I shouldn’t just pick on the hospitality industry because the problem I’m going to bring up is in every industry across the world, but the hospitality industry is where I’m focused. The reason behind this post is that I love the industry; my wife and I partake in many aspects of it from wineries and wine events, to hotels, restaurants, and bars. The fact that we continue to see lapses in service just doesn’t make any sense anymore.
The issue must come from one of two avenues, one is that owners and/or managers don’t understand hospitality therefore they can’t pass it on to their employees, or the other possibility is that the owners and/or managers do understand hospitality but they don’t understand the importance of training their staff.
This advice holds true for all business types, but again my focus is on the hospitality industry that I enjoy so much.
Let’s Break it Down…
Your website tells a lot about you: Keep it up to date, make sure the information is accurate, make sure the information is easy to find, phone number-address-hours of operation should be easily seen on the homepage, social media information should be on the website, and in my opinion those email forms are stupid. If you have a blog I urge you to give it its own tab rather than hiding it inside other tabs.
Curb appeal: Sorry, but this is important! Make sure things are tidy, clean, presentable, and all that good stuff. It’s not that hard, put in a little elbow grease.
In the joint: Acknowledge me as quickly as possible, even if you’re busy. If I have to wait for more than a minute before you make eye contact with me or tell me that you’ll be right with me I will already be deducting points in my head. I’m not being selfish, I’m being human.
Atmosphere: If things are dirty, if it smells like a corpse or a litter box, if the staff is talking shit and being stupid within ear shot of me, if the staff looks pissed off to be there, if people are touching things with their hands that I may put in my mouth, or any other number of common sense things…you suck. It’s that simple. We’re all consumers, even you…how would you feel in these scenarios?
Social media: Sign up, get active, and stay consistent; if you aren’t using a social site that you signed up for then delete your account. Not responding to someone that mentions you on a social network is like not ever answering your phone. The two excuses I always hear: we don’t have the time or we don’t have the money…the answer here is I don’t give a crap, find a way to make it happen or you’ll miss the bus to future interactions, building a community around your brand, and customer loyalty.
Your people: Train your staff…people need to be trained and then constantly reminded about the “simple things” since those are the things most often overlooked. When was the last time you liked it when someone didn’t acknowledge your presence? When was the last time you enjoyed having a hair in the food you ordered? When was the last time you thought it was cool to overhear two waitresses talking shit about the customers out on the patio? Figure it out people…it’s HOSPITALITY not ROCKET SCIENCE!!
If I come across as someone that’s frustrated, congrats for figuring me out…I AM frustrated. I do understand that we’re all human and that you can’t always present yourselves perfectly, but folks, some of the stuff being overlooked is as obvious as a big ol’ fat pimple on my nose.
I strongly urge you to start thinking about the obvious stuff and stop worrying so much about the money. If you focus on getting the job done and exceeding the expectations of your consumers the people and the money will come. Even in the new “social” world, having 100 positive reviews on Yelp is GOLD people, GOLD I tell ya!! Strive toward making an amazing experience for the consumer and you will be rewarded. When you focus on the money, your consumer senses that and you forget to do the hospitality part as well as you can…come on team, high fives all around! Now let’s get out there and give ‘em the time of their lives!
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