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Food service is one of the largest industries in the world. And this should not be surprising news. After all, there aren’t many populated corners of the world where you won’t find restaurants and food vendors. Even the smallest town on the map is likely to have some kind of diner within walking or driving distance. This is good news for anyone looking to start a career in food service. Regardless of one’s background, education or skill level, this is an industry that has something to offer everyone. Here are a few career planning tips to get yourself ready for jobs in this field.

Where to start a career in food service?

A critical component of the hospitality sector, food services can be found anywhere consumers eat in public. Malls, hotels, schools, hospitals, coffee shops, fast food franchises and more are all in need of candidates ready to prepare food, clean, serve, manage the books and overall enhance the customer dining experience. Many of these establishments offer a range of shifts, providing flexible hours and part time work. Be aware this can be a fast paced profession, and you may spend a lot of time on your feet.

Qualifications for food service jobs

The majority of jobs in food service do not require a formal education. While some employers may want training and sufficient certification in food handling, many of the positions come with training. For cooks and chefs, restaurants will lean toward candidates that have a proper culinary education.

Depending on the environment, one may need to know how to operate blenders, espresso machines, industrial dishwashers, cash registers, computers or other technical equipment. Whatever the position, the key talents needed are good communication and being a team player. There are few areas in food service with solo performers; being able to work with others is a must.

Some hiring managers may ask for candidates that have a food handler permit. This is a license that shows you have taken an accredited course in proper food handling, preparation and serving practices. Courses can be taken online or at a school. New hires will work closely with an employee who will walk them through the establishment’s procedures. Every region has its own rules, guidelines and regulations when it comes to food safety and standards, and you will be expected to familiarise yourself with them if your responsibilities puts you anywhere near consumables.

Career preparation for food service industries

In order to be eligible to work in food service, some positions or states may require certain employees to have immunisations and vaccinations. Make sure your CV shows you work well with others, if you have experience with food or customer service, and whether you’re interested in full time, part time, evening or weekend work.

Many jobs in food service do not require in-depth knowledge of the industry. Concentrate on convincing hiring managers that you’d make an outstanding employee in any regard. Dress professionally for the interview. Too many look at jobs in food service as less than deserving of business attire. If you want hiring managers to take you seriously, dress to impress.

Food service is often the first step for many young people entering the job market. A good worker can look forward to company rewards, promotions and developing transferable skills that can be used anywhere they go in the business world. Follow the tips above to start a lucrative career in food service that could last the rest of your life.

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