How Common Is Common Sense In The Hospitality Industry?
Hospitality Coaching Solutions
Monday, 31st October 2005
If you are reading this as a restaurant or cafe owner then I am sure you have asked yourself this question many times.

The answer is not very common especially with the younger generation who tend to make up the bulk of hospitality wait staff. This is by no means a slur on our younger population it is just a fact that most of our young workers are short on experience, with experience you may just acquire common sense.

In my 25 years in this industry I have come across some beauties when it comes to lack of common sense. From staff throwing kerosene on the open fire and setting light to the restaurant to a young staff member being asked by a customer what is the soup? Her reply was it is the liquid that comes out in the bowl. Now whichever way you look at it both these issues needed serious work and they got it.

Owning a restaurant can certainly be an education when it comes to staff. And staff problems are by far the biggest headache in most businesses today. There is no doubt that there are many restaurants and cafes out there that spend far too much money on décor and far too little money on staff training.

If you could buy a robot that could do the job of a human in a restaurant do you think they would sell? I feel sadly the answer is yes. As we see in many other industries computers and machines are taking over many jobs and as a result fewer people are employed.

Why do you think some of the franchises are so successful? In my opinion it's because they keep their concepts so simple they could just about train monkeys to do what they are asking their employees to do ( slight exaggeration but I am sure you know what I mean. ) So it is not that important how much common sense or experience their staff have. They have simple procedures and easy to follow systems to guide their staff at all times.

Some of the restaurants and cafes are not that simple and just to compete in the market place they have to offer a larger variety of product, with that comes difficulty and complication.

So what can be done?

Well the first thing to do is have systems in place that simplify tasks and create some consistency within your business. Many people will talk about how important consistency is to your customer, this is true but it is also very important to your staff. And it is a fact of life that you have to have consistency before you can offer it.

Another important thing to remember is that your staff must know what you expect of them. Think back to when you were 18 years old, were you that good at communicating? Maybe not, this is why you have to be the one who communicates well. If you pass on the message well "They will get the message" and hopefully find some common sense along the way.

Good luck in your search


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