The Importance of Training & Development in the Hospitality Industry

The Importance of Training & Development in the Hospitality Industry

In the hospitality industry, providing great services to customers is a must. However, having a strategic location close to popular tourist attractions and investing in well-furnished rooms and well thought out amenities, from a gym to high-speed WiFi, are not enough to guarantee that you will succeed in the industry. You need that one huge factor that will convince guests to keep coming back if they ever need future accommodations and that is customer satisfaction. This is why you need to train your staff so they will provide excellent customer service, now and in the future.

What happens if customers are not happy?

If you’re a hotel owner with a vision of making your hospitality brand grow, then you should focus on ensuring customer satisfaction among each of your guests. Otherwise, you risk ruining your brand with negative reviews coming from your unhappy customers. Considering how fast such reviews spread online, especially on popular travel sites, it is quite easy to shred your reputation to pieces and discourage potential guests from staying at your hotel. Without repeat business, you might not reach the level of profitability that you need to keep it going.

Moreover, it is easier and less costly to convince customers to book your hotel again than to attract new ones, especially with the stiff competition you’re probably getting from hotels in your area. But if your guests remember how warm, accommodating, and polite your hotel staff is, they will likely keep booking your hotel in the future.

Why it is important to participate in training?

A career in the hospitality industry can be something that you can pursue through life. It can be a rewarding career path as you can climb up the ranks, from being a busboy, for instance, to being the hotel manager. This is made possible with dedication, hard work, further education and training, some of which the hotel owner may provide. But employees can also supplement the hotel-sponsored training with voluntary training. If needed, you can always take out personal online loans for training. The cost of training will be worth it if it means opening up more career opportunities for you in the future.

Online training is beneficial for hotel employees due to the following reasons:

  • People are more likely to engage in videos instead of reading documents or articles.
  • People who train online tend to learn five times more than other people who train through other media.
  • It is around 50% more cost effective for employers.
  • It can give employers a positive ROI (return on investment) in less than a year.
  • It is favored by over 40% of global Fortune 500 companies.

Why hotels should invest in training?

There are many reasons why hotel owners should focus on developing and training their own hotel staff. These include the following:

Better cooperation as a single unit

Guests often see hotel staff as a single unit, hence the bad service that they get from one member of the staff may taint the others. But if you train people to improve their teamwork and deal with other people coming from different backgrounds in diversity training, it makes it easier for them to operate smoothly to the satisfaction of your customers.

An improved pool of potential hotel managers

They would likely discover that there are a lot of potential talents waiting to be discovered and ready to take on the hotel’s managerial positions after completing enough training. After training, it will be easier for you to identify talent that can be honed and developed into great managers.

Reduced employee turnover

Higher turnover meant higher cost in hiring and training new people. It also meant time lost in interviewing new applications and productivity wasted as new people need time to get used to their job. Well-trained people also tend to stick it out, thanks to increased job satisfaction, the satisfaction that stems from having co-workers who follow a written code of conduct, for instance, and from knowing what is expected of them, given their position. Proper training helps employees do better in their jobs and when they know that they are performing well, they remain happy, satisfied, long-term employees.

Better problem-solving skills

If things go wrong, it is important for the hotel staff to resolve the problem in a positive way to still ensure a satisfactory experience for the guests. If they are satisfied with the way the issue was resolved, they tend to choose to continue staying at the hotel and wanting to return.

Improved feeling of safety and security

In case of an emergency, guests would rely on the hotel staff to keep them safe and taken care of. It is up to the staff, who are more familiar with the hotel and the area, to direct or assist the guests in need. This is why hotel staff should receive proper training in performing CPR and first aid. They should also be trained to execute plans in case of natural disasters or potential attacks. If proper training is conducted, people in panic can be managed better, preventing the worst scenario from happening.

With great training comes happier, better performing, and more loyal staff – and happy hotel staff means satisfied customers. So if you’re ready to train your employees, start developing an online training program or a traditional program now!

Lessons from Las Vegas

Lessons from Las Vegas

The deadliest shooting in U.S. history, will force the nation’s hotel industry to rethink security procedures, but there may be little new they can do now to prevent such events, experts say.

Hotels can’t install metal detectors or other elements deemed intrusive without damaging the whole concept of hospitality that is at the heart of their business. Hotel operators will have to rely even more on the eyes and ears of regular employees such as housekeeping staff and front desk workers to detect and report unusual behavior.

Hotel operators will have to rely even more on the eyes and ears of regular employees such as housekeeping staff and front desk workers to detect and report unusual behavior.

“No matter what we do, there are always going to be security issues. The responsibility has to be on every level and not just security personnel. Everyone should be flagging odd behavior,’’ said Mehmet Erdem, a hospitality professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

While casinos and hotels do not permit people to walk through their private property with concealed or unconcealed weapons, there is little to stop them from letting guests enter with guns hidden in bags.

In the aftermath of the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, it’s important to refresh yourself and your staff on the best practices that have been in place for many years.

Casinos will likely add more security personnel in the aftermath of the massacre, said Michael McCall, a professor at Michigan State University’s School of Hospitality.

“Security being present to the extent that they are noticeable would be a disincentive’’ to criminals, said McCall.

“Security being present to the extent that they are noticeable would be a disincentive’’ to criminals.”

McCall agreed with Erdem that metal detectors would not be a viable solution as it would hurt the guest experience. People will not want to stand in long lines like they do at airport security posts.

“Vacationers want to relax, they don’t want to be reminded of the dangers in the world,’’ said McCall.

Hotels will need to beef up their training programs so that all employees, and not just security personnel, can learn to detect suspicious behavior, said Erdem. Strip casinos could consult with airlines on how they spot suspicious behavior, he said.

During a call with Homeland Security and the FBI, The Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association learned that the perpetrator of this heinous act:

  • Checked in as one person with 9 suitcases and did receive bellman assistance to his room.   Over the course of the four days he stayed, he brought an additional 6 suitcases into his room.
  • Refused cleaning services in his room for multiple days
  • Ordered room service, but met them in the hall and never allowed access or even the door to be opened.

Odd behavior in isolation can often be explained away, but if several employees notice unusual behavior and report it to a central location, hotels can respond before tragedy happens, Erdem said.

For more information on what should be considered suspicious and what you should do if you see suspicious activity, please download the FBI’s “Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities related to hotels and motels” by clicking here.  In addition, through their Hometown Security program, the Department of Homeland Security offers multiple resources and training tools, including “See Something, Say Something” and active shooter training, for businesses to help prepare for and protect themselves from attack.

This article was brought to you in association with the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the CHLA.


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New Ruling on Tips in Colorado

New Ruling on Tips in Colorado

We recently became aware of a Court case decision that directly impacts the restaurant industry. Due to the complexity of this issue, it is important for you to read the ENTIRE article before acting. You may or may not wish to make any changes based on the information provided. However, if you do choose to make any changes, we recommend that you seek counsel prior to doing so.

On June 30, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decided a case concerning tipped employees that set a new legal precedent for employers in the State of Colorado. In Marlow v. The New Food Guy, Inc, the Court decided in favor of the employer, closing the door on claims that tipped employees have a “property right” to tips paid as a result of customer service, as long as the employer pays the employees FULL minimum wage or more. This decision rejects the Federal Department of Labor rule stating tips are the property of the employee and outside of a legal tip pool, the employer can’t direct where that money goes.

The CRA recently told me I couldn’t share tips with the back of house or managers, why has this changed?

Last year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a very similar case (Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association v. Perez) that tips were the property of the employee and outside of a legal tip pool, the employer couldn’t direct where those tips went. Additionally, the Court determined that tips could only be shared with regularly tipped positions and not the back-of-the-house staff, regardless of the hourly rate paid to tipped employees. Because this was the most recent ruling on tips and tip pools, the CRA and labor attorneys suggested following the Ninth Circuit’s decision.

What has changed is the fact that restaurants in Colorado (and several other states) are subject to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and that Court has just handed down a new ruling disagreeing with the ORLA case. This new ruling changes how restaurants in Colorado may want to handle tips and tip pools.

What does this mean for restaurants in Colorado?

As long as tipped employees are paid full minimum wage (not tipped minimum wage) or more by the employer, the employer can decide how tips are distributed. This means that in Colorado tipped employees currently must make $9.30 an hour and $13.95 for overtime, or more (note- this rate will increase every January 1). If your tipped employees are paid at least this much, then you as the employer can decide how tips will be distributed and can share them with the back of house or managers, and the business can even keep some or all of the tips. Keep in mind, however, that we still have the requirement in Colorado statute, C.R.S. § 8-4-103 (6), allowing an employer to assert claim to, right of ownership in, or control over tips only if the employer posts a printed card at least 12 inches by 15 inches in size with letters one-half inch high in a conspicuous location at the place of business. The card must contain a notice to the general public that all tips or gratuities given by the patron are not the property of the employee but instead belong to the employer. If the employer does not post a printed card detailing tip ownership as described above, the employer may not exert any control over tips designated for an employee under Colorado law. For those of you who do business over the phone or email, such as the catering business in the Marlow case, you may want to include this same notice in your catering agreements as well.

Is this permanent?

We don’t know. A group of restaurants and trade associations (including the NRA) has petitioned the Supreme Court to take up the ORLA case. This case now directly contradicts it. If the Supreme Court decides to take up this issue and rules in a certain way, restaurants will have to go back to only sharing tips with regularly tipped employees. Currently, it is not clear if the Supreme Court is even going to take up the case and if they do, it could be years before there is a ruling.

What do I need to do now?

For all of these reasons, you may want to take a more conservative, wait-and-see approach and keep your business model as is. However, some employers may want to adopt the above-outlined steps. This is the time for you to reach out to your business advisers to determine the best solution for you and your employees.

If you have any questions about tip pools, wage and hour issues, or questions about this new precedent, please contact Nick Hoover from the CRA by email or call 303-830-2972.

This post was provided by our friends at the Colorado Restaurant Association.

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Lessons from Las Vegas

Lessons from Las Vegas

In the aftermath of the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, it’s important to refresh yourself and your staff on the best practices that have been in place for many years.

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11 Summer Movie Themed Cocktails to Brighten Your Booze Menu

11 Summer Movie Themed Cocktails to Brighten Your Booze Menu

Summer movie hits are rolling in and so are thirsty patrons looking something fresh and new at the bar. Have some fun with this Summer’s movie themes and create cocktails inspired by feisty heroines, brooding heroes, aliens, and emojis.

1. Wonder Woman

Strong and sweet. Feminine, but not to be taken lightly!

  • 1 1/2 oz White rum
  • 1/2 oz Brandy
  • 1/2 oz Triple sec
  • 1/2 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • Long strip lemon peel to serve – golden lasso of truth!

Combine in a shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into martini glass or a blue glass tumbler. Serve with a lemon lasso garnish!

2. Alien: Covenant

Use charcoal infused tequila to make this black as space cocktail.  Add 2 tbsp of activated charcoal powder to a full bottle of tequila and shake to make.

  • 1 1/2 oz Charcoal-infused tequila
  • 1 1/2 oz St-Germain
  • 3/4 oz Lime juice
  • Two dashes of orange bitters
  • Three sprays of a smokey scotch to finish

Combine first four in a shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into a tumbler with ice. Spritz with scotch before serving.

3. The Emoji Movie

This cocktail looks exactly like the classic cocktail emoji icon!

  • 2 oz Cachaça 51
  • 1/2 oz Orange juice
  • 1 oz Passion fruit juice
  • 1/2 oz Grenadine
  • Lime and cherry on pick for garnish

Pour grenadine into a hurricane glass and top with crushed ice. Combine Cachaça 51, orange and passion juice into a shaker with ice. Shake. Pour over ice. Garnish with lime wedge and cherry.

4. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spiderman may be in high school, but the rest of us can still drink! Layer this colorful cocktail to get those classic Spidey colors.

  • 1/2 oz Curaçao blue
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • Splash of seltzer
  • 1/2 oz Grenadine
  • A wedge of lime
  • Cherry to serve

Rim a tall glass with lime. Pour in the grenadine then fill with large ice cubes. Slowly add vodka, then seltzer and top with blue curacao. Squeeze lime over top and garnish with a cherry.

5. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Island feel with a cheeky kick!

  • 1 1/2 oz Coconut rum
  • 1/2 oz Banana schnapps
  • 1/2 oz Peach schnapps
  • 1/2 oz Cranberry juice (not juice cocktail)
  • 1/2 oz Fresh orange juice
  • 2 oz Fresh pineapple juice
  • Pineapple on sword pick to serve

Combine first three into a shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into highball glass with ice and top with juices in the order listed for a sunset effect. Garnish with pineapple sword. Yo ho ho!

6. Atomic Blond

Looks sweet and unassuming in the glass. Little do they know…

  • 2 oz Rye whiskey
  • 1⁄2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
  • 1⁄2 oz Sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash Orange bitters
  • Lemon twist to garnish

Combine a mixing glass over ice. Stir. Strain int a chilled whiskey glass. Garnish with lemon.

7. The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Because Samuel L. Jackson would just order whiskey, but Ryan Reynolds needs it with a bit of a flair!

  • 2 oz Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz Canada Dry ginger ale

Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice. Add ingredients in order listed. Done and done.

8. Baby Driver

A chocolaty twist on the classic White Russian. Chocolate milk for the kid, liquor for the adults.

  • 6 oz Cold chocolate milk
  • 1 1/2 oz Vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz Kahlúa
  • Mini brownie bite to garnish

Combine in a shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into a pint glass with ice. Cut part way into the brownie and settle on edge of glass to garnish.

9. The Dark Tower

Light on the bottom; looming dark on top.

  • 2 oz Dark rum
  • 3/4 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz Spiced simple syrup
  • Cherry with stem to garnish

Combine lemon juice and syrup into shaker with lots of ice. Shake. Strain into highball glass with fresh ice. Float rum on top. Garnish with cherry.

10. Despicable Me 3

Everyone’s favorite little yellow Minion buddies – in cocktail form. Perfect for parents who need a pick me up after hearing “minion-speak” all day!

  • 1/5 oz Absinthe
  • 1/5 oz Whiskey
  • 1/5 oz Gin
  • 1/5 oz Vodka
  • 1/5 oz Cinnamon Schnapps

Combine in shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into shot glass or tumbler with fresh ice.

11. Transformers: The Last Night

In honor of Optimus Prime, friend or foe?

  • 1/2 oz Raspberry vodka
  • 1/2 oz Watermelon Schnapps
  • 1/2 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 1 Splash Grenadine
  • 4 oz Lemon-lime soda
  • 1 oz Sweet and sour mix
  • 1/4 oz Blue Curaçao Fill

Fill tall glass with ice. Layer ingredients in order listed topping up with ice before adding soda as needed. Add the Blue Curacao carefully so as not to lose the layers! Serve with a straw.

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7 of the Craziest Reasons People Have Been 86’d From Restaurants

7 of the Craziest Reasons People Have Been 86’d From Restaurants

If you have worked in the restaurant industry for long, you have likely encountered customers you would like to kick out. While working in a restaurant sometimes requires you to interact with annoying customers, sometimes kicking people out is completely justified. Consider these seven reasons customers have been 86’d from restaurants as shared on a Reddit thread and through a Quora discussion.

1. A customer was stealing tips off tables when the wait staff were not watching. The thief may have continued to get away with this, but he proceeded to brag about his actions while he was at another restaurant. The owner of the original restaurant was dining at the same restaurant where the thief was bragging about his actions. The thief was then no longer allowed to dine at the restaurant where he had been stealing tips.

2. Several customers ordered three pitchers of beer, which they enjoyed over a 3-hour period while playing pool. One of the men puked in a pitcher and then poured it into a nearby plant. The restaurant, known for their live plants, proceeded to have the man leave.

3. The boss’s girlfriend walked into the restaurant to find her boyfriend talking to a waitress. The girlfriend assumes her boyfriend and the waitress are sleeping together. She spray paints the waitress’ vehicle and smashes the windows in the waitress’ car. While the woman was kicked out of the restaurant, interestingly enough, the relationship was not over yet.

4. A woman, who was apparently racist and did not like immigrants got mad when she found the wait staff were immigrants. When she later returned to the restaurant, she was told they would not serve her since they were immigrants and she hated them.

5. Two young men walked into a bar already drunk. They were being loud, and getting up in the faces of some of the other customers. The bar owner gave each guy a glass of water, telling them he would not serve them anymore alcohol and that they needed to leave the other customers alone. Instead of obeying the bar owner’s instructions, the two men started threatening him. They were quickly thrown out. About half an hour later, the two young men threw a rock through the glass on the front door. They ended up spending the night in jail and having to pay for the damage to the window.

6. A man who had been kicked out of a previous restaurant for grabbing a server’s butt came into a restaurant with his wife and kids. Knowing what had happened, he was politely asked to leave. When he got angry, the Sous chef, clearly stated, for his wife and children to hear, what he had done to get kicked out of the previous restaurant, thereby embarrassing the man and ensuring he knew exactly why he was being asked to leave.

7. A man ate a large meal and had been drinking white Russians for two and a half hours. When he was asked about paying for them, he made an excuse about making a phone call, but he instead slipped out. One of the workers thought he recognized the “dine and dasher” from online mugshots. After a ten-minute search, it was discovered that the man was a sex offender and serial “dine and dasher.” He was arrested an hour later, and his picture continues to hang on the wall of the restaurant, warning employees to not serve the man again.

Of course, there are many other reasons that someone might be asked to leave a restaurant. When deciding if you should kick someone out of your restaurant, it is important to consider the safety of your staff as well as other customers. The lack of respect for staff or customers should also be considered.

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Complying with the Food Safety Management Act (FSMA)

Complying with the Food Safety Management Act (FSMA)

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), food borne illnesses each year make 48 million people sick. Out of that group, hospitalization happens for 128,000 people and 3,000 people die. FDA hopes that the successful implementation of FSMA (the Food Safety Management Act) will help reduce food borne illness — which it considers largely a preventable public health problem — in the food & beverage industry. 

FSMA has five key areas of concern:

  • Preventive controls across the US food supply to prevent these problems
  • Inspections using innovative inspection methods to ensure industry compliance
  • New tools with respect to food imports, including accrediting third-party auditors to certify that foreign food businesses conform to US food safety requirements
  • Recall authority over all US food although FDA expects its requests for voluntary recalls to work in most cases; FDA now has increased power to detain products that are potentially a problem and can suspend registrations of offending facilities
  • Cooperation between all levels of government’s food safety agencies and to improve training of food safety officials at all levels of government

That all sounds more like food producers than food & beverage establishments. How does the law affect my business? Restaurants are not subject to most provisions of the law — but there’s a big caveat to that statement. If you directly import food from outside the US to cook and then sell in your establishment, then you are subject to the food import rules.

And if I’m not an importer, why should I care about these rules? It is wise for all food chain businesses to understand the basics of the new food safety rules. After all, you want to know that the people from whom you buy food to sell in your restaurant are following safe food practices.

So, what are the final rules as they relate to food chain businesses (not farmers or food producers)? 

To assist food chain businesses, the FDA issued these final rules:

  • Food facilities must put in place procedures to identify and minimize human food hazards. 
  • Importers must certify that growers produced the imported food under the same production safety rules as US food producers. 
  • FSMA requires the transport of food to comply with food safety sanitation requirements. 
  • FSMA requires foreign and domestic food facilities to fix vulnerabilities in their processes to prevent terrorist acts intending widespread harm.

When do businesses have to comply?  FDA staggered operational compliance deadlines over several years following the date FDA published the final rules. If you are a very small business (defined as less than $1 million per year in annual sales of human food), the compliance date is within three years after the final rules. If you are a small business (fewer than 500 employees), the compliance date shrinks to two years after issuance of the final rules.

FDA issued additional compliance date extensions and clarifications which are outside the scope of this post.  

How do we know if the growers of imported food followed USFDA rules? You would request a third-party certification that the growers followed USFDA food safety rules.

Food safety training is available to assist you with FSMA compliance.  FDA acknowledges it has a role in facilitating the training that food industry businesses must obtain to comply with FSMA. Toward that end, FDA created the Alliances which are public-private entities funded by FDA. Training is currently available through the Alliances.  

  • Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance, started in 2011, coordinated by Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute for Food Safety and Health.
  • Sprout Safety Alliance, started in 2012, coordinated by Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute for Food Safety and Health.

The FDA anticipates that the only food safety training through the Alliances and developed through cooperative agreements are the only ones that FDA will recognize. So, if you are thinking of developing your own training course, FDA recommends that you work with the Alliances to make sure the training is consistent and thorough.

Where can I get additional information on FSMA? FDA has produced several Fact Sheets to facilitate compliance with the final rules and to foster understanding of the rules.  You will find Fact Sheets on accrediting third-party auditors, foreign supplier verification programs, protecting food against adulteration, preventive controls for human food, preventive control for animal food, sanitary transportation for human and animal food, and standards for produce safety.

In addition, FDA published several presentations on its website including the overview of FSMA and the proposed rules.

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Lessons from Las Vegas

Lessons from Las Vegas

In the aftermath of the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, it’s important to refresh yourself and your staff on the best practices that have been in place for many years.

read more

Experience Sirvo for yourself

Sign up now to find hospitality jobs and hire top industry talent.