This week Kew Green Hotels has been celebrating our Food & Beverage Team Members because we quite literally wouldn’t have a business without them! They’re our front-line, the face of the business and a huge contribution to why we have been so successful.
Because our team are accelerating in their mission from Good to Great to #Outstanding, we wanted to share some of their secrets with you!
The most important thing when looking for a Food & Beverage Team Member is the person. At Kew Green Hotels, when we’re looking for a team member to join the F&B Assistant function, we see previous experience as a bonus. What we look for first, is how the candidate comes across on the phone and face to face. So… before interviewing, consider:
- Do you come across as warm and open?
- Can you communicate confidently?
- Are you a natural people person?
Many restaurants have regular or returning customers purely based on the level of customer service they receive. This is something we pride ourselves in at Kew Green Hotels and is why we recruit our team members based on their interaction and interpersonal skills, and not just on previous experience.
You need to be able to adapt your approach because every customer and every situation is different: some guests will be hosting a business meeting – requiring an efficient and professional approach – whilst others will want you to engage with them – opening the opportunity to show real interest – bonus points if you remember what you learned about your customer for next time they visit your restaurant!
Customers hate to wait and chefs can become frustrated when orders aren’t served when they’re ready. Time management is KEY:
- Greet the customer warmly as soon as they arrive (or at least as soon as you possibly can) – that welcome sets up the mood for the whole experience. You only get one chance to make that all important first impression!
- Learn what the different cooking times are for food so you can:
- Advise if there is something that takes a particularly long time, managing the expectations of the customer
- Manage your time accordingly so that you’re ready to go when it is and you are focusing on other tasks in the meantime
- Make sure you update your customers if there is any delay and be sure to leave time to check-in with them all, making sure they’re enjoying everything – the biggest mistake you can make with this is to treat it as a tick-box exercise – be genuine when you ask!
- Intuition comes hand-in-hand with time management – spotting when someone is finished and anticipating their needs with when they might like to see the coffee menu or have a re-fill of tap water is what takes you from good to #outstanding.
- Lastly – do not let anyone walk out of the door without you thanking them.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes (not literally as that would be inappropriate). What do you like the presentation of someone waiting on your table to be?
- Slick, ironed and smart or creased, un-tucked and messy?
- Clean and fresh or in need of a shower with dirt under their nails?
- Professional and well-groomed or with nail varnish half-coming off that you fear will end up in your food?
- Shined shoes or scruffy, old (probably holey) trainers?
- Tamed, tied-up/pushed-back hair or dipping in your dish?
An #Outstanding Food & Beverage Team Member will be smart and professional at the same time as being in-keeping with the feel and brand of the restaurant. If there is a uniform… wear it. If there’s a dress code… follow it.
If you enjoy talking with different people, making a good impression with your presentation and taking pride in your work and surroundings, then the most important thing rises to the surface – your smile! Forcing a smile, in our opinion, is almost as bad as not smiling at all. But if you’re a people-person, you will be enjoying your time spent with customers and your natural smile will be infectious.
Now, we would like to conclude with showing off some of our Food & Beverage Heroes from across the Kew Green portfolio:
If you would like to speak about a career with Kew Green Hotels, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.