Careers in Hospitality

Hospitality is a dynamic and fast growing industry which offers many different career opportunities including:

  • Bar Attendant
  • Barista
  • Chef/Cook
  • Food and Beverage Manager
  • Concierge and Porter
  • Hotel Service Supervisor
  • Waiter

Below you'll find descriptions of these roles and the training required, and watch our career profile videos at the bottom of the page to meet real people who do the job.

 

Bar Attendant

Bar attendants prepare, mix and serve drinks to customers in hotels, bars, cafes, restaurants and clubs. A bar attendant may perform the following tasks: 

  • Serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks 
  • Draw beer from the tap or pour from bottles 
  • Mix ingredients to make cocktails and slice fruit to garnish drinks 
  • Prepare and serve a variety of coffees 
  • Make coffee using an espresso coffee machine or filter system
  • Refill drink and cigarette dispensers 
  • Collect glasses from tables and place them in glass-washing machines 
  • Wipe down tables and empty ashtrays 
  • Collect payment, operate cash registers and give change 
  • Arrange bottles and glasses on shelves 
  • Clean bar service area and polish glasses  
  • Operate tab and keno or gaming machine terminals
  • Assist in the cellar 
  • Assist in stock control 
  • Make coffee using an espresso coffee machine or filter system 
  • Observe workplace hygiene, occupational health and safety, and security procedures. 
  • Bar attendants may also provide drinks to waiters or serve them to tables, depending on the type of business.

 

What are the career opportunities?

Bar attendants can work in hotels, bars, restaurants, cafes, clubs, recreation and convention centres, and other licensed entertainment venues.

Most bar attendants are employed on a part-time or casual basis. As turnover is relatively high, there is generally a constant demand to replace those leaving the job. As the tourism and hospitality industry continues to grow, with a growing number of hotels, cafes and restaurants, there are likely to be increased employment opportunities for skilled bar staff.

Bar attendants who have undertaken training or are experienced are highly regarded and sought by employers. Bar attendants with experience and additional training may progress to supervisory or management positions.

Career paths are flexible and there are many associated jobs in other areas of the hospitality industry, as well as related areas such as training, marketing and events management.

Download The Job I Love, our careers guide to the service industries

What training do you need?

To be a qualified bar attendant, you should have a Certificate II in Hospitality (Operations) as a minimum, although some places will let you start with no training as they offer training on the job. A Certificate III in Hospitality (Operations) is the qualification for a waiter or bar attendant. You can specialise through electives in whatever best meets your job needs.

Certificate II in Hospitality is the entry-level qualification which provides the basic skills to work as a bar attendant.

Certificate III in Hospitality is the certificate for a qualified waiter, in both food and beverage.

Other qualifications are available to help bar attendants to move into supervisory or more specialised roles:

Certificate IV in Hospitality is designed to provide the supervisory skills to be a head waiter, sommelier or supervisor.

Diploma of Hospitality is designed to provide the management skills as well as the operational skills and knowledge needed to be a food and beverage manager.

Advanced Diploma of Hospitality provides the advanced management skills for those who are interested in managing a restaurant, heading up a large department or owning their own business.

 

Waiter

You may already be working in a restaurant or café or have friends who are doing so. You can work in a restaurant, fast food chain, café or hotel, and can work in food or drink service, and “on the floor” or in a bar (if you are over 18).

It is busy, exciting work and requires someone with lots of energy and good communication and customer service skills. You will have to work nights and weekends, however, it gives you lots of opportunities to travel, as well as meet new people.

They may perform the following tasks:

  • Set tables with clean linen or place mats, cutlery, crockery and glasses
  • Welcome and seat customers, hand them menus and drink lists and provide advice about what is being offered
  • Take customers’ orders and hand them to kitchen staff or bar attendants
  • Serve food and drinks to guests
  • In some restaurants they may silver serve food, using a spoon and fork
  • Open and pour wine
  • Make coffee using an espresso coffee machine or filter system
  • Prepare bills, handle money or credit cards
  • Take restaurant reservations
  • Clear tables and return dishes and cutlery to the kitchen.

If you work in a bar, you would be responsible for stocking the bar, keeping it tidy, preparing drinks and serving beer and soft drinks. You may provide drinks to waiters or serve them to tables yourself, depending on the type of business.

What training do you need?

To be a qualified food and beverage attendant, you should have a Certificate II in Hospitality (Operations) as a minimum, although some places will let you start with no training as they offer training on the job. A Certificate III in Hospitality (Operations) is the qualification for a waiter or bar attendant. You can specialise through electives in whatever best meets your job needs.

Certificate II in Hospitality provides the skills and knowledge for an individual to be competent in a range of activities and functions requiring basic operational knowledge and limited practical skills in a defined context. Work would be undertaken in various hospitality settings such as restaurants, hotels, motels, catering operations, clubs, pubs, cafes and coffee shops. Individuals may work with some autonomy or in a team but usually under close supervision.

Certificate III in Hospitality provides the skills and knowledge for an individual to be competent in skilled operations with the need to apply discretion and judgement. Work would be undertaken in various hospitality settings such as restaurants, hotels, motels, clubs, pubs, cafes and coffee shops. Individuals may have some responsibility for others and provide technical advice and support to a team.

Certificate IV in Hospitality provides the skills and knowledge for an individual to be competent in skilled operations and team leading or supervision. Work would be undertaken in various hospitality settings such as restaurants, hotels, motels, clubs, pubs, cafes and coffee shops.

Diploma of Hospitality provides the skills and knowledge for an individual to be competent as a senior manager in any hospitality functional area. This individual would analyse, design and execute judgements using wideranging technical, creative, conceptual or managerial competencies. Their knowledge base may be specialised or broad and they are often accountable for group outcomes. Work would be undertaken in various hospitality settings such as restaurants, hotels, catering operations, motels, clubs, pubs, cafes and coffee shops.

Advanced Diploma of Hospitality provides the skills and knowledge for an individual to be competent as a senior manager in any hospitality functional area. 

 

Barista

Keep it fast, keep it simple and concentrate on taste: these are key to what a barista does and if you have a dynamic and passionate focus for coffee and service then this could be the career for you.

A barista is a professional coffee maker. This is someone who has the necessary skills to prepare and serve espresso coffee in restaurants, bars and cafes using commercial espresso machines.

The term ‘barista’ is often used to describe someone who excels at espresso making, regardless of their training and they may also be known as a coffee bartender or coffee maker. Baristas perform the following tasks:

  • Ensure proper use and maintenance of coffee equipment 
  • Select and grind coffee  
  • Extract coffee  
  • Texture milk  
  • Serve and present espresso coffee  
  • Clean and maintain an espresso machine  
  • Greet customers 
  • Take orders 
  • Operate a cash register

What training do you need?

Formal qualifications aren’t compulsory to work as a barista, but there are nationally recognised qualifications available to help prepare you for work in this industry, and to move forward in your career.

Certificate III in Hospitality is the certificate for a qualified waiter, in both food and beverage, and you can specialise as a barista through units that develop the skills to prepare and serve espresso coffee.

 

Cook or Chef

If you like cooking, want to work in an energetic and dynamic environment, are creative, like doing things with your hands and don’t mind working hard, you could become a commercial cook. Cooks, or chefs work in restaurants, cafes, hotels, motels, clubs, cafes, hospitals, take-away outlets, function centres, catering firms, flight catering centres and ships. It is challenging work as you have to work long hours and nights and weekends, however it is extremely rewarding and offers great career options and job satisfaction.

What do cooks/chefs do?

Cooks/Chefs perform the following tasks:

  • Plan menus and estimate food requirements
  • Prepare and cook different kinds of foods
  • Portion, present and serve food
  • Monitor food quality at all stages
  • Store food safely and hygienically
  • Prepare food to meet different requirements such as dietary or cultural needs
  • Discuss food preparation issues with managers, dieticians and other staff
  • Demonstrate techniques and advise on cooking procedures

Chefs are in charge of the kitchen and the staff working there as well as responsible for designing the menu and selecting and ordering the food. They are often responsible for planning and organising of the food for a special event such as a wedding, dinner or conference.

What are the career opportunities?

There are excellent job opportunities for cooks. There is currently a shortage of cooks in all states and territories and high-quality cooks are always in demand. They can work in a variety of locations and can become a chef or catering manager, or can own their own restaurant or catering company. They can also be specialists in areas such as ethnic cooking, Asian cookery, baking and patisserie or dietary catering. There is lots of variety and good travel opportunities. Many young cooks get experience overseas before progressing in their chosen career area.

What training do you need?

To be a qualified cook you need a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery or Asian Cookery. You can do this through a training program plus some on-the-job experience, or through a Australian Apprenticeship.  If you have a Certificate II in Commercial Cookery or Asian Cookery, you can also work as a short-order cook or in a café or restaurant.

Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) is the standard ‘trade’ qualification required to become a qualified cook.

Certificate III in Hospitality (Catering Operations)provides the skills to work as a caterer, in a catering firm.

Certificate III in Hospitality (Asian Cookery) is the trade qualification for those specialising in Asian cookery.

Certificate III in Hospitality (Patisserie) provides the skills to work as a patissier, specialising in fine pastries, cakes and desserts.

Certificate IV in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) is designed for qualified cooks who want to develop their skills in kitchen supervision. 

Certificate IV in Hospitality (Asian Cookery) is designed for qualified cooks who want to develop their skills in kitchen supervision in an Asian kitchen. 

Certificate IV in Hospitality (Patisserie) is designed to provide high level patisserie skills as well as supervisory skills required for running a café or cake shop. 

Certificate IV in Hospitality (Catering Operations) provides the opportunity to develop more catering skills such as managing functions or catering for hospitals, as well as supervisory skills.

All these qualifications are suitable for an Australian Apprenticeship Pathway.

Diploma of Hospitality is the qualification for chefs who wish to acquire skills in management to manage a kitchen or their own restaurant.

There is now a lot of flexibility in training and you can usually find a training program to suit yourself and your employer. A group training organisation can arrange an Australian Apprenticeship with multiple employers to provide you with the experience of working in several types of kitchen.

 

Food and Beverage Manager

Food and beverage managers, also called food service managers, plan, organise and control the operation of establishments where food and beverages are served, such as restaurants, cafes, cafeterias and canteens. A food service manager may perform the following tasks: 

  • Talk with the chef to plan the menu 
  • Supervise the purchase and storage of food 
  • Supervise provision of all crockery, cutlery, detergents and kitchenware 
  • Make sure there is adequate security for food and equipment 
  • Keep records of payments and expenses 
  • Plan, coordinate and supervise the activities of workers in dining rooms, kitchens, bars and other areas 
  • Manage staff hiring and rostering 
  • Provide some staff training 
  • Discuss catering arrangements with clients 
  • Make sure that the dining rooms, kitchen, storage facilities and other work areas are kept clean and conform to the sanitary regulations
  • Attend to complaints concerning food and service.

What are the work conditions?

Food service managers spend most of their time in the dining and kitchen areas. Most of the time is spent on their feet. They often work in the evenings, weekends and on public holidays.

The work can be tiring, stressful and can involve long hours.

This job involves a high level of customer contact and may involve dealing with difficult customers and complaints. It is busy work and requires someone with lots of energy, good communications and customer service skills.

What training do you need?

There are several formal qualifications available, and these may assist you in gaining employment and advancing within the industry.

Diploma of Hospitality provides the skills required to work as a manager in the hospitality industry.

Advanced Diploma of Hospitality provides the skills and knowledge for an individual to be competent as a senior manager in any hospitality functional area. This individual would analyse, design and execute judegements using wideranging technical, creative, conceptual or managerial competencies. Their knowledge base may be specialised or broad and they are often accountable for group outcomes.

All these qualifications are available to help service supervisors move forward into further management positions.

 

Concierge and Porter

Luggage porters carry luggage for guests in hotels and passengers in transport terminals, show them to their rooms, berths or cabins, and provide other guest services.

Concierges provide additional services to guests, such as organising and booking tickets for tours and entertainment for guests, and advising them on the services and attractions available in the local area. A luggage porter may perform the following tasks:

  • Take baggage, tag it and give identification slips to guests or passengers 
  • Load or unload luggage and take it to the receiving area 
  • Carry luggage and show incoming guests to rooms 
  • Explain details of hotel room services and facilities to guests as they arrive 
  • Carry the luggage of departing guests to cars, buses or taxis 
  • Talk with transport carriers to make travel arrangements and retrieve lost luggage 
  • Page guests and run errands 
  • Park guests' vehicles.
  • A concierge may perform the following additional tasks:
  • Provide guests with information on the local area, attractions and events 
  • Organise and book tours, transport and entertainment for guests 
  • Assist guests and staff with safety and emergency procedures

 

What training do you need?

You can work as a porter or concierge without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job.
However, there are formal qualifications available, and these may assist you in gaining employment and advancing within the industry.
Luggage porters should have a good command of the English language, and the ability to speak a second language may be an advantage. A current driver’s licence is often required.

To be a qualified porter, you should have a Certificate II in Hospitality (Operations) as a minimum, although some places will let you start with no training. A Certificate III in Hospitality (Operations) is the qualification for a concierge. You can specialise through electives in whatever best meets your job needs.

 

Hotel service supervisor

Hotel service supervisors coordinate and supervise the activities of hotel service workers including domestic staff, luggage porters and door-persons. Hotel service supervisors may perform the following tasks:

  • Determine work requirements and allocate duties to domestic housekeepers, luggage porters and doorpersons 
  • Talk to managers to coordinate activities with other organisational units 
  • Maintain attendance records and rosters 
  • Explain and enforce safety regulations 
  • Oversee the work of the unit and suggest improvements and changes 
  • Talk to workers to resolve problems 
  • Perform front office and reception duties 
  • Perform the tasks of a domestic housekeeper, luggage porter or doorperson.

What training do you need?

Hotel service supervisors would generally be expected to be experienced employees with a strong background in front office operations. There is no specific requirement to have formal qualifications to work as a service supervisor, but there are formal qualifications available that may assist you in gaining employment and advancing within the industry.

To be a qualified service supervisor, you should have a minimum of a Certificate IV in Hospitality (Supervision). You can specialise through electives in whatever best meets your job needs.

More information

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) is a useful organisation to be in contact with when deciding on a career in the hospitality industry. Their website provides information on industry updates, workplace relations issues, careers, policy, contact details and links to the state offices. The AHA website is useful to review and can be found at: http://www.aha.org.au/home.html

Restaurant and Catering Australia (RCA) is also a useful organisation to be in contact with. The RCA website contains information on careers in the industry, industry news, association profile, Restaurant and Caterers guide, association partners and much more. More information can be found at: http://www.restaurantcater.asn.au/

The Discover Hospitality is a comprehensive website about careers in hospitality including in catering, clubs, restaurants, cafes, hotels, pubs and taverns. More information can be found at: http://www.discoverhospitality.com/

 

Food and Beverage Attendant, Bar Manager and Hotel Manager Video Profile

 

Site by: Three Bears Media