I was sitting in an upmarket high scale restaurant in the heart of Delhi and waiting for my wine, and discussing with my friend about overall service industry as the whole. We both come from very well organized sector where polices were formulated even before we start hiring. I have been luckily part of most of the startups in my life where I was responsible for human capital management.
Discussions around processes, automation was obvious, as we both came from organized sectors, where L&D (learning and development) have always been core part of the organization and this not only was well understood by top management but also helped in building capability for entry level.
I had read an article on Michelin Star restaurant. I got in touch with few of my friends in the industry to get a better idea about service standards across the globe.
I also read a thread /discussion on service charges in f&b and came across a statement, where one of the restaurateurs argued that since they are known for service and hospitality ( and my mind ran through – “athithi devo bhav “), service charges are justified. I was amused to read the thread and the statements that came from the restaurant owner. Well, we will leave service charges for the moment and stick to service standard.
I often come across a statement – “It was a bad day at restaurant”; “Chef was not available that day”; “Supply was not the usual” and many other such statements. Well, according to me, these are excuses and if you are eyeing to give world class experience to your guests, you need to up your game/service.
In F&B, we do not find a structured department and minimal focus is on L&D. There aren’t many discussions around employees’ career growth and aspirations.
One of the interesting stories shared by my friend who is also from F&B says – Forget about anything , here you tell the guys – start your work from tomorrow and this is your dress In a fast moving environment where service is considered to be the key for successfully running a restaurant, we hardly have any focus on training.
Besides training, there aren’t structured and motivational benefit plans for the service staff. I remember the discussion on various food groups where the notification came about service charge. It was really sad to read those comments that most of the salaries come from service charge.
I remember last time when I wrote about service standard in a couple of restaurants where I have been for meals with my family, for various special occasions and because of poor service those special days were ruined. And think of it, because of those experiences, I might never visit them again.
I would like to sum with my quote from the last post
Any café and restaurants should meet the basic criteria of:
- Servers should be given guidance about cleanliness and professional appearance
- Service body language and what is appropriate
- Articulate standards specific to the restaurant
- Protect customers from foodborne hazards
- Know the menu and instilling right /pleasant behavior
Restaurants employ staff to serve patrons as well as new customers. Great customer experience is an essential that delivers and creates a memorable experience for dining guests. An ongoing training would not just help in creating success stories of happy customers, but would also lead to increase in business!
#UrbanInitiative – Beyond Food
This story is part of our new initiative called #UrbanInitiative – Beyond Food where we will be focussing on areas that requires improvement and bring out stories that are important and desirable for elevating the entire F&B industry.