The nature of the hospitality industry can mean that you are thrown into a role with short notice or minimal training, and expected to learn new skills and processes on the job. This particularly applies to front of house workers; waiters, floor staff, and bar staff.
For venues that have a high or seasonal turnover of staff, (that employ numerous casual workers or that are hiring you to replace someone who left unexpectedly), there simply might not be time to offer you much training when you begin your role. Beyond an initial induction and instructions, it can be difficult to access comprehensive training from busy venue owners and managers.
We have put together a few signs to look out for if you’re concerned you might need more on-the-job training, and some ideas on how to access it.
1. Your customers are cranky
No matter what area of hospitality you work in, and no matter how much experience and knowledge you have in your particular service area, unhappy customers will be inevitable - and often, it has nothing to do with your service abilities!
But, if you find that you’re getting more unhappy customers than usual, or that customers seem to be treating your colleagues differently, it might mean that you need more training in service and communication. Striking the right balance between professionalism and friendly interaction can be tricky, as can ensuring that every customer’s need is met, particularly if you work in a busy venue.
2. You’ve made a few too many customer order mistakes
We all make mistakes sometimes, and often customers will understand if you accidentally bring them the carbonara instead of the porterhouse, as long as it is cleared up quickly.
But, if you are finding that orders are being sent back regularly, or you aren’t getting the correct orders through tofrom the kitchen, a number of issues could be at play. Whether you haven’t quite had time to decipher the menu, are making mistakes when taking orders, or having communication issues with the kitchen, training is available to help you hone those skills - and it’s nothing to be ashamed of!
3. You can't find a flow
For many servers and bar staff, it can take a number of weeks on the job before you find that perfect flow in your work practice; after you have learned the ropes and developed your own service style in a new venue.
But, if you’re a little further down the line than that and don’t feel quite right or often feel flustered at work, it’s possible that you just need a little more training to figure out what works best for you. Working in the service industry can mean you don’t have time to slow down and figure out what is tripping you up or slowing you down; so think about taking some time to complete a training course and find your ideal flow.
4. You just can’t remember the wine list
This is one of the trickiest jobs for any server or bar attendant. Long wine lists are revered by customers, but for the servers who have to memorize them and make recommendations, it can be a nightmare! Not only do you need to remember complicated names and regions, within a few weeks on the job you may be expected to be able to make informed recommendations to customers.
This is one of the primary areas where servers feel under-trained and unequipped to complete the task - so if you’re feeling wobbly with the wine list, think about getting some more training to learn the difference between a Sauvignon Blanc and a Chardonnay.
5. Your manager is frustrated
We’ll preface this one by saying that your venue or floor manager should never show their frustration with you, and should be doing everything they can to support you in your role.
But, we are all human and sometimes managers let their frustration slip or are simply too busy to give you the appropriate training. Whether it’s a look across the room if you make an order mistake, or they pull you up after your shift to ask you if everything is okay, it’s not a great feeling. That one-on-one chat is the perfect time to let them know that you need more on-the-job training and support.
Typsy offers a number of different training courses and individual lessons to help front of house staff hone their skills and get ahead of the game. Whether it’s our crash course for front of house staff, lessons in great customer service, our course on understanding and recommending wine, or delivering passionate service, there’s something for everyone available. Take a look at our courses now and empower yourself with more on-the-job training.
Let Tyspy help with your hospitality training, learn more here.
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