Archive for April, 2011

The Power of Thank You

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

The next time you have a good service experience say thank you! The effect can be magical.

Call me old fashioned or maybe even fashionable these days, but you can decide once you take the following into consideration.  Business is tough enough without making waves, or so I am told, but when did saying ‘Thank You’ become so difficult for us to realize the most basic of common courtesies?  I know each day in the restaurants and hotels we visit,  I  continue to be amazed at the amount of different types of people I interface with and how I am greeted, spoken to (or not) and what happens when I initiate a conversation with them.  I know we are all busy and caught up with our own life and issues – but there is no excuse for not being personable or polite, as we in the ‘Hospitality Industry.’  When did Please, Thank You and Your Welcome go out of style or leave our daily vernacular? I have always believed a smile and simple polite greeting go a long way in our world and can make the difference.

Recently, I needed to make an airline reservation using a certificate I had, that could not be used or booked online, which in today’s digital age many of us utilize.  So I called the reservation number and waited in the cue for an agent to answer my call.  The agent introduced herself as Judy and referred to me by Mr. Nyman, I then asked her to please call me Robert, which she then ‘thanked me for’ and continued to address me by my first name.  We finalized all of my reservation needs, then Judy thanked me for my business and then I thanked her for assisting me.  Before we both said goodbye, she asked if she could tell me something, she stated I was one of the few customers who took their time to say thank you in return!

It got me thinking; something I have always done and we continually train our clients’ staff to do is to thank the guest, but now I realize that is only half of the equation. When do we as restaurant and hotel guests thank the people who are taking care of us for the work they do, especially when they go out of their way to be helpful, polite or as some say the ‘extra mile?’

My challenge is to change the persona of the Hospitality Industry and our guests/customers and make it a two way street, or should I say make it into a full equation.  Just like we didn’t say the phase ‘you know’ as an answer or comment when we were speaking to someone, until just a few years ago, maybe the words Please, Thank You and Your Welcome could become as prevalent in our business again as most of us were raised to say them.

In every pre-shift meeting you have with your staff, instead of just talking to the team, maybe use please to preface a request and when a staff member offers a comment, say thank you and maybe they will even start to say you’re welcome – if you start the ball rolling.  If you’re in a hotel and walking the guest room hallways, and see a housekeeper or maintenance person, a quick greeting and thank you, will most likely make their day, as they are one of the areas of the hotel that guests seem typically not to verbally acknowledge or get a simple greeting.  When you have your management or executive team assembled, make it a ‘brand standard’ to address each other with please versus just talking at one another and then a sincere thank you at the end of each conversation.  At the end of a shift or if a person is leaving for the day, rather than just say goodbye, go around and personally thank each team member and maybe they will do the same for their fellow workers or better yet  for your guests!

This might all sound corny to some of you, but remember, we are trying to change the perception and attitude for each and every person who dines in your restaurants, stays in your hotels, uses or buys your products but it will take some time, and if we learn to address each other first with common courtesy, it will become contagious.  Or just call me old fashioned and call it a day.

 

[Read on Original Source]

Robert J. Nyman Featured on HotelInteractive.com

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

All of us at The Nyman Group are extremely proud as our President, Robert J. Nyman was asked by the great team at Hotel Interactive to pen a piece for their website. Robert’s first entry was titled “the Hotel World Has Changed, So Must Your F&B!” You can click HERE to read the entire entry. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did. We also learned that Robert has been asked to write a second entry that will be featured on the hospitality website as part of an ongoing series of thoughts, advice and stories from a hospitality professional.

The World Has Changed, So Must Your F&B!

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

You have got to be better than your local restaurant competition when it comes to F&B. Here’s how to get started.

Just when you thought things were getting better, we are now facing turmoil in the Middle East, rising gas prices and some uncertainty in the additional costs in doing business.  I guess you too remember when Jimmy Carter was President, since that is the last time, until the present day, that those multiple situations have occurred.  But we have faced many worldwide issues, business costs escalating and the Hospitality Industry continues to survive and in many years prosper too.  Looking at the past is no sure fired barometer for the future; however we can most certainly learn by our successes and failures as we chart the new ground and challenges currently facing us.

We have learned to move faster, quicker and with more decisiveness as the world is forever evolving as to what our respective guests/customers are anticipating in hospitality, service, entertainment, ambiance and of course food and libations.  I for one do not believe in the old adage “one size fits all,” oh sure a certain part of our guests like to “have it their way,” but it appears more and more that our customers or should we say “guests,” want some type of individuality, uniqueness or just a differentiator from the rest of the marketplace.

The rise of individual style in hotels, more personalized service, attention to the smallest details and the constantly evolving of new food items and specialty cocktails and small craft beers are definitely in vogue.  For sure there is a segment of the hospitality industry that believe the “cookie cutter” approach is what guests are looking for and they point to Starbucks and McDonalds and others as to offering a consistent product and guest satisfaction.  However, why is there now some hotel companies outsourcing their Food & Beverage operations? Well it’s likely this is because of guest dissatisfaction with the current and sometime dated offerings, poor sales, an ROI with their existing offerings and lack of attention to guests likes and dislikes when it comes to food, concept and ambiance. So are we going thru a metamorphis of change?

As we travel around from city to city it is obvious there is a distinct difference of opinion about what works and what doesn’t as it relates to what’s the best approach to hotel and restaurant food, beverage and most importantly guest satisfaction.  The concept that a restaurant is an amenity to a hotel operation seems to be fading from the current thinking and business model.

As an example I recently asked a Corporate F&B Executive of a large national and international hotel chain their overall approach to new restaurants for their various hotel projects, he outlined for me that if they could they would lease out as many restaurants as they could in their hotels, but couldn’t because of two reasons, first most hotel owners “expect” the company to operate the restaurant at the hotel for profit and reputation and second, they are reluctant to make investments or deals with outside restaurant ventures as it is not their philosophy.

On the other hand there is another major hotel company that recently offered up most their entire portfolio of hotels for outsourcing, including some hotels complete F&B operations with catering, room service and bar/lounge too!  So which company and executive is correct, will time tell the answer or guest satisfaction scores or maybe the ROI?

I suggest that if you want to find the answer and where we are going for the future, you survey your area hotel and restaurant competition, look at the performance of several F&B operations and measure them against your own, be fair in your appraisal and then rank your own operation against the others and give each a score on a 25 point scale using 1 as the lowest score and 5 as the highest for the following areas; concept, menu offering, service, reputation/guest ratings and once you have compiled your findings share them with your management team – but first ask them to rate your operation and competition too.  Then the next step to take and it’s a slippery slope, offer to your top guests or corporate clients the opportunity to dine at the top three restaurants in your survey as your guest – and see what they chose, then you will have a true barometer of guest satisfaction and popularity.  As they say, be careful what you wish for and be prepared for some cold water and disappointment if they don’t choose your restaurant.  But if you want to know where we are going, it certainly will give you some food for thought—or better yet some thought for food for the future.

 

[Read on Original Source]