Hospo Voice

8 hospitality skills all hospo workers have

February 26, 2021

Artwork by Judy Kuo, check out more of her amazing work on insta at @judyk__

Hospo is one of those industries sometimes described as being staffed by unskilled workers. If you believe that, we challenge you to work a Sunday brunch washing dishes and doing prep in a kitchen or slinging drinks at your local pub on a Saturday night and get back to us. It will certainly make you think twice before trivialising our hospitality skills!

Practical skills aside, hospo workers develop heaps of underrated “soft skills” that are transferable both to other industries and other parts of our lives.  It’s a big industry, and there’s a massive variety of roles. But there are some skills and attributes that all good hospo workers have in common. Whether you’re a bartender or a bussie, here are the hospitality skills we all share.

1. Multitasking

Pretty much every person in hospo needs good multitasking skills. Chefs need to get out multiple plates at the same time. Wait staff and bar staff are taking orders while also keeping an eye on who else needs service.

Hospo is always hectic, so you’re always doing more than one thing at the same time and making it look effortless. If you’re a newbie, the good news is, the more you do it, the better you get!

2. Problem solving

Another hospitality skill you need to have is the ability to problem solve. Customers always have complaints, dietary requirements or unique needs. You need to think on your feet and not go running to your manager every time an issue comes up. 

Say a customer is unhappy that their steak is medium rare and not well done like they asked. While they wait for another steak to be cooked, you might offer them a complimentary drink to compensate. 

Having good hospitality skills and attributes is about delighting the customer and solving their problems. But that also means your boss needs to trust you to make these decisions, so it’s all about having a decent workplace.

3. Work ethic

Hospo workers work incredibly hard – we know how to roll up our sleeves and get shit done. You should be admired for how hard you work but make sure you’re not being taken advantage of. If you think your employer has unrealistic expectations about how much you should get done in a work day, ask a question on Mobilise to get advice about how to push back. Or, organise your colleagues and tackle the issue together.

4. Time management

When you’re working in a busy kitchen or venue, you need to have awesome time management skills. You need to know what is going to surpass customer expectations and what you can put aside until it’s not as busy.

5. Hazard awareness

Good hospo workers have a sixth sense about when things aren’t right and tell their boss. It’s important in places like a kitchen when ignoring hazards could mean life or death.

But what do you do if you’re always working with faulty equipment or you know there’s sexual harassment, bullying or discrimination going on? There’s only so much you can do as one person, right? If this sounds like you, get in touch with us on the Mobilise app and we can help you do something about those unhealthy hazards at work.

6. Attention to detail

From a perfectly presented plate to shining cutlery, attention to detail is a crucial skill in the hospitality industry. Your attention to detail will help take a customer’s experience from ho hum to wow. 

You can put that attribute to use when reading a new contract, too. While it’s true that your contract can’t undercut the award, if it’s dodgy, it’s probably not valid. A dodgy contract shows that your employer is trying to exploit you.

7. Good communication skills

Whether you’re taking down a customer’s dinner order, or chatting about the menu with your head chef in hospo, you spend all day talking and listening. Plus, it’s really fast-paced so you need to communicate clearly and calmly, no matter what stress you’re under. 

If you notice an irregularity in your pay or you think you’re not getting treated well at work, excellent communication skills will also be handy. They will help you organise your colleagues so you can affect change and get treated the way you deserve.

8. Ability to work in a team

Communication skills are the foundation to great teamwork. In hospo, you’re always just one person in a bigger team and unless you work together, the whole organisation falls apart. 


It’s hard to work as a team when there’s high turnover, isn’t it? That’s why it’s so important to make sure our workplaces are safe and have good wages and conditions. At Hospo Voice, we want to make hospo a better place to work so we can all show off these mad hospitality skills we have. Join us today to help us on this journey!

Looking for more info about working in hospo?

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