The hospitality industry is a highly competitive place, with many challenges facing today's hospitality operators, from increased competition, higher costs (food, labour, rent, and rates being the biggest). A question I am often asked what can I do? Is there a simple answer? The answer is no there is not a magic pill you can give your business, its many small things that make your business great, in this article I will share a few with you.
There is a local privately owned shop around the corner from where I live it's your typical local store they seem to carry everything you need the shelves are jammed and there are products everywhere, the shopkeeper is always friendly along with the team that works there, he always somehow has what I am looking for.
This shop has a lot of competition there is a store almost identical across the street, 300 meters away is local Sainsburys but what makes this store the one I choose to go to.
It is not the price of the products as the prices are not as cheap as Sainsbury's Local and he doesn’t have a points program, its hard to find things, his store is not laid out with organized shelves, clear labels bright lights and special offer signs.
But what he does have is a great team that smiles, says hello engages you and remembers your name. He almost certainly has what you are looking for if not, he provides an alternative or solution. One day I need a small L2 battery for my gate opener, when I asked he said “sorry I don’t have I just have this packet with mixed batteries,” he must of seen the disappointment on my face he quickly said hang on you just need 1 battery, I said “yes I don’t need all the others”, he quickly ripped the packet open and said here you go and I asked how much he said just give me 50p.
Unfortunately, there is not a magic pill your business can take but here are some thoughts to get you started that can help make your business great.
Do you have the right team? or are just comfortable with the team you have?
If you have the wrong team it can be draining, you will spend your energy on managing and motivating them, instead of using your energy on other activities if you don’t yes it is hard to make a change but you will be further ahead in the long run if you do, remember your business is a marathon, not a sprint.
A good team player is one that wants to make the guest happy and has the attitude of “how can I exceed the guest's expectations” remember the shopkeeper and the battery.
A good team player is open-minded, team orientated, supports their colleagues, and doesn't engage in “office politics”.
Are you true to your core offering?
In the case of the shop, his core business is providing you with a range of products that you always need. Have you lost your way and trying to be everything to everybody? Be know for something.
Do you take feedback and actually listen to what your team and guests are telling you?
So often we are in denial of reality maybe it's our ego and pride, or the mentality “I know best”. So many times, these two groups of people can make a positive difference in your business if you just listen and act on what they tell you.
One of the keyways to make your business great is to improve the guest experience and grow loyalty.
You need to take a hard look and critical look at your customer's journey from start to finish, look at the touchpoints along the way and how you can create amazing experiences, those experiences don’t need to cost much or anything at all, just change the way you doing things.
Remember my local store, he earned my loyalty, not through fancy programs but simply the team's engagement with me and going beyond my expectations when I need a battery, So I shop now at his store even though the Sainsburys Local is closer and cheaper than his store.