Logistics

Catering and Hospitality Specialist

Catering and Hospitality Specialists work as part of the RAF’s Specialist Field Catering Squadron and in Military Messes across the globe. Initially trained in food service and accommodation management, they can progress to Cabin Crew duties on the RAF’s flagship aircraft “Voyager” and advance to be part of the aircraft crew on the Royal Flight, transporting Heads of State and members of the Royal Family worldwide.

Typical Responsibilities:

  • Mastering the delivery of food services
  • Running dining rooms and accommodation on operations overseas
  • Cabin Crew on the Royal Air Force flagship aircraft 'Voyager'
  • Cabin Crew for the Royal Flight

Similar civilian roles include Cabin Crew, Front of House (Hotel and Restaurant) Catering Manager, Publican.

RAF Regulars and Reserves work side by side.

Scroll down to explore the opportunities as a Catering and Hospitality Specialist in the RAF.

Key Facts

Full Time Regular

Full Time Regular

Initial pay after training

£18,489 + Benefits

Pay during training

£14,931 + Benefits

Entry level

Airmen/Airwomen

Commitment

Minimum 3 years post Phase Two Training

APPRENTICESHIP: Int Apprenticeship In Hospitality

Spare Time Reserve

Spare Time Reserve

Initial pay after training

Day rates dependent on rank, role and experience

Entry level

Only qualified ex-military personnel, are currently eligible for this role.

Commitment

27 days per year for 12 years minimum. Each year includes a 15 day block for general RAF training, which is taken over a two week period, and 12 days for additional/trade training, or training exercises.

The possibility of being deployed to a UK or overseas base for up to 6 months after the first year.

Locations

622 Sqn RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire

In the RAF

My Role

At present I am employed on Cabin Crew Duties. Our primary duty on board the aircraft is the in-flight safety of all the passengers; however we are also there to provide a high quality customer service. We carry a different range of passengers it’s not always just military personnel. It can be their families, politicians and even some of the Royal Family.

We do have some regular routes, but generally we fly to whichever destination in the world we are required to be at that time. Whilst I’ve been on Cabin crew duties I’ve been lucky enough to visit a number of different countries including Cyprus, Canada, USA, Kenya as well as the Middle East. I also flew on operational duties to Iraq and Afghanistan. We don’t always fly with the same crew making team work really important; no day is ever the same!

My Day

We are positively encouraged to take part in sporting activities during work time such as circuits, football games etc. We also get the opportunity to take part and learn more adventurous sports such as sailing, skiing, rock climbing.

Among the many education benefits we have, we are offered a yearly allowance, which I’m currently using to do my English language AS. In my next role I am hoping for a role on the Specialist Field Catering Sqn, but a return to working in the Mess would also be great.

Training

Full Time Regular

Full Time Regular

Initial Training

Your career will start with a 10 week Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you will also learn about the RAF lifestyle.

Specialist Training

Unqualified: Your next step is a 13 week specialist training course held at the Food Services Wing, Catering Training Squadron (RAF), Defence Logistics School at Worthy Down, where you will learn about serving food in a dining room environment, preparing a bar and cellar for service and reception work including the development of customer care skills. You will also undertake a ten day Introduction to Deployed Operations course and you will have commenced a Level 2 NVQ Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) Diploma in Food and Beverage Service which will be completed at your first unit. On successful completion of the specialist training you will receive your first assignment. 

Qualified: You may be eligible for fast-track promotion if you already have catering qualifications and at least one year’s experience in the hospitality industry. After recruit training you will complete a 13 week specialist training course to familiarise yourself with military catering. On successful completion of the specialist training, you will then qualify for immediate promotion to Senior Aircraftman/woman and be allocated to your first assignment.

Your First Tour

For your first tour, you will be posted to an Officers’ or Sergeants’ Mess within a RAF base. Here you will gain experience in the dining room, bar and reception areas. It’s your first experience of life on base and a chance to understand how the RAF community works. After you have successfully completed your Trade Ability Test and gained experience within the Mess environment. You may be detached overseas for anything from a few weeks to a few months.

Ongoing Training/Development Opportunities

As your career progresses, you will have the opportunity to be trained in new skills, including management and leadership. If you are subsequently selected to be Cabin Crew, you will be trained in aircraft safety procedures, cabin service and in-flight catering. If you wish to become Cabin Crew you will need to pass the RAF Fitness Test and RAF Swim Test to be selected. The RAF Swim Test consists of:

• Swimming 100 metres
• Tread water for 2 minutes
• Get out of the swimming pool at the deep end, unaided and fully clothed

After completion of these tests, you would receive your first assignment. You will not be employed on these duties during your first tour - you’ll have to prove your ability on the ground first. Caterers must have completed 18 months service after completion of Phase 2 Training before being considered for cabin crew duties. You will have the opportunity to complete courses in food hygiene, catering instruction and specialist catering skills. You will also receive regular training in deployed catering skills.

Your Future Career Prospects/Progression

You will initially join the RAF for a period of twelve years on a Notice Engagement with effect from 1 April 2015. If you have joined as an unqualified Caterer after one years total service, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman when you pass a Trade Ability Test. Further promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond is by competitive selection.

Transferable Skills

The qualifications and skills you will have the opportunity to earn will be as valuable in the civilian world as they are in the RAF – which means that whenever you decide to leave the RAF, you will be well placed to find a job in the hospitality industry or as Cabin Crew for a Commercial company. Qualifications You Can Achieve Under The Apprenticeship Programme Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Food & Beverage Service Level 2 Technical Certificate in Hospitality & Catering Principles (Food & Beverage Service) Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering Level 2 Award in Health and Safety in the Workplace Level 1 Award Functional Skills Mathematics Level 1 Award Functional Skills English

Spare Time Reserve

Spare Time Reserve

Initial Training

Your training will start with a Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) consisting of 4 weekends at your chosen RAF Reserves Squadron, followed by a 15 day residential training course at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. This training course will prepare you for service life in one of the most respected military forces in the world; it is also designed to help you tune into the military environment and way of life. As well as military training, you will learn about the core values, code of conduct and history of the RAF, as well as its unique lifestyle.

Requirements

Full Time Regular

Full Time Regular

JOB REQUIREMENTS

Qualifications:

Unqualified Caterer: No formal qualifications are required 

Qualified Caterer: You should have at least a year’s suitable experience in bar work & silver service in a hotel, restaurant, club or industrial catering establishment.

You will also need one of the following:

 • NVQ Level 2 in Food and Drink Service (with silver service module);

In addition to: Technical Certificate Level 2 Award in Hospitality and Catering Principles (Food and Beverages Service)

 • NVQ Level 3 in Food and Drink Service (with silver service module);

In addition to: Technical Certificate Level 3 Award in Hospitality and Catering Principles (Food and Beverages Service), or

 • BTEC Hotel and Catering Management; or any other appropriate recognised civilian qualification.

 

Age:

  • Unqualified Caterer :  16–36 (Must attest before 36th birthday) We may take applications up to age 40 on a case by case basis.
  • Qualified Caterer : 19–36 (Must attest before 36th birthday) We may take applications up to age 40 on a case by case basis.

RAF Requirements

To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed below.

Spare Time Reserve

Spare Time Reserve

JOB REQUIREMENTS

Qualifications:

No formal qualifications required.

Age:

18 – 54 (Must attest before 55th birthday – Ex Regulars over the age of 55 may be considered on a case by case basis)

RAF Requirements

To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed below.

Be Prepared

THIS ROLE REQUIRES YOU TO TAKE THE AIRMAN SELECTION TEST