Catering and hospitality is a massive industry with global opportunities. It is the third biggest market in the UK and growing. It employs 2.4 million people across hotels, campsites, pubs, restaurants, takeaways, contract catering, festivals and events. One in every thirteen jobs is in catering and hospitality.
Nationwide, in 2011 there were around 5,200 vacancies for chefs, 3,600 for waiting staff and over 1,100 for restaurant, hotel and catering managers. In London alone, the sector employs 364,000 people and in any given month there are some 4,000 vacancies waiting to be filled. London also has more restaurants than any other region and the South East has the most contract food service businesses in the country.
The demand here in the UK is high but even more so in the Middle East, which will be hosting a number of major events but does not have enough local people with the right skills. Being part of the events team for the Dubai-7 Rugby tournament or the Football World Cup in Qatar could bring huge personal, professional and cash rewards.
The opportunities are there for combining your work with travel, music or sport. It is also one of the industries more likely to see young entrepreneurs. In 2010, over 1,400 new businesses in the catering and hospitality sector were set up by people aged 16-25 years old.