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The Lost Art of Service

There is something wonderful about walking into a venue or banquet room and seeing the signs of a skilled staff: beautifully set tables with everything lined up perfectly; the event staff looking professional, polished, and working seamlessly together as if every move was choreographed; and having confidence in knowing the proper and professional way to serve their guests through the entire meal and event.

Does this “dance” come naturally to your staff? 

According to a study by a global event and meeting planner organization, 46% of employees said that quality training programs to learn these types of professional enhancements are an incentive for them to stay with a company. They certainly benefit you as a business owner. Here’s why.

For most of your guests, it’s possible that the only impression they will have of your company is the interaction they have with your front-line ambassadors: your banquet staff, event managers and captains, and culinary staff.  

That’s why a dining training program is an essential part of your operations.

The staff in your organization is the best marketing and public relations you have. How they look, act, speak, and serve is a direct reflection of your brand. How your staff carries themselves when representing your company, and how they implement the “art of service” are vitally important in creating memorable events and loyal clients for your company.

What should a dining training program include?

Teaching service excellence  

These are the proper techniques and protocols when it comes to dining service, whether for formal or casual events and dinners. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • How to properly set a table
  • How to serve dinner properly and professionally
  • How to professionally clear a guest table
  • How to professionally carry a tray of dinner plates into the dining area
  • How to professionally pour all beverages—water, coffee, wine, champagne, etc.

Teaching the finer points of hospitality. This is a combination of:

  1. Making your clients and guests feel special and important when they are at one of your events. Looking for ways to anticipate their needs, personalize their experience, appreciate and thank them, as well as wow them.
  2. Making sure that your staff has the “polish” needed when representing your company at events. How they look, act, and speak can make a big difference in the minds of the clients and guests.   

Teaching, implementing, and practicing both service excellence and hospitality is vital.

Today, more than ever, hospitality is a lost art, but you can turn it into a winning combination of engagement, loyalty, and retention for your company. 

Bob Pacanovsky

Bob Pacanovsky is Chief Hospitality Officer for the Black Tie Experience and a Certified Catering Consultant.