January 11, 2019

Five careers you can build from a waiting job

A waiting job (waitering/waitressing) can be an excellent stepping stone to a successful career in hospitality.

Five careers you can build from a waiting job

1. Restaurant management

As a restaurant manager, you’ll be responsible for the restaurant’s business performance, which will include everything from sales analysis to marketing and recruitment. As well as making sure your restaurant meets its financial targets, you’ll also deal with customer feedback and develop a strategy for building and maintaining the restaurant’s reputation (for example, carefully monitoring online reviews).

How does a waiting job help prepare you for a career in restaurant management?

You’ll learn the art of delivering great customer service and how to work efficiently during busy times. You’ll also get a deep insight into the challenges that restaurant staff face, like dealing with disgruntled customers, having to memories new menus, carrying dishes with children running around, and so on. A restaurant manager who has previously worked in waiting should find it easier to empathise with these challenges and set realistic expectations and targets for staff.

2. Catering management

If you’re passionate about food and leading a team in a creative environment, catering management could be for you. This involves delivering food and beverage services for businesses, charities and other organisations, supervising caterers and waiting staff, maintaining excellent food and hygiene standards, and making sure your company achieves its financial targets.

How does a waiting job help prepare you for a career in catering management?

Like with restaurant management, waiting will help you look at the business from the perspective of your staff and customers. You’ll also be highly familiar with health and safety regulations and hygiene standards – which is essential for running a successful catering service. Plus, you’ll have experience of memorising menus and recognising which dishes/items are the most popular (and least popular) – and you may notice that the demand for different dishes/items changes over time.

3. Customer services management

This is about meeting all of your customers’ needs through a strategic approach. You’ll be responsible for creating your company’s customer service policies, handling customer enquiries and complaints, and measuring and evaluating customer satisfaction so you can identify areas for improvement.

How does a waiting job help prepare you for a career in customer services management?

An experienced waiter or waitress will know how important it is to keep customers happy even when times are tough (i.e. when the restaurant is understaffed on a busy evening). They’ve also learned how to strike the right balance between being attentive to customers’ needs while not appearing overbearing so as to infringe on their experience. Since a waiting job requires constant face-to-face contact and communication with customers, it’s an excellent starting point for a career in customer service management.

4. Hotel management

Like other managerial hospitality roles, hotel management is very customer-centric; much of your day-to-day work will involve greeting and meeting customers, handling enquiries and complaints, and managing all the hotel’s services such as accommodation and catering.

How does a waiting job help prepare you for a career in hotel management?

You’ve dealt with challenging customers and worked to tight schedules during busy times. You know that every member of staff is a representative of your company, so creating a good impression and maintaining high standards of professionalism are essential to building and retaining your customer base. The interpersonal skills you’ve gained as a waiter or waitress will be invaluable in the world of hotel management.

5. Corporate events management

A corporate events manager is responsible for preparing and executing corporate events like galas, team-building exercises, corporate fun days, Christmas parties, and other high-profile events. This is a market that expects extremely high standards of customer service – and there is strong demand for bespoke experiences in which brands can differentiate themselves from their competitors.

How does a waiting job help prepare you for a career in corporate events management?

Successful corporate events management is all about attention to detail. If you’re worked in a high-end restaurant, you’ll know how important it is to get everything right, every time. Something as minor as serving a glass of champagne a degree too warm, or serving a steak ‘medium rare’ when it should be ‘rare’, can jeopardise a business’s reputation. A waiting job can help prepare you for the pressures of high-end hospitality and the need to maintain consistently high standards. Every waiter or waitress will remember a time when they’ve been overstretched and have had to put on a brave face. This kind of attitude is crucial in the world of corporate hospitality – because managers will often have to organise events for hundreds, even thousands, of guests – all of whom will have very high expectations.

Don’t forget to register your details with BASE

Hopefully, you’ll find all this information useful if you’re considering a career in hospitality. If you haven’t done so already, please register your CV on our database so you can access dozens of hospitality jobs from outstanding employers.