by Mike Holtzman
Working within the catering industry is not viewed as a glorious position in the general public’s eye. There is a lot of hard work, sweat and long hours. Yet food & beverage provides the second most profitable resource to many park’s bottom line.
We have the ability to change this image or stereotype. This change will create stronger employee relations, loyalty and better service to park guests. Here are a few techniques that can help all of us succeed:
Contribution. Recognise staff for achievements large and small. The majority of people like to be recognised in some form. Once is not enough. A constant positive feed to your team creates that motivation to do better. This positive approach can be contagious and will spread throughout the team. Service will be better and pride in the product will improve the service given and product itself. The key is showing you truly mean it.
Appreciation. Value everyone’s input. Let them know you heard and appreciated it. Trust them with the knowledge or details of the operations. They will feel valuable and will try to make a difference. Give them targets on how to cut costs or drive in more revenue.
Communicate. Keep staff informed. This will advance their knowledge, skills and emotional connection to the park or resort. Effective communication will also allow the team to feel accountable, give them ownership to the job and understanding to the goals ahead. Show staff guest comment letters, both positive and negative. Share your waste numbers, costs, revenue and strategic goals. Allow the team to drive together in one direction.
Invest. As loyalty begins to develop, so should the training and staff’s abilities. A lot of us appreciate when our leaders see potential in us and invest. We should always find ways for ourselves to invest in ourselves as well. Grow your knowledge, review different techniques and branch out in topics that relate to food and beverage. A $20 book may inspire or keep you as a strong leader.
Pro-action. If you plan ahead and prepare for any difficulties, you should be able to whether any storm. Working with all your team members and keeping a pulse on scheduling needs, facility operations and the ever-rotating season, you can predict staffing challenges. For example, when your younger team members are going back to college, you should already be hiring or scaling back your operation.
In the food & beverage industry, we can make an amazing impact by having a strong team that believes in us and our strategic goals/direction. This can definitely influence bottom line and service. Connect with your team and let them believe in the vital service you provide at your park or attraction. Follow this recipe and watch the food & beverage team become the most desirable item on your menu.
Mike Holtzman is president of Profitable Food Facilities, a hospitality design and consulting firm to recreational and family entertainment operations in the USA for the last 15 years. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.