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10 Things They Didn't Tell You About The Hospitality Industry

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Whichever path you take into the hospitality industry – whether culinary school or waiting tables on the weekends – one thing is for sure: it’s a lot different to what you expect!

Let’s look at 10 things they probably didn’t tell you before you got your start in the business.

1. IT'S A CAREER

Hospitality isn’t just a stop gap and you can have a rewarding career. This is an industry that usually promotes from within and offers opportunities. It’s very possible to go from washing dishes at 16 to being a head chef and executive owner further down the line. 



You’ll work hard, but the fruits of your labour can certainly be enjoyed.

2. KNIVES ARE REAL

When you spend so much time in the kitchen chopping and slicing, cuts are inevitable. The stresses of the kitchen mean sometimes you take your eye off the ball for a split second, and that’s all it takes for a white onion to become red!

Fortunately there are a few little tricks of the trade to help you.

Blunt knives are prone to slipping, so keeping your  knife sharp is important to stay safe while slicing. Storing your knives away safely can also be a big help in reducing accidents by keeping your prep areas clear of sharp objects.

You just have to accept it's going to happen at some point, but there are ways to manage it!

3. PAPERWORK

Oh, you thought being a chef was just about cooking until close? Maybe, just maybe, you expected to be cleaning until 3am.

But did you ever imagine all the paperwork you have to do? Probably not! From recording your deliveries to your hygiene inspection checklist, keeping a detailed account of your business is incredibly time consuming.

However - this is certainly worthwhile. Detailed recordings can save your business if unwarranted food poisoning allegations are ever made! Keeping on top of health and safety can only be a good thing.

4. THE GUINNESS WAIT

Anyone who works behind a bar will know this scenario. A large group walks in, orders 10 drinks (which you dutifully pour), then upon asking “anything else?” they drop the Guinness bombshell.

That’ll be another 5 minutes you’re out of action while the bar gets even busier. Thanks fellas!

Paddy’s day is around the corner, so it’s a great time to remind everyone to get their Guinness requests in early if it’s going to be a large round!

5. BARE FEET NEVER FELT SO GOOD!

There is little time to rest in this business, but that makes getting home and putting your feet up just that little bit better! Whether you’re moving around the kitchen all day or serving tables, the soles of your feet do some serious work.

Dedicated hospitality footwear such as Slipbuster offers great support and will certainly make your day much easier, but nothing will beat that feeling of slinging your shoes off and relaxing after a gruelling slog.



6. FRIENDS BECOME FAMILY

When you’re working together for up to 14 hours a day, you develop a close bond with your colleagues. Arguments over who forgot table 6’s order or where your chef knife disappeared to are quickly forgotten, and you’ll all look forward to that drink together at the end of shift.

A small team feels stress, relief, despair and joy together and becomes a close-knit family –  and you wouldn’t change it for anything!

7. TASTES ARE CHANGING

Vegans and vegetarians are making up an increasingly larger section of the population. Not offering a
varied meat and dairy-free menu is only going to hold your business back, even though it means a
lot more work for kitchen staff. 

Gluten-free and other exemptions have risen alongside shunning animal-based products, giving chefs
a big challenge in creating dishes to satisfy an increasing number of diners.

The potential for profit is there for those who want to rise to the occasion, and it can increase your
visibility online if you gain a reputation for social responsibility.



8. IF YOU CAN’T TAKE THE HEAT…

You better get out of the kitchen! Long hours in a hot kitchen is sure to induce the dreaded chef’s backside.

As well as a dab of talcum powder before your shift, replacing your well-worn attire with Chef Works high quality chef clothing will help to avoid this!

9. THE LATECOMERS

Picture this: 3 minutes until close. Another long day done. Itching to get home. Nearly there. But wait! The couple who just left the cinema early have decided to “pop in” for a well-done steak.

Oh well. Who likes to be home before 4am anyway?!

10. YOU LOVE IT

Chances are you'll have worked 15 hour days for many years in a stressful environment. But could you see yourself doing anything else? 

The love of food, making customers happy, the kitchen camaraderie and seeing your ideas come to fruition makes life in the industry a challenging but satisfying addiction!


Is there anything we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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