Do you have what it takes to be in F&B?

The barriers to entry in the F&B industry may not be high, but in a sphere where change is the only constant, not all who venture in can survive! Here are some of the characteristics you need and why they are important for the F&B sector.


Clear communication skills

Good communication is a building block for creating good service. And good communication comes in many forms – whether speaking face-to-face, texting, emailing, or responding to a comment left on your website. In fact, it often goes beyond just words, to the non-verbal cues like your facial expression, attire and general demeanor.

In the F&B industry in particular, where it is impossible to avoid constantly dealing with people, do your best to improve your communication, both verbal and non-verbal so that you are clear and can be understood.

Also, remember that communication is a two-way process – which means that part of being able to communicate with your customers or colleagues is simply also having the ability to listen and understand not just what they say, but also what they aren’t saying.



Initiative is probably welcome in all industries, but in service-oriented lines like F&B, there is a particular value in being able to anticipate, understand, and respond to the needs of those you serve.

This is especially so in smaller establishments which may not have the benefit of huge teams. You are unlikely to be able to fire off a series of emails and pass the problem to someone else. An issue, if ignored, is also likely to quickly resurface, so the better option is to take initiative and find the solution first!

Those who do well in the F&B sector, either in rising the ranks or bringing their business to success are those with the willingness to step up, and step in!



Whether it is in dealing with your team of waitstaff, or handling the requests from your customers, you’ll need an unending, unlimited supply of patience.

You’ll need patience to hear them out, patience to understand where they are coming from, and patience to make attempt to solve the issues they raise. There are times when requests will be illogical and unreasonable, or when mistakes made are severe. And as an F&B outlet owner, there are going to be times when business is slow.

The best way to be able to handle these situations is to keep your cool, don’t panic – rather, be patient and take the time you need to resolve the problems!


Ability to multi-task

Imagine needing to keep track of the orders of a few different tables, juggling requests for food, for the bill, or even for splitting the bill. Or imagine needing to handle a myriad of different ingredients, each with a precise quantity and preparation time. Situations like these happen all the time in the F&B industry – and adding to the pressure, many of these tasks need to be done fast.

So learn to multi-task effectively! This could mean you make effort to understand each step of your different processes, even ones that are not part of your immediate job scope, or it could simply mean writing more things down so you don’t forget. Either way, take the steps you need to help you stay organised and give yourself the clarity of mind to handle a variety of tasks simultaneously!

  • San Wah Shum

    These are more relevant for front-of-house. Do we have any distinct character requirement for the workforce in the kitchen?

  • Norman Lim

    Looking to start a small food business and wanted to minimise start up costs. Setting would be to look for a small retail shop to sell cook food. In terms of setting up the business, can I go for sole proprietorship instead of a Pte Ltd company? What is the fastest way to to setup up the food business. Can any expert here advise? Many thanks