Fast food industry is growing at a fast pace as lots of new multinational players are focusing on B and C tier cities of India. Quick Service Restaurants (QSR), a part of Rs 247,680 crore of Indian food service industry, has lot offer in terms of job opportunities to budding as well as experienced hospitality professional.


In this interview, Ravi Kapila Academics Dean at hospitality management college Ecole Hoteliere Lavasa talks correlation of the growing food sector and its employment opportunities for hospitality students.  According to him the flourishing industry has created a favorable job prospects for hotel management graduates.


The dean believes that good communication skills, pleasant personality and ability to effectively handle irate or dissatisfied customers are a few personality traits looked by recruiters to hire the most the suitable candidate.  Kapila, who has 33 years of professional hotel management experience,  discusses career growth prospects offered by QSR companies, type of job opportunities for aspirants, academic qualifications andpersonality traits looked by QSR recruiters. He also discusses in brief on selection procedure of QSR companies and expected salary package. 


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Interview Excerpts:


Careers360: Your view on factors behind the growth of fast food/QSR industry?

Ravi Kapila: The expansion of existing international fast food majors like KFC, Mc Donald’s and several small timers and entry of new food retail chains in India have contributed to the growth of fast food industry. The growth process has also propelled job creation in the QSR segment.


Careers360: Please elaborate on type of job opportunities for hotel management students

Ravi Kapila: The flourishing Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) has laid out a menu of innumerable and irresistible job opportunities before both hotel management fresher and experienced hotel management graduate.


Job openings in this segment occur at various levels and it absorbs people with varied qualifications from raw hands to hotel management graduates to B-school pass outs. Plain graduates with one-two years of experience in hospitality or hotel management graduates can start their career by joining as management trainees, an entry-level position in the Restaurant Management Cadre.


Careers360: What are career growth prospects offered by QSR companies

Ravi Kapila: UsuallyQSR’s do not recruit people at senior positions as people from the entry level or middle level are groomed and promoted to senior positions. So, career growth prospects of the entry level or middle level employees are quite good, provided the employees have good performance track. 


Careers360: What are academic qualifications needed for different roles in QSR?

Ravi Kapila: Several reputed QSRcompanies including Pizza Hut and Domino’s recruit people at all levels, depending upon the demand from time to time.  The leading fast food recruiters operating in India recruit people mostly for entry level and middle level jobs. So, a potential candidate should be a graduate or pursuing graduation. Graduates are recruited at middle level management positions.


However, this is not a fix norm, class XII pass outs are also hired the team member level. For example-Fast food restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) too takes in fresh plus two students or simple graduates at the team member level and management graduates at the middle level.


Dominos, another QSR major, also consider intermediate students for the following entry level posts- customer service representatives, pizza makers and delivery persons. While hotel management graduates are hired for the middle level profile


Careers360: Please tell us key skills or personality traits required for those aspiring for a career in QSR domain.

Ravi Kapila: The fast food segment being customer-service industry prefers candidates with good communication skills, pleasant personality and ability to effectively handle irate or dissatisfied customers. The ability to maintain calm or keep the situation under control during any crisis is another important personality traits looked by recruiter in potential candidates to hire them.


Qualities like discipline, commitment and dedication have to be ingrained in candidates’ personality. Students willing to enter and make a mark in the sector value the importance of time, as the customers visiting QSR outlets are mostly in hurry to receive order and not ready to wait for more than a few minutes. 


Recruiters are likely to hire candidates who have a can-do attitude, willingness to learn, commitment for work responsibilities, customer focus, work ethics and team skills.


Careers360: What kind of selection procedure is adopted by QSR companies?

Ravi Kapila: Each organisation has a tailor-made recruitment programme to meet its individual requirements. The selection procedures are essentially meant to test an aspirant's ability to perform well in the main work areas and have a service attitude.


For the Managerial cadre, the selection pattern is bit more stringent. Management candidates are evaluated and interviewed specifically to identify their abilities against several competencies like drive for results, customer focus, and leadership qualities.


Careers360: What is the average salary package offered in QSR segment?

Ravi Kapila: Theindustry is highly competitive and popular QSR brand offers pay and perks that are meant to attract and retain the best talent. The salary package for an entry-level employee may not be very lucrative but after gaining a few years of work experience the annual salary package will be 3.6 lakhs or more. Retiral benefits such as PF/ pension/ gratuity and medical insurance are also provided to employees. Some fast food chains also provide ESOPs (Employee Stock Options).


Middle management level and above employees are provided with company vehicles, depending on their nature of job. Bonus on sales and performance linked pay is also offered by some branded players. Cash incentives in the form of award “Employee of the Month” is also given to motivate and retain the good performers in the company.


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