The hospitality industry is not for the faint-hearted

by MMC
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Simphiwe Dlamini loves the hospitality industry with a passion, but she believes it is a tough industry, not for the faint-hearted and requires patience, resilience, passion and a lot of hard work.

Dlamini, who resides in Kempton Park, is a lecturer at the IIE School of Hospitality and Service Management campus in Rosebank, Johannesburg.

Having completed six years of industry experience and six years of academic experience as a lecturer, she intends to complete her master’s degree next year and enroll in her doctoral studies to access to higher positions during his academic career.

Dlamini believes there is huge growth potential in the hospitality sector and those looking for guaranteed employment prospects over the next five to 10 years would do well to consider a career in this field.

“Given the recent Telegraph Travel Awards 2023, which awarded South Africa the prestigious award for Best Country, while Cape Town won the award for Best City in the World, the South African hospitality industry has great growth potential. This is due to its diverse landscapes, cultural heritage, wildlife and adventure tourism,” Dlamini said.

She added that by leveraging these strengths and focusing on innovation, sustainability and service excellence, the industry could continue to attract visitors and contribute to South Africa’s economic development , which meant more jobs and positions to fill.

“The hospitality industry hires for attitude and trains for skills. However, the need for more educated staff with the right skills and an optimistic outlook has led to a demand for hospitality degrees,” Dlamini explained.

We asked Dlamini about his role at the school and his advice for anyone wanting a career in the hospitality industry.

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Why do you recommend the IIE School of Hospitality and Service Management?

It prepares students for the hospitality and service industry by implementing a professional campus culture and provides broad industry knowledge and skills. Prospective students interested in the hospitality and service sector need not fear the industry. They must take on the challenge and win.

How does the school prepare students to enter the workforce and gain the skills needed to do the job?

They send the students into the industry after completing the theory to work on the required practical skills. Additionally, students work on campus events and their modules cover practical elements that are demonstrated in class.

What advice do you give to students?

I always tell my students that it is essential to take ownership of your day, be prepared and ready to learn. Life is hard, but those who plan daily always win.

Who were your mentors?

Industry leader Thuthukile Moloto. He is the General Manager of the Protea Hotel by Marriott Durban, Umhlanga.

How do you rate the South African hospitality sector?

A great industry with brilliant job opportunities and economic benefits.

What advice would you give to students studying or wanting to study hospitality?

If you like it, then you can do it. Anyone can succeed academically in hospitality, but it’s those with a heart for service who win in this industry.

What makes good service?

Good service is observed in the willingness to serve, the knowledge of how to serve, and the ability to serve with excellence.

What qualifications will hotels want for management positions in the next five years?

MBAs will be the next big thing in management positions.

How important is service management in the hospitality industry?

It is the heart of the industry; service is our product offering. This is the very reason we exist in the market.

What are the main qualities of a good hospitalist?

Professional, good communicator, frank and experienced.

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