Throughout my uni life I worked in hospitality. I loved it so much that I continued on with a second job throughout my first three years of working full time in PR. Ok, so I loved it and the extra income was handy but I wouldn’t have bothered had I not found a passion for creating a memorable experience for someone else. I get a kick out of other people’s joy, especially when I’ve contributed to their experience.
By the time I was in third year uni I was managing a cafe that did around 200 covers (that’s hospi speak for people) on a busy weekend lunch. I fired my first person at the age of 21. They were, what we would call in the social media world, a detractor, or a troll at their very worst.
1) You’re responsible for everyone having a great time so you need to make sure you’re friendly, helpful, approachable and have a calm but passionate presence guiding the tone of the environment
2) You have regulars who brighten your day and who love the familiarity of being in the community. Appreciate them and acknowledge them. Welcome them back with genuine warmth.
3) You can never keep everyone happy, try as you might, and that’s ok. As long as you’re fair, friendly, empathetic and give each person a fair go at resolution then you’re doing the best you can. Sometimes it will end well, sometimes it will be a little more challenging but you can’t take it personally. And that’s ok.
4) Be open and welcoming of all walks of life and bear in mind you don’t know their story and they don’t know yours, so keep your integrity and best practice in place to manage potential issues (you might be on the blunt end of someone else’s bad day or bad decade)
5) Be you and be real.
6) People want to feel special.
7) It doesn’t cost anything to smile and a smile is contagious
8) If you’re the only one smiling, you’re not doing a good job.
9) It has to be a team effort.
10) It has to be fun.
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