Your establishment, whether it is a restaurant, bar or a hotel, is made of bricks and mortar and this gives the customer an initial impression of what your establishment is like. But it happens too often that staff are rude, pretentious or simply not up to the task at hand. Needless to say; you won’t return!

The biggest reason for customers not returning to an establishment is due to a staff member’s attitude or indifference.

There are several guidelines to be adhered to when working in the hospitality industry. It requires talented individuals who need to be:

· Efficient
· Patient
· Thoughtful
· Responsible
· Reliable
· Customer focused

Here a few pointers which you can share with your staff so they know what is expected from them, whether they are working in a cafe, a bar, a Michelin starred restaurant or the local greasy spoon.

1. Always give a warm greeting with a smile

2. Listen to the customer request. If you do not hear them correctly then don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat their order so as you get it correct.

3. Anticipate the guests needs by offering before being asked, “would you like another drink”, “would you like some extra sauce”, “would you like water with your meal”

4. If a customer says “Thank you”, respond and say “you’re welcome”

5. Any staff member who receives a complaint “owns” that complaint. They are then responsible for ensuring customer satisfaction. Gone are the days of saying “this is not my section” or “yeah, I’ll be with you in a minute”.

6. Communicate guest’s problems with your fellow employees and management.

7. Always remember the importance of teamwork.

8. Take responsibility for your own behaviour.

9. When things go wrong, look on the positive side. Do not be afraid to make a mistake as long as your efforts are sincerely intended to do your job a better way.

10. A pleasant farewell and saying “Thank you, see you soon” is just as important as the initial welcome.

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!

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Non-Operator
Comment by Paul Paz on December 2, 2009 at 1:13am
@Terri..
"Bazooka full of vowels" Love it!
Yes, many of my peers are guilty of not being coached in the basic etiquette of routine business communications. My current pet peeves in these exchanges are the words "like" (aka "Like... let me explain the soups today.") and "dude" (which I think is the new century replacement for "guys")!
Comment by Terri Hitchcock on December 1, 2009 at 7:03am
Paul, your #4 touched a point close to my heart. There's nothing worse than the response that I've been hearing more and more of late - it's a "thank you" from a customer, followed by an "ugh-huh" by the server. I don't know who came up with "ugh-huh" but they should be shot with a bazooka full of vowels!!! LOL It sounds flippant and even "weighted" even if it's not intended to be.

Non-Operator
Comment by Paul Paz on November 28, 2009 at 12:39am
Barry...

In addition to your opening list of, "individuals need to be”, I would add:
staff need to be TRAINED.

Too many operators make the ineffective assumption that all the staff, regardless of tenure, but especially new hires, automatically understand their brand, systems and procedures.

We are notorious for a lack of continuing education or career development for the FOH staff.

Paul

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