As Caterers on-board ship we are a service department; we are there to provide a service to the people on-board and demonstrate hospitality and professionalism.
In the dictionary the word Hospitality means;-
The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests or visitors.
So the word Hospitality is a very fitting one, as it is this ethos of “Hospitality” which encompasses everything we do, and this is something I always communicate to any new catering crew when they join my team for the first time.
Our aim should be to offer the very highest standard of food and accommodation available, we play a vital role in the general comfort and wellbeing of everyone on vessel, we also have a social function to play which contributes greatly the emotional welfare of the crew. When a crewmember walks into our department, everything must be as perfect as is reasonably possible, there must always be friendly helpful catering crew on hand and a selection of good food available and the messroom, the messroom should be a clean and pleasant environment to enjoy a meal with colleagues, and for those after work hours a clean comfortable cabin to relax and sleep. It is these simple but important creature comforts that contribute greatly to the safe efficient running of any ship.
As professional ship caterers it is important that we will take ownership of our areas and take pride in our work at all times. Joining a ship for the first time meeting new people can for some be daunting, it should always be made clear if new crew members have any problems they will be helped and assisted as the welfare all crew on-board is of the utmost importance.
New catering crew should actively be encouraged to participate in demonstrating their skill experience and professionalism, working on-board ship is a wonderful place to demonstrate your professional and also interpersonal skills.
Catering Crew must always operate to the very highest of standards in all areas of the catering department, each area within the catering operation, the galley, accommodation or laundry will have its own procedures and standards to adhere to, these procedures may vary slightly from company to company and ship to ship, but each member of the catering crew will be trained and informed of these procedures and standards. What we do is not rocket science, but it is something that requires professionalism and commitment.