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Things to Keep on Top to Become Successful in the Hospitality Industry

Many years ago, I heard the phrase “People will forget what you said, forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It has stuck with me ever since, because of how accurate it is. Encompassing everything from hotels, restaurants and bars, to amusement parks, cinemas and sport, the hospitality industry is notoriously difficult to survive in. For those that do survive, it’s because their guests or customers never forgot how they were made to feel.

Everyday people spend their hard earned income and sparse free time, seeking pleasure from hospitality businesses around the world. Each day, those businesses are judged on their efforts, their product, and what sets them apart from the rest of the pack. The public can be unforgiving. There is no “one size fits all” method of success. 

So what makes this industry tick?

Focusing on the guest or the customer will give you the best chance at success. They’re at the heart of the hospitality industry. Do not let your guests be confused with what is on offer. No matter what service you provide, or what goods you deliver, you need to have defined brand standards and a clear group of individuals who recognise the value in what you do. This means that both quality of service and reliability must be on the money. Because there’s always room for a good, new product, if people don’t like what you’re offering, you won’t see them return. 

Danny Meyer, the founder of Shake Shack and the Gramercy Tavern, once said: “Hospitality is almost impossible to teach. It’s all about hiring the right people.” Which means that just as important as the product is the quality of the service you are providing – so good employees, who are on brand, are essential. Then it’s all about managing those employees – finding managers and supervisors who understand and know how to communicate with different cultures, using different management styles. Know what motivates your staff in order to get the best from them. Hospitality is a people-driven business, so you have to understand human behaviour. Accept peoples’ differences and individuality, and know get an understanding of what motivates people. Not only will you then understand what the market needs, you’ll gain an edge over competitors by creating unique experience that builds customer loyalty. This remains the same for suppliers and vendors that you work with too, as people will work better if they feel valued.

As a hospitality business, put your best foot forward and focus on creating a dream team of friendly, energetic and valued staff – because this translates into the guest experience. And when your guests have an amazing experience, they become advocates who come back. Not only will they use your product again themselves, they’ll recommend it to others. The biggest challenge is to inspire your team with your vision and keep communication open. Always share information. It’s vital that everyone knows and understands why a brand does what it does, where the company’s at, what they’re hoping to achieve, and how they’re planning to get there. A sense of shared ownership ensure that the team gets involved when it comes to achieving the company’s goals.

It’s also incredibly important to be flexible and develop your offering as you grow – testing the market and learning from your guests. Understand the environment you operate in, the changing guest behaviours, what competitors are doing differently, new trends affecting the industry, and the dynamics of a changing marketplace. It’s so important to always keep learning. Entering an established market with a new product is hard, as people already know what they like and what they want. But with a great product, supported by a solid and hospitable team, and experience in the market, you can actually deliver a product of great value. 

It’s said that excellence is not a single act, but a habit. If that’s true, then the greatest hospitality businesses focus on the smallest details and ensure that they land them every time.