Hospitality careers can be ideal for people with a wide range of different skills, qualifications and experiences, and there will often be excellent scope to move up the career ladder. However, it is important to have a rounded understanding of the industry and this post will provide you with an overview of the various hospitality positions that are available.

Quick menu:

Hospitality Industry; Brief Introduction to the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality sector forms part of the wider service industry and covers a number of key areas, including accommodation, food and drinks, and parts of the travel and tourism industry. For example, hotels, bed and breakfasts, motels, restaurants, bars, clubs, tour operators and travel agents all fall under the hospitality umbrella.

Read the “Hospitality Industry: The No. 1 Hospitality Information Guide!” article to gain further insight into the industry itself, the various businesses that are included within it, and some of the latest trends.

Hospitality Careers: Overview of All Hospitality Positions

There are a variety of different hospitality careers, covering different parts of the hospitality industry. Below, you will find an overview of all of the key positions, including catering, nightlife and hotel jobs.

Food & Beverage Positions

The food and beverage sector is focused on providing paying customers with food and drinks. This covers a range of different settings, including restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, bars, clubs and catering services.

Waiting Staff

Waiting staff provide services within restaurants and other similar settings, and are a good example of an entry-level hospitality career. Typical responsibilities will include taking orders, serving food, collecting plates and cutlery, communicating restaurant policy to customers, taking payments and catering for any requests customers make.


A bartender, also known as a barkeep, is an employee who works in a bar, pub or similar establishment, serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Responsibilities include taking orders from customers, preparing drinks, serving drinks and, in some cases, serving food. A bartender will also need to collect payments and make recommendations.

Restaurant Manager

A restaurant manager takes overall responsibility for restaurant operations, often with a particular focus on the customer-facing aspects of the business. The role may involve creating and maintaining reports, hiring and firing staff, supervising restaurant service periods, providing relevant training and dealing with serious complaints.

Kitchen Staff

Many people embarking on hospitality careers get their foot in the door as a member of the kitchen staff. This is a role that can involve a range of different tasks within the kitchen, with examples including washing dishes and cutlery, basic cooking or food preparation, organising and setting tables, and assisting chefs or cooks.

Kitchen Manager

A kitchen manager takes responsibility for managing the kitchen staff and overseeing operations. Tasks will include hiring and training new employees, supervising kitchen staff while they work, managing departmental budgets and stock levels, and managing work rotors, in order to ensure the kitchen is never under-staffed or over-staffed.

Head Chef

The head chef is the main chef in a restaurant and will usually have additional responsibilities, such as creating and implementing the restaurant menu, ordering stock and supervising other chefs. Often, it is the hospitality career choice of chefs who also have managerial aspirations, or a desire to fully demonstrate their creativity.

Room Service

An example of a food and beverage-related hospitality career that is based in hotels, room service staff are responsible for taking orders from guests, communicating orders to restaurant or catering staff, and then delivering those orders to guests’ hotel rooms. It is a position that combines elements of waiting and customer service.

Front Office Positions

The front office is the main customer-facing section of a business, meaning hospitality careers in this category place a strong emphasis on communication and customer service skills. Front office hospitality positions tend to be centred around the reception or waiting area and people working in these roles are often the first point of contact.


The job of a hotel porter involves greeting guests upon arrival and helping them to carry their luggage to their hotel room. It is a customer-facing role, where communication skills can be crucial, and it can also be an active hospitality career, due to the amount of movement and lifting involved. A porter may also need to answer customer questions.

Front Desk Employee

A front desk employee will work in the reception area, or the main area for customer contact. Typical responsibilities will include welcoming guests or customers, confirming reservations, checking guests or visitors in and out, collecting payments, answering customer questions and answering telephone calls.

Front Desk Manager

A front desk manager will take responsibility for the day-to-day performance of the front desk, supervising and coordinating front desk staff, hiring new employees, providing training, reporting on performance and making necessary adjustments to approach. A key part of the role involves making sure the front desk is always adequately staffed.

Maintenance & Cleaning Positions

Hospitality careers related to maintenance and cleaning are primarily concerned with keeping hospitality businesses clean and in working order, or helping guests to access essential services.

Concierge Staff

Sometimes seen as a potential area of progression for those who started their hospitality careers as room service staff or hotel porters, a concierge will help to connect guests with the services they need. For instance, they may be required to organise a room clean, book a taxi, book a restaurant table or purchase event tickets for a guest.

Housekeeping Employee

Housekeeping staff are employed by hotels and other similar properties to keep guest rooms and other areas clean and tidy. Typical responsibilities will include cleaning rooms, making rooms look presentable to new guests, washing bed linen, towels and other items, replacing toiletries and vacuum cleaning other parts of the premises.

Housekeeping Manager

The natural hospitality career progression route for those working as housekeeping staff, a housekeeping manager oversees the housekeeping department and is likely to be responsible for coordinating efforts, managing stock, hiring and training employees, creating work schedules and potentially dealing with certain customer complaints.

Management & Headquarters Positions

As people advance in their hospitality careers, they may find themselves in a management or headquarters-based role. These tend to be managerial positions and often require individuals to work in an office, although some element of customer interaction and supervision of the main workforce may also be involved.

General Manager

The general manager position is often the pinnacle of a hospitality career and involves taking overall responsibility for the day-to-day running of the hospitality business. Tasks may include managing and setting budgets, completing administrative work and supervising the various aspects of the business, including dealing with customers.

Marketing Manager

A marketing manager is in charge of promotional efforts for the hospitality business. Regardless of whether it is a hotel, restaurant, bar or cafe, the marketing manager will devise marketing strategies, manage and coordinate marketing staff, oversee social media activities, take responsibility for branding and measure advertising performance.

Sales Manager

Sales is a specialised hospitality career path and a sales manager oversees sales strategy and attempts to sell specific products or services. Within a hotel, for example, a sales manager may communicate with business leaders, attend exhibitions or trade shows, and attempt to sell hotel rooms, business facilities, weddings and other services.

Revenue Manager

The job of a revenue manager is to optimise financial results. It is one of the most data-driven hospitality careers, with the revenue manager using past performance, forecasting models, industry trends and other information to make strategic decisions about pricing and distribution, in order to optimise revenue generation.

Accounting Manager

The accounting manager takes on the task of ensuring a hospitality industry business is recording financial information properly. This means keeping track of all income and expenses, as well as ensuring bills and taxes are paid on time. In addition, they will lead the finance department and make sure employees are paid on time.

Purchase Manager

Some businesses employ a dedicated purchase manager, who is in charge of the majority of purchases made by the company. Key responsibilities within this role include continuously monitoring stock levels and use of equipment, making purchases for the best price, at the right time, and avoiding situations where the business is over or under stocked.

Human Resource Manager

A HR manager will focus their efforts on the effective management of people. Much of the role involves creating policies and processes that keep employees feeling safe, supported, protected and happy. This could mean dealing with disputes, providing performance appraisals, managing employee benefits and strategically managing staff turnover.

IT Manager

As the head of the IT department, the IT manager is tasked with managing the business’ IT resources. This may involve designing and implementing IT infrastructure, hiring, training and supervising IT workers, keeping hardware and software up-to-date, providing technical support and ensuring the business complies with data protection laws.

Video: Working in Hospitality

In video a teacher and various students explain what it is like to have a career in hospitality.


Hospitality Management: The Essentials About Hospitality

Hospitality management can be broadly defined as the management of hospitality services, as well as the customer journey. In practice, this often means overseeing operational, administrative and commercial tasks. However, with so many different sectors, businesses and hospitality career paths, the precise objectives and responsibilities can vary.

Read the “Hospitality Management: The Essentials About Hospitality” article to find out more about what hospitality management is, the responsibilities of a hospitality manager, the importance and value of hospitality management qualifications, and some of the latest hospitality industry trends you will need to be aware of.

Hospitality Management Careers Advice

For many people embarking on long-term hospitality careers, the end goal is to get a job within the field of hospitality management. However, given this fact, the field can be extremely competitive, with many people applying for these job vacancies. For this reason, it is crucial to take steps to gain an edge on the competition.

Our article, “Hospitality Management Careers Advice”, provides a number of helpful tips that can help you to secure a job within hospitality management, with specific advice on creating the ideal CV, acquiring the right qualifications and searching for jobs via the right channels.

The Best Channels for Finding Hospitality Jobs

With so many different hospitality careers to choose from, actually finding the right job can be a challenge, and this is made harder because different companies use different platforms to advertise vacancies. With this in mind, it is important to turn to multiple different channels during your search for the ideal hospitality job role.

Check out “The Best Channels for Finding Hospitality Jobs” for more information on the different channels that can aid you with your job search, including hospitality industry job boards, social media platforms, recruitment agencies and methods for applying to businesses directly.

Job Boards for Finding Hospitality Manager Vacancies

For those pursuing managerial hospitality careers, job boards represent one of the most important channels. Many hotels, restaurants, cafes, clubs or bed and breakfasts will turn to dedicated hospitality job boards to advertise their vacancies and these services also allow you to apply online and access additional resources.

In “Job Boards for Finding Hospitality Manager Vacancies”, you will be able to find a list of some of the most popular job boards centred on the hospitality industry, which can make it significantly easier for you to find and apply for the hospitality manager job you have always wanted.

Hotel Chains Offering Hospitality Management Jobs

For anyone seeking hospitality management jobs, or other senior hospitality careers, applying directly can often be the best way. After all, some of these positions may not be advertised on the channels you usually use to find job vacancies and applying directly also allows you to find the hotel chains that best suit your preferences and values.

By reading our “Hotel Chains Offering Hospitality Management Jobs” article, you will have access to a list of some of the most popular hotel chains, which can make it easier to apply for a hospitality management job directly.

Help Finding Your Next Hotel Manager Position

Hotel manager positions are highly sought after by those who are pursuing hospitality careers, which means you can expect significant competition along the way. Furthermore, employers tend to set the bar high in terms of skills, qualifications and experience, so it is crucial that you give yourself the best possible chance of success.

Read “Help Finding Your Next Hotel Manager Position” and you will be able to find a number of essential tips on how to make yourself an attractive candidate for the hotel management jobs you apply for.

The hospitality industry is diverse, which means there is great variety in the types of hospitality careers available. By understanding the different positions, how they fit in within the industry and what the duties and responsibilities are, it becomes easier to make an informed decision about the jobs you wish to apply for.

More Tips to Grow Your Business is a knowledge platform for the hospitality & travel industry. Professionals use our insights, strategies and actionable tips to get inspired, optimise revenue, innovate processes and improve customer experience. You can find all hotel & hospitality tips in the categories Revenue Management, Marketing & Distribution, Hotel Operations, Staffing & Career, Technology and Software.

Submit an Article