I visited some great venues over the weekend with some muso mates as we did a little road trip to the Murray River region.
We called into various coffee shops, bakeries, roadhouses, wineries and pubs on our journeymen’s adventure. My mates come from a range of non-hospitality backgrounds, so it was interesting to hear their (unsolicited) comments and note what they observed in general conversation. It seems the first and most striking impression was how the various staff presented and communicated with us. I can hear a few of you saying “No surprises there!” but it made me question how venue operators decide to invest their hard earned capitol back into their businesses.
So often a large amount of money is poured into the look, feel and infrastructure of a hospitality venue but the decision to invest in the development and retention of the service team, seems to be hard-won. I have been involved in training and marketing for the hospitality and tourism industry for over thirty years now and have seen many venues thrive and many more come and go. The decision to invest in the people who can make or break a successful formula is often arrived at after a problem is identified. At TMV we believe that investing in developing your people, should be understood as a fundamental building block of a great business. Frequently we find the resistance to investing in the team, is because of the transient nature of service staff.
• “We train them and they go somewhere else”
• “We can’t afford to pay them for down-time”
• “They should know how to do it properly without us holding their hand or looking over their shoulder….”
There are many, including some clichéd responses to these and similar objections, but you simply cannot underestimate the impact of an engaging and friendly service team in our industry. How do you maintain standards for customer service in your venue? What strategies do you use to motivate and retain engaging service staff?