Hospitality is an incredibly rewarding career. It does require the right personalities, though. Presumably, it is those personalities which are drawn to studying the industry in the first place. It is important for teachers to prepare them for all aspects of hospitality, both on their skills and the trends within the industry. Here are 5 tips that all teachers of hospitality must pass on to their students.
It’s a team game
Communication is vital. But most in hospitality automatically picture communicating with the customer. What is equally as important, but often less stressed, is communication with other team members. In order to run an effective, customer-centric hospitality business, you must have a clear division of roles. Everyone must know their role so accountability is possible, but it’s also they know each others’ role. Tasks are seldom solo in hospitality. Instead, they’re usually sequential, requiring one team member to pick up where the other left off.
One of the core parts to the hospitality industry is initiative. This is a difficult skill to learn, and sometimes practising is all you can do. However, practising in a different context can also help. For example, advising students to take drama or improv class can really help them think on their feet and act under pressure. This may seem odd, but it can be conducive to improving students’ initiative and ability to think under pressure. Much of hospitality is actually just reacting to your environment.
Communication isn’t just verbal
Being able to explain clearly to customers that walk into the lobby of your restaurant, for example, that your coats can be placed by the door is one thing. But you may not have the time to do this for everyone. It may pull you away from the customer you’re already speaking to. Teachers of hospitality should highlight more the importance of visual communication. For example, the utility of designing effective posters, signs and floor stickers.
Studying hospitality before jumping into the industry can leave you slightly detached from its reality. One thing that is in danger of being under emphasised is how to deal with cultural diversity. Both customers and colleagues will hold different values, beliefs, expectations and so on. Cultural sensitivity is necessary for all of these personalities to align and cooperate with each other. This isn’t something you can teach in one semester, though. Students must be encouraged to read the news and become more conscious of the different cultures around them.
As gathered from the previous tips, it all lies on one (very correct) assumption: the customer is the most important thing. Only, you don’t have a service to serve customers if you aren’t complying with laws. It’s important for teachers to pass on the importance of compliance, as it can be underappreciated among all of the customer-centric skills they’re learning. This means understanding basic health and safety, along with food hygiene, licensing laws and cellar management.