5 Tips to Help You Succeed in the Hospitality Industry

Are you entering or finding it hard to succeed in the hospitality Industry? Don’t worry, it’s perfectly understandable. In such a competitive, dog-eat-dog industry, it’s natural to question if your business will make it or break it. Read on to gain some tips on how to succeed in the hospitality industry…

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Make Your Hospitality Venue Stand Out!

What does your venue offer that your competitors don’t? This is something you should ask yourself. If you’re struggling for an answer, this is the first thing you should work on. Having a unique point of difference is key to a successful hospitality venue and to help your audience remember you from the competition.

According to Salvatore Malatesta, the owner of Melbourne cafe institution St. Ali, standing out in hospitality is reliant on a combination of things:

“Standing out is part science, part quality, part timing, part passion, part planning and part just good luck. A good dose of pioneering spirit with a solid respect for tradition is the best way to carve out something that stands out.”

Here are a few factors that customers look for when deciding which venue to choose from, to return to, and/or to recommend to others:

  • Quality of customer service
  • Loyalty programs
  • Social media interaction
  • Interior décor
  • Prices
  • Aesthetic
  • Variety
  • Location and convenience
  • Social responsibility
  • Menu offerings

Once you have worked on these offerings, you must promote them. There’s no point in offering these points of differences without telling your audience.

Say you renovate your restaurant. It’s a good idea to post updates onto your website, to share it on your social media channels and engage with your customers. The more who know about it, the more you will stand out!

Service Service Service

You might have the best food in the state but if you ain’t got service, you ain’t got nothin’!

Whether you agree with Harry Selfridge’s famous quote that ‘The customer is always right’, try to make sure every customer leaves happy, no matter if they’re wrong. This will encourage them to come back again, and spread positive word of mouth.

As hard as it may be to satisfy your grumpy patrons, it’s a small price to pay for a good result. Something you should never forget is that your customers pay your bills!

Having an improved POS system can improve service levels dramatically and help your business run smoothly, effectively and efficiently. A good POS system will also offer you more time to invest in more important things, such as focusing on ways to improve your customer service.

Foster a Happy Hospitality Team

Finding and retaining the right staff is so crucial to a successful hospitality venue. A venue is only as good as its staff. Happy staff = happy customers, which makes your employees your greatest asset who will directly represent your business.

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St. Ali workers enjoy bonding over coffee skills [Picture courtesy of St. Ali]

To keep staff motivated, try running monthly meetings to check in with the team and ensure they are delivering the best possible service to your customers. Don’t be scared to reward your employees for good work ethic and for cultivating a positive work environment.

Nowadays, it’s hard to find staff who can tolerate all the nasties that come with working in the hospitality industry. So when you find them, keep them. Having good relationships with your staff pay off in ways that can benefit you from a monetary perspective.

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Customer Relationship Management

Do you want to keep your customers coming back time and time again? Well, familiarise yourself with them. Learn their names, their kids’ names, heck, even their dog’s names for God’s sake. By building relationships with your customers, you build retention and therefore revenue!

Loyalty programs are another great way to build relationships and for lead capture (for email newsletters, promotions and campaigns etc.). They also incentivise the customer to come back.

Acknowledging your customers and making them feel welcomed and rewarded each visit not only benefits your word of mouth but also makes them more inclined to keep coming back.

Watch out for your Frenemies

The hospitality industry is one of the most competitive… this is why it is imperative to keep an eye open on what your competitors are up to.

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While the café owner across the road may pop in and say hi, or unnaturally turn their head and peep in whilst walking past your venue, you’re all fishing in the same pond. So look out for what they are doing too, what’s working for them and what’s not. Keep up to date with the trends and innovate!

Want more tips on how to succeed in the hospitality industry? Check out our informative guide to Starting Your Hospitality Business or find out what famous restauranteur Adrian Richardson’s keys to success are.