The contemporary hospitality industry is one of the
biggest, consisting of a broad and variable range of aspects that also
intertwine with different industries. With an estimated turnover of £90 billion
each year and a worth of £46 billion to the UK economy (British Hospitality Association, 2010), the hospitality
industry contributes massively to our economy.


There have been many different definitions of the
word ‘hospitality’ that have been adapted over the years as the industry has
evolved and developed. However one of the most widely accepted ones at this
time is a ‘relationship between host and guest where a process takes place
which includes the arrival, fulfilment of the guests wishes and departure’ (Mullins, 2001). The hospitality
industry focuses on the provision of sustenance and also the provision of
accommodation. (Jones, 2002)  These two things aim to meet two basic human
needs; eating and sleeping.

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In this assignment I’m going to be examining the current
structure and staffing needs of the industry as well as the recent and
potential future trends and developments.

Understanding the current structure of the
hospitality industry

Analyse the current scale, scope and
diversity of the hospitality industry


The hospitality industry is currently one of the fastest growing
industries in the UK. According to the British Hospitality Association the
industry is the ‘4th largest in the UK’ and has ‘grown GVA faster
than any other industry since the economic turndown’ (6% growth compared to
4.8% in the real estate activities sector)’ (British Hospitality Association,
Additionally the percentage of jobs that the industry provides both directly
and indirectly is vast.


Essentially the hospitality industry includes nearly any organisation or
company that has a customer service focus. The industry consequently
intertwines with other services that might necessarily not be classified
officially under the hospitality bracket. Most people associate the hospitality
sector with the accommodation and food and beverage aspect of it. However,
there are approximately 14 different categories within the hospitality field
ranging from hotels to holiday parks to events to pubs and nightclubs and even
including gambling services (Gardiner, 2009).


The diversity of the industry is extremely broad. Generally businesses
are small and local which are owned independently or large and national which
are owned by a large corporation. Small independent businesses typically offer
a more personal bespoke service and are likely to focus less on hitting targets
and more on the memorable service ensuring that customers leave with maximum
satisfaction. On the other hand, larger chain businesses may be less personal
and more focused on meeting their national targets. However one of the
advantages of a larger hospitality chain is consistency as customers know what
to expect when visiting. Commonly larger establishments have a larger range of
facilities such as swimming pools, golfing ranges and gyms giving an advantage.


Discuss the organisational structure of
different hospitality organisations


The organisational structure of hospitality organisations has a large
influence on how efficient they are. Mintzberg defined organisational structure
as ‘the framework of the relations of jobs, systems, operating process, people
and groups’ (Mintzberg, 1978)


There are two main structures. Flat structures consist of ‘less
management levels and managers have more staff to control’ (Lawler & Porter,
and are usually found in smaller businesses (E.g. restaurants) where there are
fewer employees and a cross over between duties. Consequently this means that
employees may carry out a wide range of different tasks regardless of their
position. For example, in a restaurant, a waitress may carry out cleaning or
event planning which could be a separate role entirely in other organisations.


On the other hand tall structures have a ‘large hierarchy with strong
managerial control and close supervision of employees (Ghiselli & Siegel,
and are usually found in larger businesses where there are more employees. For
example, a large hotel would usually have a large number of levels within the
hierarchy as different roles within this setting can be varied and require a
diverse level of skill. A housekeeper would usually stick to cleaning duties rather
than getting involved with something such as event planning. Roles at the
bottom of the hierarchy (e.g. housekeeping) generally require more supervision
than a general manager would need.

Assess the role of hospitality related
organisations and professional bodies


Hospitality related organisations and professional bodies help to regulate
and represent businesses within the industry. One of the main organisations is
the British Hospitality Association. On their website they state that their
role is to ‘role is to promote the interests of operators, brands and owners’
whilst ‘shaping the future of hospitality and tourism’ (British Hopsitality Association, 2017). Ultimately they are
aiming to inspire the next generation by creating jobs and increasing
competitiveness within the hospitality field.


Springboard UK is a charity organisation which ‘helps young people
achieve their potential and nurtures unemployed people of any age into work’ (The Springboard Charity,
Although their main focus is on young people, Springboard also aims to help
people of all ages that might also be in tough situations.


These organisations are just a few examples of the wide variety of
organisations which are a key part of the hospitality industry. They play a
major role in creating job opportunities, representing views and provide a
support network within the sector.

Understand staffing in the hospitality industry

Assess the staffing requirements of
different hospitality industries


Different sectors of the industry have extremely diverse requirements but
essentially the main aim for every hospitality business is to provide the best
possible service. For example, the staffing of a 5 star hotel would be
considerably different to the staff needed for a fast food chain. A 5 star
hotel would require a higher volume of staff that provide high quality customer
service. Whereas, the fast food chain would seek staff on who are able to be
fast paced and efficient. Although the key attributes of the staff are at opposite
ends of the spectrum, they both aim to provide satisfaction for the customers’


Employees within the hospitality sector are either customer facing and
have direct contact and involvement with the customer or are ‘behind the
scenes’ where they focus on the management and the administrative side of a
business. However it can sometimes be hard for organisations to attract full
time long term staff due to the anti social hours (E.g. Evenings and Weekends)
and low wages. Another issue is that positions such as waitresses and
bartenders are likely to attract young people who are looking to earn money. Positions
are likely to be filled temporarily as people of this age may leave to go to
university or move on to a full time career. Staffing needs within this
industry are also fairly seasonal as a higher amount of staff are likely to be
needed during busy periods (E.g. Summer and Christmas) in order to meet the
surges in demand.


Discuss the roles, responsibilities and
qualification requirements for hospitality staff


The hospitality sector is extremely fast paced meaning that all employees
should portray the skills needed to be flexible in order to adapt and address
the needs of various different types of customers. There are 3 main categories
that staff within the industry fit into which are managerial, supervisorial and craft / operative roles (Mead, et al., 2011).


Managerial roles are highly skilled and require
many years of experience within the hospitality industry or in a similar field.
Within some organisations it is compulsory that the ideal candidate holds a
diploma or degree level qualification in a hospitality or related subject. The responsibilities
of higher level positions include planning, controlling elements such as
budgets, organisation performance, the company accounts, staffing appraisal and
rewards. They usually don’t have much face to face contact with customers as
they operate behind the scenes.


Supervisor roles in hospitality are semi-skilled.
They require some training and/or qualifications but not to the degree that a
manager would need. In some cases a hospitality relevant NVQ or BTEC may be
desirable. The responsibility of the day to day running of a hospitality
organisation would fall to including communicating with lower level staff
ensuring they know their duties.


Operational roles in hospitality rarely require
formal qualifications. They usually just require the candidate to be adaptable
and be able to learn fast. On the job training is usually used at this level
within the hospitality sector as different organisations can often be very
different so one route of training would not be beneficial. Examples of job
roles in this category include housekeepers, waiters, front desk and bar staff.

Understand recent developments affecting

Analyse operational, managerial and legislative
issues resulting from recent developments affecting the hospitality industry


In recent times there have been a large number of operational, managerial
and legislative issues affecting the hospitality industry. The nature of the
fast moving industry means that there are many external factors that influence
how hospitality organisations operate and run.


One operational issue is the quality of the workforce that they employ. The
standard of staff within an organisation has found to be one of the main things
that contributes to its success (SOEG Jobs, 2017). Bad customer
service can have a negative impact on the reputation. Finding high quality
staff can be quite challenging for hospitality businesses. The difficulty in
hiring and retaining staff which meet expectations is experienced by ‘54% of
all owners and managers’ (Buyers, 2017) within hospitality.


Managerial issues within the industry have also had a considerable
impact. As the sector has continued to expand and grow, the number of
businesses setting up has heightened. Consequently the competition within the
market is bigger than ever before. For example, the introduction of Airbnb in
2008 placed huge pressure on the hotel sector (Mahmoud, 2016) as a lot of
potential customers have used Airbnb rather than traditional hotels. As a
result of the increase in competition, organisations need to do everything they
can in order to remain competitive within the market.


There are many legislative laws that businesses have to comply with. As
expectations increase, the government has brought in new legislation in order
to protect employees and customers within this industry. In 2014, the
introduction of the Food Information for Consumers Regulation, which aims to
protect people purchasing food in any situation, ensures that ‘allergen
information about 14 different food items is available anywhere when eating
outside of the home’ (Food Standards Agency, 2014). This reassures customers
so they know exactly what everything contains.  

Discuss the current image of the
hospitality industry


The hospitality industry is progressing at a rapid rate as new trends continually
emerge. Some of which can benefit the sector and some which can be highly
disruptive. Overall, the current state of the hospitality industry is looking
positive. Despite the recessional period that the economy recently experienced,
the damage to the image of the industry has been minimal.


As the industry has progressed, businesses have had to adapt to the
rapidly increasing expectations of customers. Therefore organisations have had
to step up the quality and value of their services in order to remain
competitive. For example, in recent times some people have become increasingly
more conscious about their health and the treatment of animals. As a result
there has been a large influx of people with various dietary requirements and
preferences (E.g. vegan diet, dairy free, gluten free). In past years there has
been very little focus on these but due to the increase in demand businesses have
felt pressure to introduce speciality foods. If firms fail to meet these
expectations then they are likely to lose customers and potentially market


Technology has had both a huge positive and negative effect on the
industry. A positive impact is the way in which Social Media can be used in
order to promote the business and inform customers about new events and offers.
Social Media is global and therefore can help a hospitality business to reach
many more people than with word of mouth. However a reoccurring problem in
relation to technology is the ‘rise in the number of customers who use sites
such as Tripadvisor as a threat’ (Mail Online (Emily
Payne), 2014)
if they don’t get what they want (E.g. a refund or a freebie). Due to the
saturated market, many hospitality businesses rely on their good online reviews
to attract people who don’t know the area very well. It has been found that ‘54% of UK adults
used online reviews’ (BBC News, 2015) and therefore it can be extremely
damaging for businesses to have unfair bad reviews left.


Judge how the business and cultural
environments shape the behaviour of a selected organisation


It is vital that a business understands the business and cultural
environment that they are operating within to ensure that they please as many
stakeholders as possible. The UK Italian restaurant Zizzi’s is a good example
of how internal and external factors have shaped their behaviour as an


In 2016 Zizzi was the ‘first major high street
chain’ (Big Hospitality, 2017) to launch a full vegan
menu in response to the soar in veganism in the UK. The Vegan Society has
estimated that there were over 542,000 vegans in the UK in 2016 (The Vegan Society, 2016) and has since
increased during 2017. Zizzi were also the first chain to offer ‘vegan
mozzarella’ (Big Hospitality, 2017) on their pizzas.
Being the first major chain to offer both a vegan menu and vegan cheese, gives
customers the reassurance that Zizzi as a brand is responsive to changes and
ensures all customers have a fair choice of dishes.


Zizzi have also responded well to new
entrants. The increase in competition meant that they were falling behind and ‘brought
the brand back up to date by rebranding and refurbishing their restaurants to
give them a more attractive modern look’ (Big Hospitality, 2012). This was a bid to appeal
to younger customers aged 20-30 who are Zizzi’s ‘core diners’ (Big Hospitality, 2012). Without this
decision Zizzi could have fallen even further behind in the market.


Zizzi’s pride themselves as an ethical
sustainable brand. They make efforts to only deal with ‘suppliers that share
their passion for high safety and quality of food’ and ‘recycle oil into
biodiesel and food waste into anaerobic digestion rather than landfill’ (Zizzi, 2017). As the issue of
global warming is getting increasingly serious, it is important that they
consider the environment in their operation.


Be able to recognise potential trends and
developments in hospitality

Present justified predictions for potential
trends and developments in hospitality


The future of the
hospitality industry is fairly uncertain due to its fast moving nature. However,
it is evident from the current trends that customers are always searching for
new experiences and therefore it is important that businesses react to future
trends and developments accordingly.


As discussed
earlier, there has been a huge rise in health conscious customers which is
likely to carry on increasing in coming years. As more research is done into
foods and their impact on our health, the expectation of organic healthier
foods in all establishments is highly likely.


Another prediction
is that IT will play an even bigger role over the coming years. Concepts such
as online and contactless payments, keyless entries and guest apps are likely
to go to the next level. It has been found that ‘64% of people have said it is
very important for hospitality businesses to invest in technology to enhance
the guest experience’ (Rentokil, 2017). As most people are
getting busier, businesses should continually strive for convenience and look
for new efficient ways using technology.


After the UK’s
decision to leave the EU, the hospitality industry’s future is uncertain. The
industry as a whole is highly sensitive to the economy of different countries.
The consequences of Brexit could affect things such as employment, policies and
freedom of movement. Depending on the deals that the UK eventually makes with
the EU, there could be a ‘shortfall of 60,000 workers a
year if immigration from the EU is controlled too tightly’ (Mayday Employment Limited, 2017). If package holidays
are affected, the UK could experience a decline in tourism. This would have a
huge impact on the industry as a whole as well as on individual businesses.


Produce an impact analysis for the
predicted trends and developments


Any future trends and developments that may occur will have an impact on
a business and that impact needs to be considered and planned in order for them
to react in the most effective way.


The predicted further increase in health conscious customers will mean
that businesses need to source and produce high quality food more than ever
before regardless of the type of organisation. After all, the customers should
be at the centre of any hospitality organisation and therefore this should be a
priority in order to retain customers and stay competitive within the market.


As the expectations for hospitality businesses to be highly technology
orientated increase, the pressure for businesses to invest heavily in
technology will be greater This will increase the costs of hospitality
organisations but will keep them at the forefront of the market in regards to
responding to customer desires and expectations. The convenience needs of
customers are also important, which means they need to constantly evolve efficient
practices. However, many customers still value a high degree of personal
interaction so they need to ensure that they get the balance right between
technologies enhancing the customer experience and the personal interaction


Brexit could potentially have a huge impact on the industry. If
immigration is controlled too tightly and the movement of people into the UK
decreases significantly, then UK hospitality businesses may face difficulty in filling
positions. The sector consists of a high percentage of highly skilled people
from the EU and if the wide pool of EU skilled staff is inaccessible then there
could be a labour shortage. 42% of vacancies within this sector are extremely
hard to fill with people from the UK (Redefine – BDL Hotels, 2016) which means
businesses would need to invest sufficient time and money into training these
less suitable candidates meaning that there is less money to invest in other
areas such as technology. As well as immigration issues, Brexit could affect the
availability of package holidays which could significantly decrease the number
of people who visit the UK. This could cause a large decrease to the amount of
tourism brought to the country. As a result of this, many businesses within the
hospitality industry would experience a decline in sales (especially hotels and
restaurants) as a large percentage of their income is generated by overseas



In conclusion, the contemporary hospitality industry is growing faster
than ever before, where the main focus is ultimately on providing the best
service and experience. It is vital that hospitality businesses regularly
assess the market to effectively address both the threats and opportunities
that arise. They have to react accordingly to the business and cultural
environment that they exist within to remain competitive and current. It is
important as there is a continual increase in pressure and expectation to
produce an innovative high quality service. However, businesses need to find
the right balance between tech and personal interaction as many customers still
value a personal touch.


Essentially the hospitality industry mainly relies on the availability of
disposable income within the UK and the number of overseas customers. The
industry is currently looking strong however with the uncertainty of how Brexit
will affect the industry, businesses need to be increasingly vigilant in order
to prepare and plan for the impact that this is likely to make.



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