Given the impact on eating out of COVID initially and now the cost -of-living crisis, those of my food service clients who have turned to me for advice are continuing to face challenging times.
Numerous mid-tier eatery chains have collapsed as discerning customers are no longer content with mediocre food combined with average service at best.
But the upside is, that independent businesses are seeing an upturn in their trade and an increase in the number of customers who are prepared to pay for great value for money – this of course, doesn’t mean the cheapest.
These businesses are often family run or managed by small teams who both support and nurture their food offer and staff.
As part of my work with one business this week, I suggested it could be beneficial to present the brand values and ethos of the business to their team. (Something that we went on to do and it has already made a big impact.)
In our earlier management meetings, I’d repeatedly stressed the need to never compromise on the food offer but more importantly, always to over deliver on service.
Indeed, we talked about hospitality rather than service and the very real need to create a great customer experience beyond the food.
This is what creates enduring relationships between customers and venues. This is what makes them want to come back to their favourite place to eat. This is how hospitality venues become the place of choice – by delivering superlative value for time.
There are many facets to getting the hospitality offer right but they start with attributes within the very staff that are the heart of the business – whether that be front of house, kitchen or back of house.
Hiring staff with the right personality characteristics are more important than hiring those with the right skills.
Staff who love what they do will pass their enthusiasm onto others and that, more than anything is something that customers can sense.
Staff who love what they do will create relationships with your customers and value each and every one of them as if they were a friend of their own.
I’ve determined the key traits which I believe are essential to see in individuals with the personal qualities to deliver great hospitality and these are:
If you seek to hire staff with these qualities they will elevate your business above your competitors, they will make you the most talked about venue on social media and amongst the friends and families of your current customers, they will promote you to a local hero and your business will grow as a consequence.