Thirty-five years in hospitality management have proven to me that etiquette is a basic training requirement for all employees.Â To expect that a wide assortment of employees with diverse backgrounds and socio-economic life experiences will have an appropriate understanding of the expected behaviors and decorum for a hospitality operation is unrealistic in the extreme.
So like any other management expectation of its employees, such as dress and grooming standards and the requirements and rules of conduct, etiquette must be taught consistently to all employees.Â To ensure this consistency, several years ago I created a Power Point presentation that presented and discussed the concept of good manners under the following six topics:
- Respect for others, both members and fellow employees.
- Common courtesies such as attitude, mood, and smiles; using names and titles when addressing customers/guests/members; using please and thank you, yes ma’am and no sir; interrupting personal conversations; stepping aside and holding doors; offering assistance; inappropriate personal habits such as smoking, drinking, eating, and chewing gum in front of customers; and the need to take breaks out of view.
- Appropriate and inappropriate words and phrases and the need to act naturally and sincerely in all interactions with customers.
- How body language can convey unintended messages.
- The importance and impact of tone of voice.
- Alertness and responsiveness to customers at all times.
- Focus on the task at hand and satisfying customers.
This Power Point presentation was designed as a basic introduction to appropriate behaviors and decorum, but it was fully expected that managers and supervisors continue to reinforce and expand upon the concepts of etiquette in all they said and did.Â Most importantly, etiquette would be continually discussed in Daily Huddle meetings where actual service situations and issues are reviewed.
The end result of basic etiquette training and ongoing discussion of appropriate behaviors and decorum is a staff with a uniform understanding of the finer points of service in all their interactions with customers, guests, and members.
Thanks and have a great day!
This weekly blog comments on and discusses the hospitality industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers â€” 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 hardworkingÂ managers throughout the country and around the world.
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