“None of us is as smart as all of us.” – Eric Schmidt, Former Executive Chairman of Google
When you make a cake, you need more than one ingredient. No matter how skilled, experienced or knowledgeable you (or your favourite team members) are, hospitality is never a one-man-show. Successful teams work best when everyone is working in their strengths and feels secure with their weaknesses. Your chef might know how to cook best, but it’s your front-of-house team that truly understands your customers. So for 2014, it’s time to drop the idea that the boss knows best, and start distributing value and responsibilities amongst your team.
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft
In 2014 it’s time to stop being afraid of negative feedback. Whether it’s from the bad customer review on Facebook or the upset customer at the counter, it’s time to start seeing negative feedback as one of your biggest sources of learning. It’s the unhappy customers who know best how your business can improve – even more than you do! Despite how it feels, negative feedback isn’t personal. It’s always about the experience they had. In 2014, stop being afraid (or ignorant or stubborn) and start using feedback to put a rocket under your business!
“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States of America
Customer experience may be boosted by technology and other advancements, but ultimately it’s you who has the end say on what experience a customer will have. Want to stand out in 2014? Don’t get caught up in the ‘trend frenzy’; instead, look at how you can always impress and surprise your customers. “We’re out of that menu item, but somehow I’m going to make sure you have an even better meal because of it!”
“Knowledge must come through action; you can have no test which is not fanciful, save by trial.” – Sophocles, Playwright, taken from Trachiniae
It’s time to stop talking and listening to other people talk – find out for yourself! Is pork really the new favourite meat? Is the ice cream sandwich really the next big thing in dessert? Is having dog-friendly areas really going to make your venue more popular? You’ll never really know if you don’t try it for yourself.
“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” – Oprah Winfrey, Television Host
For many of us, owning your own hospitality business is one of those dreams. Remember to take time to enjoy the dream, with all the stresses it entails, because when you look back you’ll only remember the good times. Everything else will seem insignificant. Dream big in 2014. It’s the year of making things happen.