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!

What a Restaurant Needs in a Website

What a Restaurant Needs in a Website

Restaurant patronage used to be based on a combination or word-of-mouth reputation and prominence on common travel routes. While you will always have your loyal return customers, new diners are finding their destinations in modern ways that have a lot more to do with online presence than on exterior decor or where your building is in relation to popular streets. When an individual, couple, or family is looking for a restaurant to try either near their home or while on vacation, the first place they look is the internet. Between Google and Yelp, most people make their decisions based on ratings, reviews, and the information they can gather before punching a location into their GPS navigation system. However, no matter how many positive local reviews you get, many people won’t even consider a restaurant unless they can investigate it completely via their website.

Building Your Restaurant Website

Most restaurants know that they need a website and even pay to have one built, but it’s astounding to see exactly how many have no idea what customers are really looking for in terms of features and information. Most restaurant websites include beautiful pictures of the dining room, the founder’s story, and a lot of really lovely visual assets without a single drop of useful information. Maybe you have a website, and perhaps you put a lot of effort into making it attractive, but does it actually have what it takes to bring customers in to dine or call for take-out?

What Your Website Needs:

  • Pictures of The Environment
  • Pictures of the Food
  • A Well-Written Menu with Prices
  • Accurate Contact and Delivery Information
  • A Careers Page
  • An Easy Online Delivery Interface
  • Regular Testing to Eliminate Frustrating Bugs

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

While most venues miss at least one of the listed points, they usually understand the need for pictures. When a customer is deciding where to eat, they want a good idea of the kind of experience they’re getting into and what to expect from the food itself. This means clear pictures of the dining room and tables, along with a nice selection of photos of what real plated meals look like. If you want to really influence purchases, arrange your photos to include the entree, sides, dipping sauces, and beverages of a standard meal so that customers can understand exactly what they can get from your dining experience.

Clearly Written Menu

There’s nothing worse than getting excited about a local restaurant only to discover that there is no sign of an online menu. Many people want the chance to plan their meal ahead of time without the few awkward minutes of indecision at the table with a hovering waiter. However, even more frustrating than no menu at all is an enticing menu with no prices, leading customers to assume that they will only experience sticker shock even if they love their meal. A clear menu is especially important if you don’t want to drive away lucrative delivery orders.

Easy to Use Delivery Interface

It’s important to remember who your customers are and how the world is changing. While phone calls used to be the best way to take remote orders, modern young adults and introverts of all ages would much rather deal with an online form than try to explain their order over the phone. You can significantly increase your revenue from deliveries and take-out orders by incorporating a bug-free and easy to use online interface. If you’re on a budget, even the ability to type out their orders as simple text message is better than nothing.

Careers Page

Customers aren’t the only important people who will find you online. Most restaurants work hard to stay fully staffed with skilled team members and it’s important to never stop looking for talented new employees. This is why almost every business website on the internet includes a careers page which works a lot better than a ‘now hiring’ sign in the window for the same reason your restaurant website brings in more customers than foot traffic does. If you want to find talented waiters, delivery drivers, and kitchen staff, make sure to keep your online doors open to applications.

custom career page restaurant hospitality and retail

Sirvo can provide subscription customers with a careers page that can be easily inserted into their company’s WordPress website. Not only will your careers page showcase the culture and benefits of being employed with your business, but they will have access to all your current opportunities that are automatically updated so applicants can apply straight from your careers page with a seamless experience. Learn more and sign up here.

Test Regularly

Once you have a trendy interactive website for your customers and future team members to find you through, don’t forget to test it and confirm that they can successfully reach you through the site. Nothing is more frustrating than entering your menu order or filling out a job application only for the software to break at the ‘submit’ stage. Test your website regularly to keep it in good working order.

As the world moves forward into an almost permanently half-online state, every adaptive business is changing to keep up and restaurants are no exception. With a great website and active hiring policies, your venue should be rocking the online and in-house orders until the next big technological step forward.

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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Work Culture: Creating A Place To Love Not Leave

Work Culture: Creating A Place To Love Not Leave

Most restaurants, it turns out, do not close during their first year. Forbes reports on a 2014 study that shows only 17% of restaurants fail in the first year, a failure rate lower than some other service businesses. Bar and Restaurant Success reported that 2016 was the seventh successive year of growth in the industry and that wholesale food prices were going down in that year while menu prices went up. In addition, The Motley Fool reported that for the first time in 2016, the average American spent more on restaurants and take-out than on groceries! Seems it’s a very good time for restaurants.

Let’s not get carried away, though, with the idea that success is easy or likely. By the third year, almost half of restaurants close. So, what is the difference between success and failure?

We all know the mantra that food and service make the restaurant. Imagine, for a moment, that two restaurants in close geographic proximity offer the same quality food and equally good service. Which will prevail in the competitive restaurant industry?

Certainly management practices impact the ultimate success of a restaurant — but what about differences in the customer experience? Wait, weren’t we talking about equally good service? But consider this: in one of those restaurants, employees do their job and serve their customers well, if perfunctorily. In the other, employees do their job joyfully and serve their customers so well that they leave smiling and look forward to returning soon.

And that last experience has everything to do with work culture, creating a place your employees love and don’t want to leave. A great work culture not only makes your business more fun and less stressful for you and your employees, it is critical to your competitive success. It’s just good business to be a happy business.

Your employees are your face to the public, and they are most directly responsible for creating the experience that will bring your customers back again and again. If you want your customers to leave happy and satisfied and eager to return, focus on creating that experience for your employees through the work culture you develop.

What will keep your employees happy and satisfied, looking forward to work? What do your employees want?

What your employees want:

  • Employees want you to be clear about the core values of your business so they can align with them and represent them well. This means you need to be clear about your core values and reflect them in every aspect of your business.
  • Employees want to feel that they are “going somewhere,” that is, that they can advance in your business, whether in status or increased income and benefits or personal growth.
  • Employees, like all people, experience greater satisfaction when they feel part of something bigger than themselves, whether that’s a “team” or a concept they embrace and promote.
  • Employees appreciate fairness and integrity.
  • Employees appreciate recognition and contribute more when they get it.
  • Employees benefit from well-defined responsibilities and a measure of predictability but conversely need variety to maintain maximum enthusiasm and creativity.
  • Fun and laughter not only reduce stress, but they release “feel-good” brain chemicals.

Simple enough, but how can you ensure that you are doing your part to create the work culture that keeps your employees at their best as they serve your customers? Keep in mind both formal mechanisms as well as informal mechanisms.

Formal mechanisms include:

  • Staff meetings. It’s difficult in the restaurant industry to take time for staff meetings, but they are invaluable for building a team environment in which all contributions matter. Make staff meetings short, informative, and encourage staff contributions. Maintain a positive atmosphere, and let employees know what their channel is to deal with complaints.
  • Meet with each employee privately for a written “review”. Discuss employee’s goals at work as well as employer evaluations and areas that need work. Revisit these issues at each meeting to evaluate progress toward resolution.
  • Institute a health and safety program. Healthy employees are happier employees.

Informal mechanisms:

  • Nip problems in the bud. If you spot something going on, don’t let it fester.
  • Do not allow aggression among employees, active or passive.
  • Encourage positive attitudes and cooperation.

Most importantly, remember: people who laugh together stay together — and keep your customers coming back. Find things each day to laugh about. Plan laughter into every day, and seize opportunities to find humor in your environment. It’s an invaluable tool for defusing the stress that accompanies life in the restaurant industry.

Your employees will appreciate you for the interest you show in them and the supportive, happy culture you create, and they will, in turn, engage your customers in that experience.

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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

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

5 Things Job Seekers Wish You’d Put in a Listing

5 Things Job Seekers Wish You’d Put in a Listing

A lot of companies are having trouble drawing the kind of dedicated and highly skilled talent they’d like to see filling their key roles. Of course, it’s nice to have high standards right down to the coffee intern, but businesses everywhere are finding themselves either going short staffed or compromising on quality. At the same time, studies are revealing how important it is to find employees of the right personalities and lifestyles for your company culture, adding one more complication to the task of finding good hires. One thing you can do to help the situation is to improve your listings for job seekers.

Often the most appealing listings are the ones that wear their business culture on their sleeves and give you a real idea of the personality-nougat inside the hard chocolate shell of corporate presentation. This gives job seekers a better idea of who you are and whether or not they’re a good fit for your team. To help the process, here are five things most job seekers wish you would share on job listings, but most companies never do:

1) Team Personalities

When job seekers are skimming through hundreds of potential positions, saying that you’re hard working and dedicated to customer service simply isn’t useful information because that’s assumed. What they really want to know is whether or not you match their sense of humor. Is the office full of chipper morning people or is there a regular coffee-pot crowd? When a team gets behind on a project, to they lock down or ease the tension with painfully funny puns?

2) Your Realistic Skill Expectations

A long list of skills may make you feel like you’ll get a grade-A pro, but most people are acutely aware of what they do and do not know and these lists can be pretty intimidating. Job seekers understand that you would like someone who’s familiar with every POS platform under the sun, but it’s hard to measure up when you say it like that. Instead, try asking for someone with the truly necessary skills and the attitude of an active learner willing to dive in and get up-to-speed on the ‘everything else’ list.

3) What the Break Room is Like

The break room is an important part of employee stress relief, but some break rooms are seriously nasty. Even if your break room is perfectly clean, the way it’s decorated and how employees treat it is a huge indication of your true company culture. Whether your business-casual or silicon valley chic, most employees don’t get a chance to see this all-important room until they’re already hired, but they’d definitely like a peek beforehand.

4) Flexible Schedule Options

Lets’ face it, most employees will eventually need time off. Even the workaholics who like making perfect attendance and staying late to clean up may one day have to stay home with a sick child and knowing how welcoming a company is to their occasional scheduling needs is a big decider for most job seekers. When you’re up front about a company daycare, sick days, or flexible parent hours, you’re a lot more likely to get enthusiastic applicants who have noticed a rare opportunity to be a good employee and parent at the same time.

5) Opportunities for Advancement

You want employees who want promotions, right? These employees are more likely to work harder, try to improve their stats, and will support their entire team more enthusiastically when they feel there are raises and promotions in their future. On the flip side, job seekers want a job where they will have opportunities for advancement. Even if you didn’t plan to cover this topic until six months in, you can provide this vital source of motivation from before day-1 by mentioning upward mobility in the listing itself.

Finally, when writing your job listings, remember that you’re talking to people, not another company. You want employees who will be happy and productive in your open positions and they want to know that they’ll be welcome in both personality and working style in the new environment. In other words, you want the same things, and you can make that happen with a listing that speaks to real human concerns instead of some corporate ideal employee.

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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

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

How To Maximize Your Restaurant’s Facebook Page

How To Maximize Your Restaurant’s Facebook Page

Facebook is the great gathering place. People spend a lot of time scrolling through their favorite pages and interacting with everyone on their feeds. This is a great opportunity for your restaurant to reach new customers and keep past customers. People are far more likely to eat somewhere that they feel a connection to, and it keeps your brand in people’s minds. The best part, from a marketing point of view, is that you can write one post and have it spread to millions of viewers. Your restaurant’s name can get out there for very cheap this way.

The trick is to make Facebook work for you. After all, no media platform will do you any good if no one reads your work. Here are the basics of getting your page on everyone’s ‘like’ list.

1. Post Frequently

A page that hasn’t had any activity for a long time will lose even dedicated followers. Plus, Facebook’s algorithm puts the pages of recently visited sites on readers’ feeds. If you want your customers to have your posts on their feed, you have to post something new at least once a week. What should you post?

  • Milestones, no matter how small. “We’ve had our 1000th customer today.” “We’ve been open a whole decade now.”
  • Deals that you offer exclusively through your Facebook page. This will get people to hit up your page regularly. You can give discounts to people who ‘like’ your page, or announce 2-for-1 drink deals only on your page.
  • Specials of The Days, with attention given to seasonal items in particular. If you have unusual specialties, post about them.
  • Back of the House photos such as your top chef posing with his knives. Just ask Hollywood how much people love behind-the-scene peeks.

2. Use Facebook Insights

Facebook provides a regular rundown, called Facebook Insights, of the people who are visiting your page. This gives you a lot of data about who you are reaching, which can let you refine your posts and advertisements. Read the demographics carefully and see where you can better match your clientele.

3. Link To Other Social Media

Do you have a Twitter account? Any other type of media account? You can boost the number of people reaching your page by having tabs for your other social media accounts on your Facebook page. It also gives customers a better sense of your corporate culture.

4. Link To Other Pages And Businesses

On a related note, post about and link to related content and businesses. For instance, if you do business with a local farm and the farm has a website, write a post about them and link to their website. Link to their Facebook page, while you are at it. This gives you a better chance of getting the attention of people in your target demographic.

5. Upload Videos

Videos show up well on people’s timelines, and they give you a lot of flexibility to showcase your restaurant. You can post videos of behind-the-scenes footage, talk up your Soup of The Day, or discuss your philosophy as portrayed in your menu.

6. Keep Your Information Updated

Perhaps this goes without saying, but while you post regularly, be sure that your business information is accurate. It’s easy to forget that your contact information, hours of operation, and other important points are listed on your Facebook page, but it can be one of the first ways customers get such information. Keep your business info the same across all outlets.

A good Facebook page can boost your marketing, and restaurants can use all the help they can get in this world. Use these tips to maximize the help you get out of Facebook.

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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.