Trying to decide which department in the Hospitality industry would suit you? Check out our blog!

Interested in the hospitality industry?

Not sure which department would suit you?

Here’s a brief run down of what each department entails!


Food and Beverage

This is often one of the largest departments within the hospitality industry as it covers a few departments who have very different duties. If you see the abbreviation F&B then this is food and beverage.

Within this department you have the following:

  • Waiter/Waitress
  • Bar tenders
  • Butlers
  • Scullers
  • Commis Chefs
  • Pastry Chefs
  • Chef de parties
  • Sous Chefs
  • Head/Executive Chefs
  • F&B Managers
  • Hosts/Hostesses/Anchors/Guest relations

One very big difference is that some of these jobs are front of house and some are back of house.

If you enjoy talking to people and are confident to communicate with people from all around the world then considering a waiter, bar, butler or host role would suit you. Often these positions overlap, and you may be a waiter and a bar tender at the same time. These positions suit people who are quick on their feet and can multitask.

Chefs on all ‘levels’ need to be creative and really have a passion for cooking so if this sounds like you then working in the kitchen behind the scenes is the place for you, as you learn more you can progress into a higher level or find which aspect in the kitchen you really enjoy.

An F&B Manager would oversee all aspects of front and back of house so would suit someone who is great with people, not only guests and customers but with staff as well. Knowledge of overall service in the department would be essential and although the F&B Manager doesn’t always do the cooking, having a background in cooking would be a great help.


Reception/Office related roles

Working in Reception may make you think of lots of admin work however in the hospitality industry this often entails much more than sitting behind a computer all day.

Within this department you have the following:

  • Receptionists
  • Admin assistants
  • Office Manager
  • Financial Manager
  • Debtor/Creditor
  • HR Manager
  • Reservationist

The skills needed in this department are good computer knowledge, great telephonic manner and writing skills but also you are often the ‘Face’ of the whole establishment as this is often the first person guests and customers would see, so you need to be presentable, friendly and confident in communicating to people.

Its also a department that you will need to have a good knowledge of numbers, although we all have calculators there is often invoicing, petty cash, reports, tips, and sales all managed in this department.

Multi-tasking is also a must have skills in this department.

If you are employed in a specific role then it will be important to have in depth knowledge about this aspect of the industry, for example in the HR sector then an understanding of things like labour law and employment equity will be a must.

In the Lodge industry the reception staff will normally also host meals, so this integrates with the F&B department nicely and having that warm outgoing personality is key to success in this area.


Guides and Trackers

This department is only related to the lodge sector (not restaurant and hotels)

Within this department you have the following:

  • Guides
  • Head Guide/Assistant Head Guide
  • Trackers

Guides and trackers work as a team with their roles to provide the guests with an amazing, once in a lifetime wildlife experience.

Guides and Trackers need to be conservation minded at all times and pass on their passion for nature and conservation through the game drives and bush walks they provide for the guests.

Knowledge about animals, plants, trees, geology, insects, birds, conservation and tracks/signs of animals is vital. It will also help to have a background knowledge on drinks and food as Guides are often hosting guests at meals and need to be clued up on what is being served.

Any photographic knowledge is an advantage as many guests will have cameras and what to take pictures to enable them to have memories of the trip. Its also important as a Guide to get your vehicle positioned into the best photographic spot.

With these roles knowledge and passion go hand in hand and without these you won’t be successful so if you love wildlife and the bush then get studying as you do need a formal qualification to become a Guide or a Tracker.



This department is more than just cleaning rooms, its about creating a guest experience through small touches and attention to details.

Within this department you have the following:

  • Head or Senior Housekeeper
  • Housekeepers
  • Laundry department

Housekeepers need to have excellent attention to detail skills and ability to thoroughly check areas to make sure they are clean, neat and tidy at all times as well as notice any maintenance related issues.

Pride in their work in very important and if they can be creative with small touches such as towel arrangements, flowers, notes in the rooms then this will make a big difference to the guests stay.

How clean and tidy an establishment is will also be at the top of the guest’s mind.



This department is very hands on, there can still be admin but its all about getting things fixed as quickly as possible and preventing problems in the first place before they happen. It can be one of the busiest departments in you are in a large lodge as there are many aspects that fall within maintenance.

Within this department you have the following:

  • Maintenance manager
  • Assistant Maintenance manager
  • Maintenance workers
  • Gardeners

These positions are suited to people who are very ‘handy’ who know how to fix things and can make a plan! Its good to have a technical mind when working in this department and also attention to detail and knowledge to be able to see a problem before it starts. This department often deals with health and safety as well which is vitally important so a background in these aspects would help.

In the Hospitality industry having a good overall knowledge of different maintenance related aspects would be beneficial as no two days are ever the same so although its good to specialist its also important to have a good general knowledge and of course don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!



This department is often made up of people who have already worked in the other departments as it is rare to be able to immediately walk into a Management role within the industry without a background knowledge, it may be that they started as a waiter and then got promoted throughout their career from this to front of house, head of a department and now management.

Within this department you have the following:

  • General Managers
  • Operations Manager
  • Assistant Managers

For these roles you need to be a multi-tasker, a huge people’s person which includes interacting with guests, clients but also staff and have a good overall understand of how every single department works. An admin/financial mind will also be required as the role will include a fair amount of admin.

If you have a strong personality but also able to work hard and help where needed, then this may be the job for you. Do everything you can to move through the departments and take opportunities for promotions as they come to you. Once you are a Manager have confidence in your abilities and be a warm and open person and you will have success.


Which ever department you currently work in or are hoping to work in, in the future it is vital to have passion for the industry as hospitality is long hours, expect to work weekends, public holidays and although most of the time you have lovely guests and customers you will have challenging days, there are however challenging days in every industry in the world! So focus on the positives and enjoy life in this crazy but very fun industry. 





Words: Hayley Cooper – Wild Dreams Recruitment