Part of the Andrew McConnell stable, relative newcomer ‘Marion’ offers up seasonal fare alongside hand-picked wines from all over the globe. What it also offers is an out of this world front of house experience for its patrons, thanks to Manager, Andrew Joy.
With over a decade working in hospitality, Andrew has developed the chilled, welcoming presence of a master host. With a touch of dry humour he has the power to put you at ease, tell you about the wines and pretty much guarantees you have a good time. This is what a front of house specialist looks like, and Andrew says there’s plenty of employment opportunities for those thinking about a career in hospitality. “We have incredible growth of hospitality venues in Melbourne and across Australia, this is a great opportunity for anyone who can show the ability to control and shape these businesses,” says Andrew. The industry though, according to Andrew, is finding it tough to encourage people to make hospitality into a full-time career. “The hours and regulation is a very loose variable that can make our industry seem relatively daunting to potential job applicants,” says Andrew. But, Andrew is not discouraged by this, he loves his work and some of his best moments have been in helping others find a career in hospitality. “My personal triumphs have been the times when I have recruited staff and showed them the possibilities of a career within hospitality.” “This is about listening to your staff and finding out what it is they are looking for and showing them a career path that will get them there when this succeeds it is the most rewarding aspect of my work.” Hospitality lecturer at Melbourne Polytechnic, Tanya Harrowell agrees there is a struggle to convince people that hospitality is more than a stopgap: “Getting people to understand it as a career that has a global opportunity, particularly for Front of House, can be hard. You can actually travel around the world and if you get into a bigger chain those opportunities are very real.” Tanya believes that the future is bright, and there are changes on the way for the industry and the hospitality workers of the present and future will have a big role to play. “I think we need a more innovative approach and I thought that while I was in the industry as well.” “Nurses can achieve it, they don’t need to work all the time, they have a rotating roster why can’t we do the same in hospitality. It just needs a bit of innovative thinking about how the budget can be stretched to accommodate better staff, hours and better conditions.” “I tell my students, ‘you are the future, it's up to you to design it’,” she says. Tanya believes that because the industry is so competitive it has to be open to new ideas and change, many of which are related to emerging technologies, such as robot burger flipper, Flippy. But, one thing won’t change according to Tanya, the hospitality is an 'experience' industry and people are at the core of it. As front of house, Tanya says “You are the face of the business, but also what it does is give you is opportunities to be a part of special occasions… You get the opportunity to make an impact in someone's life, or play a significant part.” She says, the impact front of house staff make on special events is significant and she has the bouquets of flowers (though now wilted out of existence), to prove it. Our Bachelor of Hospitality Management is designed to give students the highly sought-after practical skills and knowledge required for leadership and management roles in hospitality. Interested in learning more?
Interview / Photo Opportunity
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