Hospitality Training: Don't Lose the Personal Touch
Kiosks for check-in. Mobile hotel keys. Tablets for tableside ordering. These are a few of the innovations in the hospitality industry. Technology can improve the customer experience but what are the implications of removing the human element? Hospitality training for your employees is still a critical component of the guest services of a successful restaurant, hotel, or tourist attraction.
What about the guests who are not comfortable with technology (like my mom)? Or when the Wi-Fi and technology are down? Or for the hotel and restaurant chains without these innovations? Your employees will be there to make a difference for your guests and it’s your responsibility to train them.
The flip side to the technology efficiencies is a labor shortage in certain areas of hospitality businesses. Successful restaurants are closing around the country due to shortages of the wait staff, line cooks, dishwashers, etc. Businesses are changing how they treat employees and offering creative benefits to attract and retain talent.
In a recent New York Times article, a restaurant owner was quoted: “We don’t win them over with a paycheck. Pay is important, but of more importance are respect and admiration and learning. If people feel like they are learning, they are more apt to stay.”
Hospitality Training Videos from HSI
The national hotel and restaurant chains have large training departments that are well prepared to handle the training challenges of today. The hospitality training courses from HSI are perfect for smaller and medium-sized companies with the same training needs but much smaller teams.
Our videos provide a solid foundation for the basic skills in areas like front and back of the house, food service, bartending, front desk, housekeeping, and valet. We also have many soft skills videos to help people in managerial positions with coaching, feedback, motivation, delegation, performance reviews, and more.
Seasoned hospitality professionals along with people in entry-level positions could benefit from proper onboarding training. Our hospitality courses can cover best practices for all areas of the guest experience. Restaurant servers can use communication skills and customer service etiquette. Everyone should be included in HR compliance training topics like understanding harassment, discrimination, and workplace bullying.
As with any job, it is difficult to transition to a new department without experience. If a host wants to become a server or bartender, they can take our courses to gain a basic knowledge of their desired position. The mobile access and microlearning format make it easier for employees to access training when and where they want. It also supports cross-training for more efficiency in the dining room, kitchen, guest rooms, etc.
Positive Guest Experience
Hospitality training can support employee retention and improve morale, but ultimately the goal is to provide a positive guest experience and drive repeat visits and positive online reviews. No business can ignore the technology in the hands of their customers: Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google Reviews, and social media in general.
Your customer-facing employees have more challenges now than ever with dealing with a public armed with a smartphone ready to live stream or record a bad experience. Your team could use training in interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, and handling rude and upset customers.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Your training can go beyond the expected hospitality skills. A poor decision by a manager to call the authorities on a group of men who appeared to be loitering cost Starbucks millions in lost business when they shut down for diversity training and an immeasurable amount of damage to their brand. This event started via a cell phone video by a fellow customer. Technology allows customers to hold brands accountable for their behavior: good and bad.
You know that one day of diversity training is not enough to fix the issue. It’s an ongoing conversation and a culture change. Topics could include unconscious bias, LGBTQ in the workplace, neurodiversity, gender equality, cross-cultural considerations, and more.
I am going out on a limb and guessing that Starbucks employees could use regular training on harassment, discrimination and safety, management skills, and not just diversity. And by regular, I mean reminders in team meetings, follow-up quizzes and exams, and language from senior management that supports the culture. Not just one big day of training.
You see that training hospitality employees needs to reach beyond greeting guests, clearing tables, and cleaning rooms. They are your brand ambassadors. They are the front line to the customers keeping you in business!
You may have seen some of the positive stories about exceptional customer service on social media. I remember a major hotel chain went viral after a young guest left their teddy bear in the room. The hotel recorded the bear’s branded experience working his way back to his owner. Your housekeeping staff plays an important role in guest relations but first, they need to be trained and empowered to take action.
Many of your team members are on their feet in perpetual motion. How do you find the time and place to train them? The good news is that when you purchase training content from HSI, you get our modern, mobile learning management system (HSI LMS) for free! Your team can access our content via their phone or tablet 365/24/7.
Front Office Operations
Yes, our Business Skills library includes the courses you need to create a hospitality training program. But don’t forget about your front office team like HR, accounting, IT, etc. You can curate a variety of training programs for these diverse employees with the many topics included in the Business Skills Library. Create a new manager training program, encourage creativity and brainstorming, support work-life balance and mental health, and more.
Request a free trial of the HSI LMS and gain access to all of the courses in our Business Skills library. This includes our hospitality training courses, soft skills, and much more.
Sample Hospitality Training Topics
Here is a sampling of our hospitality training videos included in our Business Skills Library:
- Back of the House: Knife Safety
- Back of the House: Food Safety Plans
- Beverage: Beer and Spirits 101
- Beverage: Alcohol Safety
- Front Desk Customer Service: Etiquette and Presentation
- Front Desk Customer Service: Handling Upset Guests
- Front of the House: Greeting and Seating Guests
- Front of the House: Serving Guests: Time Management
- Housekeeping: Cleaning Public Spaces
- Housekeeping: Working Safely with Ergonomics
- Tourism: Serving the Guest
- Valet: Appearance and Professionalism
- Valet: Safety Essentials