The hospitality sector, which includes hotels, restaurants and pubs and self-catering accommodation, is one of Devon’s biggest employers and one of the largest contributors to its economic vitality – and the wider tourism sector accounts for something like 12% of the county’s jobs.
However, let’s face it, it’s not a sector which has had the best press over the years. Think of jobs in hospitality, and you’ll inevitably think of long hours, low pay, tired legs and maybe even poor working conditions.
The good news is – things have changed – and perhaps now is the right time to consider a career in hospitality, whether you’re just starting out in your career path or looking for a rewarding new challenge.
Hospitality has been one of the sectors hardest hit by the global pandemic, with long periods of enforced closure followed by a sustained down-turn in overseas visitors. However, the sector has once again shown it resilience and its ability to adapt and overcome. Despite the unprecedented financial challenges, many businesses have invested further in their facilities or product offering, to ensure they are fit to provide exceptional guest experiences as demand returns to more normal levels – and the county’s hotels in particular have seen a strong bounce-back in the form of “staycation” demand, with more people looking to take holidays and short breaks a little closer to home.
Career opportunities in hospitality in Devon are extensive, and can be very rewarding. Inevitably the hours can still be long, and working weekends and evenings is in the nature of the job. However, ask those who work in the industry, and they will also tell you about the real “buzz” they get from interacting with customers, and from creating brilliant guest experiences. It’s also fair to say that good employers right across Devon have firmly embraced the need to more effectively develop, lead, motivate and reward their teams in order to ensure the best experience for customers, and to build staff loyalty and reduce staff turnover.
Many hospitality businesses in Devon are already reporting strong bookings for 2022, and are gearing up their teams in readiness (and in a post-Brexit world, we are seeing less overseas workers coming to the region). So if you’ve ever thought about a career in hospitality, now could be the time. Vacancies for chefs are particularly plentiful at the moment – with vacancies for those with existing solid experience, and for those just starting out. Many hotels and restaurants across Devon offer exceptional training opportunities, often working with some of the best ingredients sourced from Devon’s farmers, fishermen and producers. Front-of-house roles are also both plentiful and rewarding, taking care of guests in restaurants, bars and reception areas. And of course, if you don’t already live here in Devon, this could also be the time to consider leaving the big city and heading to our glorious county of beautiful countryside, spectacular coasts and rich heritage, for a fresh start to your career.
Even if you don’t think you are looking for a life-long career in hospitality (though be warned, it can prove addictive!) the kind of experience you will gain in a hospitality role will add immeasurably to your CV and to your personal development. Customer service, team working, meticulous organisation and trouble-shooting in an often fast-paced environment, to name but a few.
Brush up your CV, get in touch with some employers, browse the vacancies on one of the many jobs boards on the web – and get on board. The time is right!
Sales & Marketing Manager
Warm Welcome Hotels
The historic and characterful Bedford Hotel in Tavistock and Two Bridges Hotel on Dartmoor are both under the same local, independent ownership, and offer award-winning hospitality and food. Both hotels are currently recruiting for chef and front-of-house roles.