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Food and drink preparation and service

Front of house services

Housekeeping

Venue and events management

Food and drink preparation and service

This is all about preparing and serving food and/or drinks to customers and can happen in a wide range of places.

Bar staff serve drinks, and increasingly food, to customers in licensed premises. They also take payments, chat to customers, check identity when customers look under age, keep the bar area clean and well stocked, wash glasses and clean and clear tables. Bar managers manage licensed premises.

Catering/restaurant managers use their knowledge of food and drink and management skills to keep business running smoothly, and their customers and staff happy.

Chefs prepare food in a kitchen. Their role varies depending on their level of experience and responsibility, and also the type of operation and style of food offered:

  • commis chefs (trainee or apprentice chefs) spend time in each section of the kitchen, learning how to make sauces and desserts, and how to cook meat and fish
  • chefs de partie run a section of the kitchen, such as sauces, pastries, the larder or grill, or they deal with a range of dishes from the menu, such as all the cold dishes
  • sous chefs are more senior and have more responsibility, even standing in for the head chef when needed
  • head chefs are in charge of the whole kitchen and are responsible for making sure that all the food produced is of a high standard.

Fast food service assistants have to make sure that customers receive their food orders quickly and accurately. They may take orders and payments from customers, pack and wrap food and prepare drinks as well as clear trays, wipe tables and empty bins.

Kitchen assistants/porters work alongside chefs cleaning kitchens and equipment to a high standard, collecting and disposing of waste and making sure that food is stored properly. They may also help with some basic food preparation tasks, for example cutting up meat and fish and peeling and chopping vegetables.

Waiting staff greet customers, take orders, payments and reservations, collect food from the kitchen and drinks from the bar to serve to customers, and set and clear tables in pubs, cafés, cafeterias, restaurants and hotels.

 Front of House Services

This includes all the staff in a hospitality business with whom customers usually come into contact first.

Concierges usually work as part of the reception team, creating a positive first impression of the organisation for guests. They also help guests during their stay -  for example recommending and booking, if required, taxis, theatre tickets, restaurants and places to visit.

Door attendants/commissionaires stand at the entrance of hotels, theatres, restaurants and exclusive retail stores. They welcome guests and customers as they arrive and make sure that they leave the building safely.

Hotel porters help guests, for example by carrying bags and showing them to their rooms and running errands, such as taking and picking up dry cleaning.

Hotel receptionists check guests in and out efficiently, and deal professionally with enquiries, face to face and by phone, fax or email. They need to be welcoming, as when guests call a hotel to make a booking, the receptionist is the first person they speak to and may also be the first person guests meet when they arrive.

Hotel managers are responsible for every aspect of their hotel. Their job involves making sure that everything runs smoothly so that guests receive the best possible service and are happy during their stay. In a large hotel, the manager may lead a team of managers; whereas in a small hotel, the manager is more involved in the day-to-day running of the business.

Housekeeping

Covers all the behind-the scenes work to do with providing accommodation in hotels and conference centres.

Housekeepers or accommodation managers make sure that places providing accommodation are clean, safe, welcoming and attractive. They work in a range of settings including hotels, conferences centres, hospitals, care homes, university halls of residence and private households.

Hotel/accommodation room attendants work in hotels of all sizes, and in some motels and other self-catering accommodation. They help to make a hotel guest's stay pleasant by keeping their room clean, tidy and stocked with items such as soap, toilet paper and towels.

 Venue and Events Management

  • Conference and Banqueting Assistants and Managers organise and run private functions, such as weddings, parties, dinners and dances, and business functions, such as presentations, exhibitions, training events, conferences and sales promotions.
  • Event organisers are responsible for planning events and ensuring that they run as smoothly as possible. They work on a wide range of events from large ones such as the 2012 Olympics to festivals, concerts, charitable, sporting and private parties.