How to become a (great) chalet host

Not just good, great!

For the right person, working for a winter season as a chalet host is going to be a dream job. If you relish the prospect of cooking and baking each morning, skiing all afternoon (and on days off) and then heading back into the kitchen in the evening, then you are going to love hosting a chalet.

And if you’re a great host then you should also get some hefty tips!

Here are our top 5 tips to become a great chalet host:

  1. Have a fundamental passion for food and cooking
  2. Be a competent and organised cook
  3. Be a friendly person (but not all guests like to chat)
  4. Resilience and diligence are key
  5. Collaborate as part of the wider team of hosts, too

The Chalet Company’s intake of great hosts for 2018, pictured below in Chalet Pied de Voute.

The Chalet Company 2018 Hosts

1. Have a fundamental passion for food and cooking

The process of landing a chalet host job arguably starts in childhood: as your passion for food and cooking develops. Of course, this passion often needs to be translated into a piece of paper, with an official stamp on it indicating you have passed through a recognised Chalet Cookery School and have an up-to-date Food Hygiene Certificate.

Our chalet hosts mostly hone their passion for cooking at Fresh Tracks Cookery School.

2. Be a competent and organised cook, that can plan a menu

With those boxes ticked, it is all about convincing recruiters that your menu plans are appealing, achievable, and suitable for guests. Antonia Crabbanelli, HR Director of The Chalet Company, says:

“Being organised is crucial. If you are not organised, if you have not planned-forward, or if you do not have the correct ingredients to hand, it is going to be a long season – the guests can give you negative feedback (often face-to-face), your resort manager will be on you, and your skiing privileges could get culled until you are on top of things!”

All of the Chalet Company’s hosts are given freedom to design and plan their own seasonal menus, and be ready to come up with specialised ones for specific dietary requirements. Here’s some more on the food hosts create and some sample menus too.

3. You must be a friendly person (not all guests like to chat though)

Along with a tasty plate of food, your guests are also likely to want to know about you, the company you work for, and the resort you work in; so be prepared to answer questions about your background and brush up on your knowledge of the company and resort. You’ll be expected to be an oracle on all things related to the resort you’re in. Make sure you have memorised lift and bus times, restaurant and bar recommendations, great ski routes and white-out or no-ski-day ideas.

Be friendly and personable. Of course, most guests like to feel welcome and have a chat, but great hosts don’t impose themselves on all guests – quieter guests may want privacy and some may not wish to speak at all!

4. Resilience and diligence are key over the season

Resilience and diligence are two further characteristics that will make a good chalet host into a great chalet host. Keeping a chalet clean for a week, producing breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening meals for six days is one thing. But doing this consistently, week after week, morning after morning, and night after night, for eighteen weeks, is what’s really needed. What you must remember, is that you have to keep working as hard (and with a smile on your face) in Week 18 as you did in Week 1.

Every guest should get same great experience, regardless of when they arrive in the season!

5. Collaborate as part of the wider team of chalet hosts

When not working, it is likely that you will be living in accommodation with other chalets hosts and so the ability to get on with others is crucial for your happiness and the overall morale of the team.

But it’s not just about getting on, you should take opportunities to collaborate too. However good of a cook you are, it is likely that some of your colleagues will be better at some aspects of cooking – or may have a new dish that’s going down well with guests – so open yourself to learning from them and supporting them if required!

If you’d like to become a great chalet host, next season, then get in touch and we’ll see if we can get you trained up for our next intake of great chalet hosts.

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