It’s an exciting time across the east coast of Australia right now. Things that had been taken for granted and liberties that we understood as the norm and have been missing for the last 20 months are starting to return.
For me personally that is the re-opening of our restaurant to the public (5th time re-opened in its first year of trading but who is counting) and the joy I experience when being able to dine out with those truly important in my life.
One of the key things I have been looking forward to is supporting our industry as it returns to a semblance of normalcy and as such wanted to share some of our key considerations before opening the doors, again, for the 1sttime in a new normal.
Those who know me, know that I believe there are 3 key pillars to creating the dialogue required for delivering successful hospitality and ones that we need to consider seriously when re-opening; those being Engagement, Interest and Passion. Engagement, as it is the nucleus of conversation, Interest as it shows authenticity and genuine understanding and Passion as it’s why we keep coming back to this game in the 1st place.
All memories in life attach themselves to an emotion, whether those emotions are positive or negative. The true art of hospitality is based on the premise of creating a conversation that enables our employees to interact with guests on a more personalized level and as such create that emotional link to the experience.
The benefits for this are far reaching. Restaurateurs spend in-ordinate amounts of money annually attracting new guests to their outlets. There are marketing budgets and promotions all geared towards getting that customer through the door the 1st time.
Once inside it is up to the Team to engage the guests and engagement only comes with knowledge.
I know when I go out for dinner, I want to engage with the colleagues of an outlet and as such I want them to engage with me. Sometimes this is to the detriment of the people I am dining with, however I look toward what information I am willing to share with these people based on their levels of engagement.
Too often we are subject to the ‘by-rote’ and SOP driven explanation of menu offerings. i.e. The product, the deliverable. SOP’s and memorized spiels do not a memory make.
With the right team and the right organization, service elements can be trained or taught. Any skill can be uplifted and polished, however developing those natural characteristics in our people that generate true hospitality is something we must as an industry dedicate greater time and focus to. Not just now as we all begin to reopen and relish the joy that providing hospitality creates in all of us, but for the future of those who continually share their journey with us, our guests….after all they are our bread and butter.