A daily briefing (with the whole team if numbers are small enough to make this logistically possible is ideal, or by department) can update everyone on anything that affects that day’s operation. It’s also a great way to get feedback from them too on things that need addressing sooner rather than later.
Cover such information as:
Special needs (e.g. disabled guests, special diets)
Regular guests and any known preferences, so staff can anticipate their requirements
Today’s menu and tasting, with details of all the ingredients of each dish, what to promote today, and what’s in short supply (even if only one dish has changed from yesterday’s menu, make sure it is communicated)
What special offers, events or deals you have coming up that need to be mentioned
What other activity there is in the hotel or surrounding area that could affect service in any way, e.g. maintenance, road works, concerts, weather.
Staff shortages, and cover of responsibilities
These actions ensure your staff are fully briefed and competent to deal with any guest’s queries or concerns.
A daily briefing also provides an opportunity for you to get feedback on any guest comments. You can discuss any questions or suggestions your team may have about operational issues that could have a bearing on the level of service or sales potential of the hotel. So, even on your busiest mornings make sure these briefings still happen – it’s generally on the days that are your busiest that things go wrong, and it’s generally your busiest days when you have the best opportunities for increasing sales.
There’s nothing more frustrating, and demotivating for staff than lack of communication and being kept in the dark. Unless people know what’s expected of them and what’s going on you’ll end up with an unhappy team, and ultimately an impact on performance levels and increased staff turnover.
Hopefully the communication starts with a thorough induction, which includes not only an outline of their job and what’s expected of them, but how their contribution fits into the bigger picture, the values and culture of the business and an insight into what happens in other parts of the business.
But recognise that a one-off training session will never be enough.
Your staff need to be kept up-to-date all the time. They need to know what is going on in the business, and how this will affect them and they need feedback on how they are doing. Here are four ways to keep your staff up to date and let them know their contribution is important and valued.
Tomorrow we’ll look at the importance of the daily briefing.
This weekend the Christmas party season gets well under way. Even if you are not as busy as in previous years the chances are you’ll be taking on some extra staff. But are they an asset or a liability? If all you do is give them an order pad and tell them to get on with it, they could be doing more harm than good to your Christmas profits.
Here are my top 10 basics to cover with any new member of staff, whether for the Christmas rush or at any other time of year.
Teamwork is key. Introduce new staff to the whole team, defining everyone’s areas of responsibility to ensure no gaps and no duplication of effort, Avoid the frictions that occur when someone hasn’t pulled their weight or others are seen to ‘interfere’ with your way of doing things.
Don’t leave them floundering or too scared to ask for help. Establish a clear line of reporting, and who to go to for help and guidance when needed – ensuring, of course, that this person will be patient and supportive when asked.
Everyone needs to know what’s expected of them from day one. Clarify basic standards of dress, staff behaviour, time keeping, break allowance, staff meals, security, food safety, health and safety.
First impressions count. Specify your establishment’s standards for welcoming and greeting customers, including the booking procedures if this is part of their role.
What is their role in up-selling, and what are the products you want them to promote, including any future events? If your core team are incentivised, make sure you include seasonal staff in the scheme.
People can’t sell something they don’t know exists. Ensure a thorough product knowledge – what does your establishment offer – times of service, complementary products, etc. Let your staff taste the dishes, explain what accompanies each dish and what it should look like, what prices include and what’s extra (especially with fixed menus or party packages).
Establish protocol in dealing with difficult situations, customer complaints, and awkward customers. Define the line between handling themselves and when to seek intervention from a manager or more experienced staff member
Run through the payment procedures, including any security procedures or checks needed.
Avoid being let down at the last minute – Provide out of hours contact numbers and establish procedures for sickness reporting.
Maintain your reputation as a good employer. Treat seasonal staff well, and they will be willing to come back next time you need an extra hand. Give them something to look forward to and keep them interested for the whole season. Involve them in any after work social activities and maybe some incentive awarded at the end of the season.
Here’s to a very successful and profitable Christmas season