Five Essential Skills for Hospitality Staff
Working in hospitality is not as easy as you might think. Both physically and mentally taxing, it’s a wonder our staff pull it off with so much elegance. We’re taking a look at the five most essential traits that make for great hospitality staff.
There’s an art to good grooming. It’s more than just combing your hair and ironing your uniform – it’s an attitude and a posture too. Hospitality staff need to project the kind of confidence that says implicitly that they have everything under control. That may not always be the case, but when staff look dazzling, everything they do looks dazzling as well.
To work effectively around hot, meticulously arranged food, delicate glassware, and picture-perfect table settings, you’ve got to be well aware of the location of your limbs at all times! A great waiter can sweep through a crowd with a loaded tray the same way an experienced chef can coordinate the controlled chaos of a working kitchen. In some ways, it’s like a sixth sense!
Every event, every job, and every client is different, and hospitality staff don’t have much time to do independent research in preparation. And no matter how much you prepare, things can change in an instant in the middle of a busy job. Hospitality is all about watching, listening, and communicating clearly and effectively. Staff need to be a well-oiled machine. That can only happen when all the different parts of the machine are on the same page.
Quickly try to remember what you ordered last time you ate out and how much it cost. Now imagine trying to remember a menu that you’ve only been verbally briefed on at the start of an event. And it’s not just menus and requests that need to be stored securely in the memory bank of great hospitality staff, it’s types of glasses, types of silverware, volumes of ingredients, special dietary requests, and tiny gestures that make a world of difference to the service. Phew!
At the end of the day, as the name would imply, hospitality is about caring. Looking after people is our business, and we do it with a smile. Making sure people are happy and comfortable and enjoying themselves is a reward unto itself. Great hospitality staff make caring for others part of their livelihood, and that’s what makes them so special and important. Even without the other skills, a happy and enthusiastic attitude for the work is a very fine start.