The Irish hospitality sector is a major employer. Many of the employees are front line staff whose professionalism plays a pivotal role in service quality, customer satisfaction and business success. Creating a warm, friendly and enjoyable customer experience is key to this success. If you’re a polite, friendly and helpful person who enjoys working with and meeting other people this may be the career for you. This programme is a good starting point if you are interested in working front of house in the hospitality sector. It offers you the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in food safety, safety at work, product knowledge, menus, customer service, food and beverage service, and payment handling. You will learn the skills of welcoming customers on arrival, showing them to their tables, handing out menus, answering customers’ questions, taking orders, serving food and drinks, handling payments, and setting up and clearing tables.
- Induction to the Course – State the outcomes of the programme, outline the rules and regulations of the training centre and outline the emergency evacuation procedures.
- Safety at Work – Identify common workplace risks and hazards and the interventions required to reduce them to a minimum. Identify and implement procedures to be followed in the event of accidents and emergencies. State the function of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the various types of safety signs.
- Manual Handling and Fire Safety – State the statutory regulations relating to the manual handling of loads, describe the anatomy and physiology of the spine as it applies to manual handling and use the correct techniques to lift, put down, push and pull a load. Describe the theory and practice of the Fire Triangle, describe how fires start and spread, identify fire hazards and understand how these are controlled, describe correct fire prevention and protection procedures, outline the main steps and instructions involved in a fire drill, use basic fire extinguishing equipment and describe your responsibilities in the event of a fire.
- Food Safety and Hygiene – Outline the causes of bacterial growth and use time-temperature controls to prevent and control it, describe food borne illness and the factors which contribute to it, apply pest control in the workplace, outline the legal food safety responsibilities, ensure food safety during preparation, cooking and cooling of food, apply correct and appropriate cleaning procedures to maintain a clean food operation, take all reasonable care to prevent cross-contamination of products by food allergens, use hygienic procedures when displaying, holding or serving food and use hygienic procedures when storing raw, partly processed and processed food.
- Food Safety in Catering – Demonstrate food safety in relation to personal hygiene, kitchen hygiene, food storage, food preparation, cooking and serving food.
- Customer Service in the Hospitality and Catering Industry – Describe effective customer service. Deal effectively with customers using a range of techniques in a variety of situations e.g. greet customers promptly and politely, identify their needs, provide appropriate services, respond to incidents and manage complaints.
- Menu Knowledge and Design – Provide accurate menu information to customers. Describe the importance of menu design, menu styles, menu content and the requirements for service. State the importance of staff having good knowledge of the menus, including the main cooking terms, the dishes that can be prepared and cooked to customers’ tastes and alternative menu suggestions.
- Hot Beverage Product Knowledge – Describe the origin, processing techniques, characteristics, preparation methods and serving procedures for different types of tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Identify, check and clean the equipment used to prepare these beverages.
- Beverage Product Knowledge – Describe the characteristics, preparation methods and serving procedures for a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
- Handling Payments – Handle and process bills and payments for food and beverage service. Handle payments from a range of different payment methods, keep the cash point secure and balance payments received.
- Food and Beverage Service – Describe the different styles of food and beverage service; set up, maintain and clear a food display counter, carvery counter and buffet table and provide an assisted service to customers; set up, serve, maintain and clear food for different styles of menu and different styles of table service, including an a la carte menu and silver service; provide information to customers on different types of beverages and provide beverage services at tables.
This 28 week full-time programme is made up of a combination of classroom based training in a centre/college and on-the-job training in a host company as follows:
- Weeks 1 to 4 are delivered entirely in a centre/college.
- Weeks 5 to 26 are delivered 2 days/week in a centre/college and 3 days/week in a host company.
- Weeks 27 to 28 are delivered entirely in a centre/college.
A number of training methods are used to deliver the programme. These include instructions, presentations, skills demonstrations, tutorials, discussion groups, role plays, giving and receiving feedback, supervised practice in a realistic hospitality environment and workplace training in a hotel, restaurant or hostelry. Participants are required to actively participate in the learning process and to engage in course work outside of normal course hours. They must complete a number of written exercises and practical assignments throughout the course and keep up-to-date records of their progress. A number of methods are used to assess the participants’ progress and for certification purposes. These include supervised practice, written tests, on-line theory tests and practical assessments.
- Reached 18 years of age.
- Interested in working front of house in the hospitality industry.
- Junior Certificate, QQI Level 4 Major Award or equivalent qualification.
- Good English language skills.
- Good numerical skills.
- Able and willing to work flexible hours including split shifts, early mornings, late evening, weekends and public holidays.
- Smart appearance, friendly personality and good communication skills.
- Previous full-time or part-time work experience in the hospitality sector is an advantage but not essential.
- A sponsorship letter from a hospitality establishment offing work experience is an advantage.
During this programme you will acquire knowledge of the hospitality industry, develop food and beverage service skills and gain workplace experience. The next step in to seek employment as a waiter, waitress or bar person in a restaurant, hotel or hostelry. With further training and experience you can progress to head waiter or waitress, restaurant supervisor/manager or bar manager.