Hospitality Hinges on the Guest Experience

Go to the theatre and you will find that everything works seamlessly and on time. There is a small village of people working tirelessly to ensure that the performance you experience is simply stunning. Of course, you will never see all the behind the scenes work that takes place. There are technicians, runners, riggers, musicians and a lot of other people that play their part. At the end of the performance the audience clap, cheer and rise to their feet to show their appreciation of the production. A standing ovation from the audience is a great reward for any theatre company. Their guests enjoyed the show.

When it comes to the guest experience in hospitality there are lots of similarities to theatre production. Numerous people work behind the scenes that the guests will never see. Just think of the kitchen porter that is working hard. Or the housekeeping staff that clean your room and make your bed. These staff play a major part in the service that is delivered. More obviously, the front of house staff can easily become your new best friends. You see them in action, just like the performers on the stage at the theatre. Hard work that is co-ordinated from a small army of dedicated staff all contribute to your guest experience.

With advances in social media and online review sites, such as, Trip Advisor, guests can easily make their views known. The customer experience has never been under as much scrutiny as it is today. It’s imperative that hospitality service remains at the forefront for any business that wants repeat clients and rave reviews. Organisations cannot afford to deliver anything other than quality service for each and every guest, time after time. Just like the theatre production company, a service worthy of a standing ovation needs to be delivered.

Hotels big and small

There are thousands of hotels to choose from. Whether it is a budget hotel or 5 Star luxury, every guest will expect a great experience. It is completely natural. Why would anyone want to pay for a poor experience?
Hospitality is provided in all shapes and sizes, but quality service remains the constant requirement, regardless of hotel size. It has to be delivered.

The First World Hotel is the largest hotel in the world. If you fancy a stay then you will need to take a trip to Pahang, Malaysia. Once there you will need to set your alarm at a time to beat the breakfast rush. With 7,351 rooms it could be a crush. However, no doubt the hotel will have it all under control and be able to serve the much needed early morning coffee to each and every guest.

Turning from the largest hotel in the world to the smallest one, the Eh'häusl Hotel in Germany, holds the Guinness World Record for being the world's smallest hotel, with just 53 metres of floor space. The entire building is just 2.5 metres wide.

You can reserve the whole hotel for two people and experience an unforgettable stay with a luxurious ambiance. The hotel provides a flat screen TV, music throughout, a fireplace with a glass screen, a rainbow coloured whirlpool and of course a room for the night. It sounds delightful, but you can be sure that the two guests will expect flawless service and early morning coffee without a need to rush for breakfast.

Restaurants of all shapes and sizes

The guest experience at a restaurant is dependent on outstanding service being provided. Whether you are, having a meal at the biggest restaurant in the world, the smallest one, or at a restaurant in the middle of these two extremes, the delivery of great service to customers has to be front and centre.

It would be interesting to consider how the guest experience is delivered at the largest restaurant in the world. This is the Bawabet Dimashq Restaurant (Damascus Gate Restaurant) which has 6,014 seats. They must have all sorts of extra help provided for guests. You wonder if they provide their guests with mini maps of the restaurant. Can you imagine trying to find your seat again after a rest room break? The restaurant wouldn’t want their guests to get lost on their way back to re-join their table, as that would negatively affect the guest experience.

Finding your table in the one of the world’s smallest restaurants is unlikely to require the help of a mini map. It’s unclear which of these three restaurants is the smallest but the one thing they have in common is that they each consist entirely of one table. Think of that, a one table restaurant. Would that make it easier or harder to deliver exceptional guest service?

In Salzburg, Austria is the Dinner for 2 restaurant. This one table restaurant is perched on the top floor of a castle that was built in 1350. This was home to the Monastery of St. Peter for hundreds of years and is today the Hotel Schloss Mönchstein. Despite its name of Dinner for 2, up to four guests can be catered for. Guests sit on red velvet couches in the restaurant’s one room enjoying the food from a menu personalised just for their own dining party.

In Finland, you will find the Kuappi restaurant. This restaurant is in a small yellow wood cabin down by the water. It is in the small town of Iisalmi, which is in the middle of Finland. There is just enough room for one table and two chairs.

Finally, to restaurant Solo per Due, in Vacone, Italy. This is a gourmet restaurant located on an Italian estate once owned by a poet. The restaurant is all about personalised service for two guests and two guests only per night. This service extends beyond the meal. Think of having your own firework display or you could pretend to be ‘James Bond ‘for the evening and drive to dinner in a Ferrari. It can all be arranged as part of the guest experience. When requesting your perfect evening, just don’t ask the price. If you have to ask, maybe this restaurant is not for you.

Superlative Service

Exemplary service is the key for a successful business in hospitality. It doesn’t matter if it is serving a meal for two people in one of the smallest restaurants or providing a room in the biggest hotel in the world, the service needs to be special. Guests and clients, wherever they eat, or wherever they stay, expect nothing less. They want to feel well looked after, they want value for money and they want to be able to say they invested their time wisely. Ultimately, as they would at the theatre, they want to be able to rise to their feet and give a standing ovation for the guest experience they received. As every waiter knows the restaurant equivalent of a standing ovation is a sizeable tip. What a great ending and acknowledgement of service that would be.

About LTR Hospitality

Learn Train Recruit (LTR) is a London based recruitment and training provider for the hospitality sector. With experienced staff that have been involved in all areas of hospitality, LTR provides trained, reliable and enthusiastic staff for venues, hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars, events and exhibitions.

If you need help sourcing staff then just contact LTR on 020 7357 9869 or email - info@learntrainrecruit.com

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