Follow your passion for food and drink with a Hospitality career

May 31, 2019 - Claire Todd

Being in the restaurant kitchens and Front of House is fast-paced, exciting and creative. But did you know that as well as these careers in Hospitality, there are so many ways that you can follow your passion for food and drink?

As part of our ‘H.E.A.T up your Future’ blog series, we invited Claire Todd, our Marketing Intern, to interview staff at the award-winning Ayrshire company Buzzworks, to find out more about their role and a typical day in the Hospitality industry for them. 

Here’s what she found out:


Follow your passion for food and drink in a hospitality career.Abbie Morton 31May2019.jpg

MARKETING – Abbie Morton, Marketing Assistant and Bartender at the Mill House in Stewarton

I’ll start off my day by catching-up with emails, which can be about anything from different venues asking about personalised menus, to arranging private dining rooms. I sometimes help with designing the menus.  I look after the media orders, and also drop off and pick up marketing things, such as signage, to our various venues.

Recently I took a Buzzworks cake to every single venue as a celebration for being voted one of the ‘Sunday Times top 100 companies to work for’ which was really good fun and we got some great photos.

Getting into Marketing

I left school to study Graphic Design at Ayrshire College, while working part-time at The Mill House. I get the chance to be creative at work and one of the first things I designed was a Halloween poster for The Mill House, which was then distributed to each House venue.

I love working within the marketing team as I enjoy working behind the scenes.

Skills needed to work in Marketing

You need to be very efficient. We are given tasks that are very last minute, so it’s important to be able to do things quickly. Dealing with lots of different venues and meeting their needs can be a challenge at times, but I really enjoy it.

Best thing about working in Hospitality

The best thing about working in the company is getting to meet new people. There’s no better feeling than making a customer’s day.  It can be really rewarding.”

FINANCE – Craig McGuigan, Head of Finance

I’ll always remember my first week at Buzzworks. I thought that everyone was so upbeat and welcoming. There was such a buzz around the place and I think that’s just the nature of the hospitality industry.

I didn’t set out to work in the hospitality sector, but the great thing about working in finance or other business areas like marketing, HR, ICT is that you can move between industries, it gives you an idea of how the different areas work.

You need a passion for finance

I would encourage people to get into a finance role within hospitality.  It’s not always a 9-5 role. It can be a lot of hours, but as long as you have a passion for it, it can be very rewarding.

Our job role is to produce relative, timely, accurate and well-presented information. So, I think you need to have a mathematical mind, an ability to prioritise and you need to be able to focus on detail. A lot of people who read financial reports are not financial people.  There’s no place for jargon that people won’t always understand, you have to appreciate your audience.

Opportunities for promotion

I’m also involved in Buzzwork’s ‘Management Acceleration Programme’, where candidates are walked through what it takes to be a Leader/Manager in the business and includes finance, business, cash-handling, stock control, product knowledge and customer service.

It’s absolutely fantastic. Some of our General Managers and Head Chefs have benefited from the programme, climbing their career ladder successfully.

CUSTOMER SERVICE  – Adrienne Thomson and Georgina Lennon – Customer Service at Buzzworks Head Office

Typical Day

We deal with lots of phone enquiries, table bookings, large party bookings, complaints, online gift cards and also social media. It’s a whole range of things. There are core elements to the job but every day is different and new things always come up.

It’s also great because it’s very flexible working and you can fit it around family life or studies.

What skills do you need in customer service?

The key to good customer service is to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Think what kind of service you would expect. If we show empathy it ensures that customers come back.

What training is involved?

There is quite a lot of training involved but you are eased into it rather than being thrown into the deep end. We’re constantly learning new things.

Getting the chance to visit the different venues, if we choose to, is good as getting familiar with the venues definitely helps when taking bookings.

What are the challenging parts of the role?

It’s dealing with complaints, and often deal with difficult customers but it’s important to be understanding and not take it personally. In the end it is all about the customer experience and making them feel great.

Follow your passion for food and drink in a hospitality career.Gillian Norwood 31May2019.jpg

HR – Gillian Norwood, People Development Manager of Buzzworks

I have a very wide experience in HR, but I was drawn back into hospitality because I think it’s a fun place to work and meet different people. I definitely enjoy coming to work and no two days are the same.

One thing that attracted me to this job was that there would be different locations to go to. Currently I do enjoy getting out and about to the different venues in Kilwinning, Ayr, Prestwick, Stewarton and Kilmarnock. It’s good to get out and meet the managers and build a trust between them, as well as getting to know the employees at different venues.

Typical Day

We don’t have a huge staff turnover, but we are continually opening new venues and since people leave naturally, it leaves room to recruit new talent.

I attend lots of meetings, to understand the operations side of the business as well as the day to day of looking after staff- making sure people get paid correctly, holiday entitlement, maternity and paternity leave and any sort of curveballs that are thrown my way! It is quite a busy and hectic role.

Hours of work

Since my role is within the Hospitality industry, I don’t tend to work the standard 9-5 hours assumed within HR roles. Generally I’ll start early in the morning and finishing times can really vary. Flexibility is key in this role.

Challenging aspects of the role

Balancing the recruitment can be challenging, to ensure I hire the right people at the right time.

Timescales can also be challenging, as everyone is looking for things at the same time, but that’s where the multi-tasking skill comes in handy.

Favourite part of the job

My favourite part of my job is definitely going out and about to different venues, and meeting employees and getting to know people, and being able to help them.

Apply now and start your alternative career in Hospitality, Tourism and Events.

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