A great restaurant doesn’t need to be part of a hotel to succeed, but for a great hotel it pays to have a top-rating restaurant at its heart. A hotel’s restaurant is often the star attraction bringing in local diners as well as hotel guests, and making the dining room the most competitive stage in the industry.
The Heritage, Auckland’s historic luxury 4.5 star hotel in Central Auckland and is one of the city’s busiest, attracting thousands of local and international leisure and corporate guests every year.
Hectors, the hotels’ flagship restaurant is highly-rated for a unique menu of vegan cuisine that sets the eatery apart from the competition.
However, the defining trick has been to raise the level of service to match the quality of finely created cuisine.
Danielle Cook, Human Resources Manager for the Heritage Hotel Auckland explains that they wanted to step up its service offer by standardising the training programmes throughout its food and beverage department.
“We wanted everyone working to the same high level and offering a superior service delivery particularly for our restaurant guests,” says Danielle.
“The Auckland market is highly competitive and businesses need to work extra hard to satisfy guests’ expectations. Satisfied guests are guests who come back and that’s what we are really trying to achieve.”
In mid-2016, fifteen food and beverage staff started training on-job with ServiceIQ’s HotelIQ Restaurant Service (Level 3) and Functions Service (Level 3) modules.
There are a number of hospitality training options in the market, but the ease of being able to advance skills on-job and customise the programme to business needs made HotelIQ a natural choice.
“It meant we could do the training in house and have our people upskill on the job. We could also tailor the training according to the requirements of our unique restaurant offerings.”
HotelIQ is an assessment tool specifically designed as the key for great service across the business. By integrating with a hotel’s standard operating procedures, it helps employees and employers know they are meeting the required standards for excellent service.
John Watson, Food & Beverage Service Manager at The Heritage was responsible for customising the HotelIQ assessment in line with the needs of Hectors restaurant and he leads staff training and development.
Nine months into training and the direct results for the business are gratifying says Danielle.
“Service levels have improved significantly and overall guests are enjoying a higher standard of service at Hectors. We’ve seen a marked uplift in our reviews on Facebook, Guest comment cards, and TripAdvisor.
“For us, that’s the most important achievement. It’s not just about enjoying the food, great service is essential otherwise all the chefs’ hard work is undone.”
The programme also offers meaningful benefits for dedicated employees who gain recognition too.
“We have a number of staff with who have worked for us for a long time and have fabulous skills. It’s great for them to gain a formal qualification. Typically we find that once people are in the hospitality industry they stay because they have a genuine interest in people and enjoy what they do.”
HotelIQ offers a menu of training modules that help guarantee great service in every customer-facing department: Reception Services (Level 4), Restaurant Services (Level 3), Functions Services (Level 3), Housekeeping (Level 3), Portering (Level 3).
To get HotelIQ working for your business, please contact your ServiceIQ Training Advisor on 0800 863 693 or intel@ServiceIQ.org.nz