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Restaurants on average spend about 6 percent of their revenues on marketing efforts to lure new customers and retain existing ones.

Most of these campaigns depict a restaurant staff that is prepared to meet or exceed your every need as a hotel guest. Even so, guest satisfaction survey results oftentimes contradict the notion that a restaurant employee will be ready, willing, and able to serve.


Readiness to perform the job consists of tangible things like the tools necessary to perform the job as well as intangibles such as the atmosphere or “mood” of the workplace which is shaped by a variety of factors including: employee treatment issues; morale; leadership, etc.

Managers need to be thinking about readiness daily and even hour-by-hour during the shifts they supervise. Managers work among a society of “boss watchers” who are always looking for cues. “What they see is what you’ll get.” If employees detect management’s skepticism about a corporate initiative, then they too will be skeptical. If management acts with indifference toward customers, then employees will feel justified in doing so as well. What they see is what you’ll get.


Motivation and enthusiasm are important traits of guest contact employees and, as compared to knowledge and skills, are not developed during the orientation and ongoing training process. An employee’s willingness to demonstrate a positive attitude at work and to enthusiastically serve the customer must be assessed during the hiring process.

Whether through the use of an applicant assessment such as Gallup’s StrengthsFinder or through a behavioral interview (i.e., asking questions of the applicant that are intended to elicit how he or she actually, as opposed to hypothetically, performed in given situations in the past), attitudinal characteristics that support an organization’s service mission such as the willingness to go the extra mile or be team-oriented must be validated prior to hiring the job candidate.


Employees always bring skills and abilities to the workplace. These have been developed in previous jobs, school, and through life experiences. It is the employer’s role, working with the employee, to ensure that one’s knowledge and skill levels increase throughout his employment experience. Oftentimes, training occurs more formally and less frequently such as classroom training. Training is more effective when it is presented less formally and more frequently such as on-the-job training, observations, feedback, etc.

It’s not uncommon for inconsistencies in one or more of these areas to contribute to a lackluster service experience for the customer. Regardless of where the problem lies, your customers expect for employees to be ready, willing, and able to provide the same level of service implied by your marketing consultant.

Related post: Keep Your Staff Happy


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