The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2010

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Page 86 of 116

THE SPIRIT OF SERVICE Channeling the Challenges of Hospitality by eric davison o you ever wonder why it’s so challenging to get your team to devote that extra bit of attention to your guests? I’m talking about the kind of attention that creates an experience your guests will remember, talk about and return for. It’s hospitality. D Eric Davison has developed a syllabus to elevate service levels in the hospitality industry. Hospitality sets businesses apart—and when it’s not there, it can be a real business problem. Additionally, because hospitality is a feeling not an action, most owners and operators fi nd it diffi cult to defi ne it and “teach” it to their teams. For many, it’s like trying to describe the color blue to a blind person. Hospitality sets businesses apart—and when it’s not there, it can be a real business problem.” For the rest of you who have successfully defi ned it and teach it often, what is getting in the way of your team creating that hospitality and engaging with your guests more consistently? Every person faces external and internal obstacles in everything they do, personally and professionally. Employees are people too. This month let’s look at the external obstacles: • Cultural Norms: Society supports a subtle detachment in all of us. Day to day most of us keep to ourselves. We notice very few people, we connect with fewer Unclear on the concept. Employees can face challenges in understanding hospitality. 86 / the tasting panel / april 2010 and we care about fewer still. If you are expecting your team to naturally “care” about every human being who walks through the door, don’t hold your breath. It’s not the norm. • Comfort Zone: Existing relationships within the team get attention because they’re familiar and comfortable. People prefer to interact with people they already know. The guests are quite literally “strangers,” and too often they feel like it. • Lack of Training: Team meetings and trainings are focused almost entirely on menu items, special reservations, operational procedures and service standards. How often does your team discuss and explore ways to connect with the guests on a personal level? Next month: The biggest obstacles are internal. Eric Davison’s Spirit of Service program is designed to complement existing on-premise training programs by empowering your team with proven tools and techniques they can use to execute your standards and procedures more effectively. When teams fully engage and shift toward an attitude of real connection with each other and their guests, companies signifi cantly reduce costs, create greater guest loyalty, and increase profi ts long term. For more information, contact info@spirit-of- or call: 323-273-0097.

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