Raising the BaristaRaising the Barista

By Justin McGurgan

Six steps to feedback success

Six Steps To Feedback Success

1. Accept responsibility – ‘Take the opportunity’

This is an opportunity to rectify a service fault that may not have otherwise been brought to your attention. From the moment that you are aware that the guest has some negative feedback, accept responsibility for the outcome of the issue. That means that no matter what your role is within the business you are going to see it through to a successful outcome.

2. Listen (empathy) – ‘Put yourself in their shoes’

While you are listening to the guest ask yourself this How would I feel if I was in the same situation as this guest?”

Show the guest that you are taking in what they are saying; you can do this by:

  • eye contact
  • nodding your head
  • verbally acknowledging the guest
  • showing a look of concern (genuine)
  • if necessary, taking notes.

3. Respond – ‘Show your concern’

When responding to the guest’s feedback, never be flippant. No matter what the nature of the feedback is, it should be treated as the most important thing in the guest’s life. When responding to the guest’s feedback we should show genuine concern. In order to show the guest that you are serious about resolving their issue repeat the information back to the guest, to ensure that you have the facts straight. Only when you are confident that you have all the information you require from the guest, should you move on to the next step.

4. Decide on action – ‘Make a decision’

The action you will need to take will depend on a number of different variables.

  • Can you solve it yourself or should you pass it on to your superior?
  • Have you been empowered to deal with some issues but not with others?
  • What is the nature of the feedback, is it service related, attitudinal, mechanical or other?

5. Take action – ‘Do it now!’

Don’t delay in speaking to whomever you need to, so as to resolve the issue.

    • Don’t get caught up with other phone calls or any other issues until you have taken whatever action you are empowered to take.
    • Don’t serve anyone else until you have taken action on this issue.
    • Do whatever is necessary to solve the problem.
    • Do tell the guest what you are doing to address their feedback.
    • Do inform all relevant team members of all necessary action that has been taken.

6. Follow up – ‘It’s not over yet’

At the start of this process you agreed to take responsibility for the outcome of this issue.

No matter what action you took you still have an obligation to follow-up. If back at the ‘Take action’ stage the only action you could take was to pass on the feedback to your manager, you still have a role to play now.

Follow-up could mean any or all of the following:

  • going up to the guest and asking them if they are happy with the outcome
  • asking your manager what he/she did to rectify the situation
  • putting systems into place to prevent the same negative feedback from being given again
  • increasing training to minimise a reoccurrence of the incident
  • making sure all relevant team members are aware of the outcome of the issue.

If the guest, for whatever reason is still not happy with the outcome from the action taken, you must go back to step two and follow the procedure through again. It is not necessary to go all the way back to step one as you have already taken responsibility.

By Justin McGurgan

Good to Great: The magic of an awesome Service Culture

Service Culture is not a competitive point of different it is the competitive point of different. It is the difference between being Good and Great.  Justin McGurgan, author of “Raising The BARista” explains why there has never been a better time to focus on achieving a profitable and sustainable service culture at your venue.

Are you in a hospitality business but struggling to take your business to the next level?
Learn more about “Raising The BARista” the book, the author and the service culture program designed especially for hospitality businesses.


By Susan Dennison

The way to build a community of fans… faster

The happiest and most successful businesses are those that know who they are. They are the ones who have taken the risk to be different, who create their own spotlight and through their uniqueness, they manage to build a community of fans… faster.

They are the businesses that sit back and bask in the glory of success while others admire from afar and wonder how they do it.

Finding, owning and unleashing your own identity is the most powerful way of increasing sales. To us, it is a no brainer as we see it all the time in what we do.

It is all about creating lasting impressions and enriching experiences for our customers.

By Susan Dennison

Why Knowing your people will pay dividends

Never before has the need for leaders to understand what influences people’s behaviour been quite so important. The expectation by employers and business is that, whether it be a start-up business, a renovation, or a redirection, getting people to engage and invest in our business is the most important step.

When we consider the characteristics, traits and the widely differing personalities we all encounter it’s not unfair to say there are those who are immediately engaging and those who are not, those who are introverted and those who are out there.

Keeping up regular assessments of your team’s personality traits is essential to maintain a good customer service orientation.
Like any good system, investing in a balanced team to keep all members challenged (for those who need challenging) is a good thing. Remain constant (for those who need reassurance), use humour and make things fun (for those who tend to get extremely serious), remain focussed and encouraging (for those who don’t find coming forward easy).

The joy for hospitality businesses is that no one set of traits is likely to be more popular than any others. There are so many different types of jobs and skills to be performed that we can safely say there may be some characteristic traits more suited to some roles than others.

It’s not about carrying the wrong people, it’s about the right people doing jobs that best reflect their personalities rather than being stifled in jobs that don’t reflect their personalities – the classic ‘round pegs in square holes’.

For each identified trait there will be advantages and disadvantages. The essential ingredient here is not to put greater value on one over the other but better still to see how a particular type can improve the value of the team and match a particular group of responsibilities.

Success for our future is in recognising the amazing potential in our teams, and in our leaders.

Celebrating their differences, and then applying those differences to the varied roles you have.

By Justin McGurgan

Reel in more guests: hook, line and sinker

Reel in more guests: hook, line and sinker

After more guests? It won’t happen floating impassively in a “Sea of Ordinary.”

In an increasingly competitive market, quality of service to the customer is crucial to success and reeling in more guests.

We cannot afford to be complacent. The hospitality industry is dynamic, consumers are more sophisticated and knowledgeable.
If we are to maintain or grow our business, we must continue to retain existing customers as well as attract new ones – particularly in view of the fact that it costs at least six times more to get a new customer as it does to keep an existing one.

Service quality is critical to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction and therefore business competitiveness and profitability. We must put the Hospitality back into Hospitality.

Putting the hospitality back into hospitality means focusing on communication, customer relations, engagement and service.
Focussing on skill development, versatility, innovation, self-reliance and self-confidence will turn ordinary into extraordinary and reel the guests in hook, line and sinker.

Great service experiences driven from a strong culture and identity are not only incredibly rare, they are also pretty unexpected. This is where your opportunity lies.

More guests more often is all about Culture. Do you have your Culture niche happening?
How do you put your critical culture essentials into practise everyday to WOW your guests?
Do your team know the true meaning of service and the results “great service” harvests?
Do your team know what makes service memorable, unexpected, emphatic and authentic?
Do you believe you are brilliant at customer service or just good?
Do you have any strategies in place to do anything “differently” therefore “memorable?”
How do you ensure there is lots of hospitality in your hospitality business?

The truth is, lasting impressions are made at the edges, where people step outside the normal and expected
routines and do something different.

That’s the thing about hospitality service, unless it’s awesome or bloody terrible, it tends to wash over us in a ‘sea of ordinary’.

By Susan Dennison

The #7 mistake underperforming hospitality businesses make

#7 Mistake: Being too willing to follow others than take the lead

Let’s face it. Service in the hospitality industry can be very beige at times – we have the opportunity to take the lead.

The guest expectation has changed and so must we if we wish to survive and succeed.

No longer is service the key – it is now about creating experiences for our guests that make an emotional connection.

The food, beverage, entertainment and other services we provide are a stage from which we can engage with our guests.

If we create outstanding guest experiences, we create happy guests and happy guests come back again and again.

By Justin McGurgan

The #6 mistake underperforming hospitality businesses make

#6 Mistake: Thinking that average is acceptable

The power of quality guest service is in the hands of all business managers and team members.

Many businesses know what and when to do it, but not WHY authentic and genuine guest service is such an important reason when guests choose where to go for hospitality.

Older and new generations alike are embracing ‘personal service, loyalty and referrals’, and there is a huge opportunity for those businesses that have a true ‘heart’ connection with their guests and a big threat to those that don’t.

By Justin McGurgan

The #5 mistake underperforming hospitality businesses make

#5 Mistake: Not realising how important it is to be getting guests to say “wow”

Imagine what it would be like to have a business that was truly different. A business where guests receive a ‘wow’ service experience every time.

Imagine a business where guests keep coming back because it provides an extraordinary level of guest service.

A business where team members and managers are confident, leading to increased numbers of guests, increased average spend per visit and increased number of visits per guest.

All of this culminates in a win-win-win environment for team, guests and the business.

Is your business beige or bold?

By Dallas McMillan

The #4 mistake underperforming hospitality businesses make

#4 Mistake: Believing flat or declining income is the economy’s fault

Many businesses exhibit a number of common problems associated with being ‘task focussed’ instead of ‘service focussed’.

Problems such as team apathy, inconsistent service and operational standards, lack of flair and creativity and inadequate team supervision and support are common throughout the industry.

Combine this with poor communication and respect between team and management, lack of team knowledge of key business benchmarks, no responsibility for budget achievement and a team unsure of how to add value to the guests’ experience, and it’s no wonder revenue is flat or declining in a lot of businesses.

It’s not the economy’s fault.

By Justin McGurgan

The #3 mistake underperforming hospitality businesses make

#3 mistake – Pushing marketing out instead of pulling people in

“In a digital world, where people are increasingly responding and reacting, rather than appraising and analysing, feeling trumps logic and telling is a tiny part of what we do. Words matter, but actions speak louder”. Bernadette Jiwa

We all know how much value we give to word of mouth recommendations.

If a friend praises a business, we are far more likely to believe them than any recommendation we come across in traditional advertising. So, naturally, if we are told that a business loves helping guests, goes out of its way to solve problems and really cares for its guests, we are more likely to choose that business over a competitor.

There are enormous benefits in becoming a business renowned for awesome service.

Spending 10 per cent of your marketing budget on creating excellent service is a great marketing tool which will result in the best form of marketing – ‘word of mouth’. Not only that but your guests will come more often, will bring others with them and will spend more per head.

Satisfied guests are prepared to pay higher prices too.

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