Archive for September, 2013

Standards for Food and Beverage Staff

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Quint Studer in his important book, Hardwiring Excellence, speaks of the importance of establishing a code of behavior for employee service teams.  The purpose is to communicate to employees the basic standards of interaction with customers/guest/members and fellow employees.  Further, Studer expects each employee to acknowledge and commit to the standards by signing a written copy.

With this in mind, here are some basic standards for the food and beverage operations team:

  • Arrive on time according to the work schedule.
  • Meet all requirements of the dress or uniform code and personal grooming standards.
  • Have a complete dedication to customer service at all times; fully and consistently embrace the enterprise’s organizational values and culture of service.
  • Maintain a pleasant and positive attitude at all times.
  • In private clubs, learn and use member names; learn and act upon their individual habits and preferences by providing personalized service.
  • Greet and assist all arriving customers; introduce yourself by first name and let them know you are there to help them in any way possible.
  • Provide relevant information to customers, such as location of facilities; walk guests to events or functions when possible.
  • Provide special service touches and “wow” factors.
  • Interrupt personal conversations at the approach of customers; give them your undivided attention.
  • Solve any problems encountered that are within your authority and ability to do so.
  • Report any problems you can’t solve to management.
  • Maintain the cleanliness and order of your work areas as you go; clean and straighten up work areas prior to departing as a courtesy to the next shift.
  • Work together with other staff to provide a seamless service experience for customers.
  • Thank fellow workers for their help and assistance.  They appreciate it as much as you do when you are thanked.

When employees understand and commit to expected standards of behavior and service, customers and other employees have a richer hospitality experience.

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the hospitality industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers – those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hospitality hardworking  managers throughout the country and around the world.

Hospitality Resources International – Management Resources for the Hospitality Industry!

A Major and Much-Needed Enhancement to Club Management Systems

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Several years ago I wrote an article entitled, Do You Know What Your Club Management System Can Do?, in which I listed additional features that I would like to see included in management system software.  One of those features was what is commonly called a Human Resources Information System or HRIS.

My reason for including such software is to streamline the entire HR process for private clubs.  Many, if not most, clubs rely on manual paper systems to handle the complicated processes associated with hiring, promoting, developing, counseling, evaluating, disciplining, discharging, and terminating employees.  Add to this the related processes of establishing rates of pay, adding and removing employees from the club’s payroll, giving pay increases and incentives, and administering benefits, and the entire HR/Payroll function of a club has great potential for error while being fraught with legal and liability issues.  As a result, anything that would simplify and reduce processing errors would not only save the club money, but also reduce the club’s liability exposure.

In 2008 Tom Howard, VP of Technology Training Associates, a certified Jonas Software installer and provider, founded ClubPay with the intent of developing and providing an integrated HRIS and Payroll Service for private clubs.  Working in partnership with Jonas Software and CertiPay, a Florida-based developer of HR and payroll systems software, Tom and his team quickly grew ClubPay to success using their knowledge and experience with the club industry to design and deploy club-specific software and listening carefully to its client clubs for further enhancements to ClubPay best practices.

2010 was a big year for ClubPay.  Jonas Software bought out Tom and his partners making ClubPay a “Jonas Solution Offering”.  Since then ClubPay has been selected by BoardRoom Magazine for the “Excellence in Achievement Award” in both 2011 and 2012, with the awards being presented at the San Diego CMAA – World Conference & Club Business Expo in February of this year.

The purchase by Jonas was a natural as the ClubPay design allowed for seamless integration of its software with the already robust Jonas suite of software solutions.

ClubPay offers the following primary functions:

  • ClubPay – full service payroll outsourcing and tax filing
  • ClubHR – integrated human resources management
  • ClubTime – complete labor management and scheduling solutions, including the option of biometric time clocks
  • ClubComply – cost effective legal compliance tools designed to meet the needs of clubs
  • ClubApplicant – fast, effective hiring process with paperless applicant tracking

The ClubPay HR and Payroll functions are built for flexibility, allowing them to scale solutions and pricing to any size club.

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit in on a ClubPay webinar demonstrating its time & attendance software and HR management system.  Having designed a comprehensive paper-based system earlier in my career, I was impressed by the ease-of-use and intuitive structure of various screens and reporting mechanism.  Based on what I saw, the ClubPay system would be a major improvement over paper-based human resource management system.  Further, given the ease of use, the conversion and training should not be a challenge for any club.

An added feature that I think would be well-worthwhile for clubs is the HR Online service for $39.95/month.  This service provides 24/7 access to HR practices, HR Alerts, Job Description templates, and much more.  A more robust package at $157.25/month provides access to a professional live HR Help Desk Support.

Another feature called Employee Self Service, provides employees with secure web-based access to their individual payroll, personnel, and benefits information, as well as links to benefit providers, 401k accounts, and the club’s digital employee handbook.  This feature would certainly reduce the amount of questions and requests for information to your administrative staff.

All in all, I think ClubPay has hit a home run with their well-designed and tiered HR and Payroll services.  While it may not be the right solution for every club, I think all clubs should evaluate its potential benefits and liability avoidance in light of their existing practices and costs.

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the hospitality industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers – those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hospitality hardworking  managers throughout the country and around the world.

Hospitality Resources International – Management Resources for the Hospitality Industry!

Reviewing the Big Picture

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Managers at all levels of a hospitality operation have a lot on their plates.  The daily challenges in a labor- and detail-intensive business are ongoing and legion.  In addition, there are a number of government- as well as enterprise-mandated requirements that managers must ensure are thoroughly and properly implemented in their areas of responsibility.  Finally, there are the daily challenges of leadership – engaging, motivating, and directing employees.  When taken together the cumulative responsibilities can seem overwhelming and the “big picture” perspective of sound leadership and management disciplines can easily get lost in the hustle and bustle of daily operations.

As a result, it’s good to step back occasionally and take the wider view of your responsibilities.  There are several ways you can do this:

  1. lol-workbook-84x106Reread all or portions of Leadership on the Line – a primer on leadership for hospitality managers – or its companion Workbook.  Periodic re-readings are helpful in reminding you of basic leadership best practices.  An alternative would be to use the Leadership on the Go training material for weekly reviews of key leadership issues.
  2. Review your operation’s Organizational Values.  These basic statements of enterprise, management, and employee purpose are fundamental to everything you do.  Constant reminders are not only helpful, but also imperative to quality and service commitment.  Again, we recommend using the training on the go concept to review the foundational values of the organization.  See Values on the Go for more information.management-disciplines-on-the-go-85x1121
  3. Review or reread the Managers’ Handbook.  As with Leadership on the Line, should be required to periodically reread this essential management overview.  Reviewing it will refresh your understanding of the scope of your responsibilities and the management disciplines that underpin success.  Management Disciplines on the Go is another excellent tool to do this in small, incremental reviews.
  4. Periodically examine various or selected topics of Human Resources on the Go.  These reviews of human resource issues are essential to a better understanding of critically important legal and enterprise-mandated personnel practices.

Reviews of these four resources will make you a better leader/manager.  Each rereading will lead to a better understanding of your overall responsibilities.  No matter what your level of authority or responsibility, sharpening your grasp of the “big picture” is an essential element of keeping you at the top of your game.

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the hospitality industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers – those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hospitality hardworking  managers throughout the country and around the world.

Hospitality Resources International – Management Resources for the Hospitality Industry!

Leadership and the Bully Pulpit

Monday, September 9th, 2013

According to Wikipedia “A bully pulpit is a public office of sufficiently high rank that provides the holder with an opportunity to speak out and be listened to on any matter. The bully pulpit can bring issues to the fore that were not initially in debate, due to the office’s stature and publicity.”

The term was coined by President Teddy Roosevelt who frequently used the word “bully” to mean “superb” or “wonderful” and who recognized the power of his position in advancing causes such as the creation of a National Park System.

While hospitality leaders from General Managers to front line supervisors do not hold public office, the concept of a “bully pulpit” for leaders is just as real and can be just as effective in swaying the minds of employees.  This is particularly so when the leader is respected by her employees.

Some topics or areas where leaders can use the bully pulpit with their employees include:

  • Convincing employees of the benefits of participating in the organization’s retirement program.
  • Creating and fostering an organizational culture of service.
  • Building and sustaining a sense of commitment and teamwork.
  • Encouraging and advising employees on professional development and advancement opportunities.
  • Instilling a sense of ethics and professional behavior through the example of word and deed.

Using the bully pulpit is usually not a one time event.  An important idea or issue often requires ongoing promotion to make an impact on employees.  Take the case of President Gerald Ford’s Whip Inflation Now campaign.  After immediate ridicule of the idea and the “Win Buttons” in the press, the plan was dropped, never to be mentioned again.  Needless to say it never went anywhere despite the pressing nature of the issue.

On the other hand, take the example of Al Gore’s persistence in advocating green energy alternatives, even in the face of withering long-term criticism.  Whether you agree with his politics or not, it ultimately won him the Nobel Prize and green is now on everyone’s agenda.

Leaders, particular those who are effective and respected, have a wonderful opportunity to use the power of their positions to influence employees for their own good and the good of the organization.  Don’t miss an opportunity to make a difference by failing to recognize the power of your own “Bully Pulpit.”

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the hospitality industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers – those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hospitality hardworking  managers throughout the country and around the world.

Hospitality Resources International – Management Resources for the Hospitality Industry!

A Culture of Discipline

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Arguably the greatest business book to appear in the last quarter century is Jim Collins’ Good to Great, Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don’t.  In preparation for the book the author and his research team identified and examined 11 publicly traded companies that significantly outperformed their competitors for a period of 15 or more years to find out what made them so successful.  The findings were sometimes surprising, often at odds with conventional wisdom, but definitive in that they were based on empirical evidence, not business theory.

One of the findings is that all Good to Great companies had a culture of discipline.  Quoting from the book:

“Much of the answer to the question of ‘good to great’ lies in the discipline to do whatever it takes to become the best within carefully selected arenas and then seek continual improvement in these.  It’s really just that simple.”

Collins also says,

“A culture of discipline is not just about action.  It is about getting disciplined people who engage in disciplined thought and who then take disciplined action.”

Most of us recognize that our business is not rocket science.  The basics of what we do are well-known to any hospitality professional.  What makes our jobs so challenging is the sheer volume of things that must be attended to daily in a detail and people-intensive business.

Unless an operation is well-organized and its managers highly disciplined, it operates in a state of barely-controlled chaos interspersed with periods of downtime.  The challenge for all is to transition quickly from storm to calm back to storm while remaining focused on long term goals, ongoing projects, and continual process improvement.  The solution is to organize the operation so that most things happen routinely and that managers at all levels be highly disciplined in approaching their duties and efforts to improve the operation.

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the hospitality industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers – those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hospitality hardworking  managers throughout the country and around the world.

Hospitality Resources International – Management Resources for the Hospitality Industry!