good understanding of different programs and software packages.
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Storage of personal data

The data protection act of 1998 requires all organisations that hold data about individuals on computerised systems to register with the Data Protection Registrar. Examples in hospitality include guest reservation systems, guest registration forms, guest history files, mailing lists etc. The act gives customers the right to:

  • be informed of where the data is being processed
  • have a description of all the details being held
  • know why the data is being held
  • know who has access to it

Front office staff must be aware of their responsibilities under the data protection act because they are primarily responsible for guests' security.

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Environmental considerations

Conservation of energy and water:

  • use towels more than once- many hotels have the signs in the bathrooms to encourage the guests to use the towels again by hanging them up, this reduces the amount of times they are washed therefore saving water.
  • Fit showers rather than baths- showering uses less water than baths.
  • having taps that only send out short bursts of water when customers are washing their hands.Toilets with use less flush water.
  • using washing up water to water the gardens or having a water **** to catch rainwater.
  • only serving water on the tables when the guest asks.

Hospitality establishments can save energy by:

  • having lights that work only when the key card is placed in the slot.
  • setting the heat/hot water to come on for a few hours a day or only when guests are in the room
  • having air conditioning on only when the guests is in the room
  • advising the guests of the establishment's policy on helping the environment and asking them to unplug electrical equipment when not in use.
  • Using energy saving light bulbs. 
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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Hospitality establishments can reduce, reuse, recycle the waste they produce by:

  • only issuing newspapers when the guests requests them.
  • fitting large shower soaps to the wall so can be refilled instead of using individual bottles.
  • REUSING paper for notes and messages.
  • not printing out information if they don't need to, pass on information by email
  • buying ingredients that are fresh or in less packaging.
  • REUSING large containers to store things in
  • encouraging guests to RECYCLE by pitting recycle bins around the building
  • RECYCLING glass,tins, cardboard and paper
  • Cutting down on the number of free items given to guests in their bedroom e.g. sewing kits and slippers.
  • sending food waste to local farms for animal feed
  • using vegetable peelings to make a compost for the garden
  • not putting new toilet rolls out for new guests but making the remaining half of the roll look good by folding the edges into a peak.

It is important for Hospitality establishments to act now and encourage guests to save the environment as it gives the industry a good reputation.

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