Do You Really Have What It Takes to Work in Hospitality?

Tuesday 14 January, 2014
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For many people, hospitality is a great industry to work in. But like with all industry segments, some people are just not cut out for the work. The demanding customers, the varied hours and the 'hands on'? approach can be a very unusual and often stressful environment to work in. It appeals to some as much as it repels others. Needless to say, there is a particular breed of worker who is perfect for the industry.  But what does it take to fit the role?

Here, OneShift provides the top 10 essential qualities you need to survive and thrive in the hospitality industry:

Ability to Handle Surprises

It's not a regular day in hospitality if something doesn't go horribly wrong to throw you off-guard. Often these twists are manageable, especially if you've been trained on what to do if the occasion were to arise. However, sometimes you won't know how to react immediately. But you'll hold a great advantage above others if you handle it well. Better still, be proactive and plan for certain situations that could arise.


If you want to get your foot through the door in hospitality you need a bit more than a set of shiny pearly whites. But that is a good place to start. Exceptional employees must be able to show gusto in their field of work, sharing a positive outlook to give their customers the best experience available.

Interpersonal Skills

People skills are imperative in hospitality as the very nature of the industry is set on the foundations of customer service.  It's important to show that you're capable of playing well with others.


The ability to really listen to customers is crucial for providing excellent service for several reasons.  Not only is it important to pay attention to individual customer interactions, but it's also important to be mindful of the feedback that you receive at large.

Communication Skills

For all of the "mutterers" and people who love to talk and talk, you need to stop and listen. Although it's nice to find out more about your customers, but make sure you're getting to the dealings at hand quickly because, like it or not, customers don't want to hear your life story. You also need to be aware of your own communication habits and how they may come across to others. 

Positive Language Use

Your ability to make minor changes in your conversational patterns can truly go a long way in creating happy customers. Language is a very important part of persuasion, and people create perceptions about you and your company based on the language you use. 

Time Management Skills

They say the customer is always right. They also say you should spend as much time as possible developing your relationship with said customer. But let's get real- you don't have all day. And chances are, neither do the customers. So knowing when it's time to focus your attention elsewhere is imperative in hospitality.


A patient staff member is an important part of a positive experience in any venue for a customer. Although there will always be timeframes and deadlines and often many more customers to serve, a valuable interaction is one where the time spent with the customer is used to better understand their problems and needs from the company.


Although it may be a surprise to some to see leadership on this list, great hospitality employees should be able to command projects and single-handedly make significant contributions to an organisation's overall success.

Persuasion Skills

Experienced customer service representatives and hospitality professionals alike know that often, you will get messages that are simply sent out of a potential customer's curiosity about a product or service. Similarly, you will have people approach you on the premises of a store or venue asking questions. Taking customer service skills to the next level means being able to convert that query into a sale.



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