There is so much more interest and motivation nowadays both from
companies and individuals to finally give to the service industry/front
of house its rightful recognition and importance.
The drive to inspire people to give better service and be more
hospitable goes beyond the Hospitality Industry and service is (at long
last) now being promoted as a rewarding and satisfying career. Indeed,
one needs skills and very high professional standards to do the job.
For many (many) companies, good service is more than just the cherry on
the cake. It is “THE SERVICE” that gives the edge and the necessary key
competitive advantage to exceed guest’s expectations, create the brand
reputation and drive the profits up.
Although service is an inherent part of our industry it seems that WE
have been quite slow to drive the changes through. I see this as the
last piece of the Jigsaw to make the guest’s experience finally
wholesome (ie food, design, atmosphere and service/hospitality).
On that note , last week was particularly exciting for me.
From Tuesday I was in Berlin at the Hilton Worldwide (@HiltonWorldwide)
very first European F&B competition called #FBmasters. The
competition involved the best team members of Hilton Europe in 4
different categories: cooking, pastry, BAR and SERVICE. The service
competitors were assessed on their skills, ability, attitude, knowledge
and overall performance by playing a full game of The Art of Service
followed by a mock service and a written test.
Upon my return to London I was invited to be a speaker at the annual
conference of one of the UK’s biggest and most luxurious house builder.
They wanted me to speak about service and hospitality, they wanted to
learn about our industry and relate it to theirs. I told them simple
things. Things like: The guest is King, the difference between customers
and guests, the difference between service and looking after people and
the meaning of always putting ourselves in the guest’s shoes.
Finally on Friday night, I was at the Hotel Cateys to support Andrew
Sicklin (@asicklin) from Galvin at Windows (@galvinatwindows). He had
been nominated as Manager of the Year. He did not win but he was up
there nonetheless. Well done Andrew.
During the course of the evening I had a short, fun and exciting
conversation with Giovanna from the AA. Amongst other things she told me
that she was brainstorming with her team and working on a SERVICE/Front
of House awards as a result of my tweet (after the last AA awards, I
tweeted that a Service award was missing from the AA awards portfolio).
By all accounts, it seems we are now doing the right thing and going in the right direction.
Let’s just be totally uncompromising with our vision.
That is the only way to drive the standards up and Make Excellence a Habit.