5 Valuable Skills in the Hospitality Industry
By Sharon Fah and Julailah Wahid
In a city with over 6,000 food and beverage (F&B) establishments, people in Singapore are spoilt for choice when it comes to their meals. Hence, it is no surprise that many restaurants here have stepped up to the plate to deliver quality customer experience.
To this end, hospitality professionals across these areas are typically trained to provide customers with the best possible service. There is a wide scope of professions in the hospitality industry, ranging from concierge jobs and hotel managers to cabin crew and chefs.
To thrive in this dynamic industry, candidates should possess a range of practical skills and experiences. Read on to find out what they are!
Initiative and Resourcefulness
Exemplary hospitality staff go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that their customers have a pleasant experience. A key aspect of providing excellent service is anticipating unexpressed needs and listening to customers’ feedback.
Simple gestures, like offering drinks to those waiting in line, can put customers at ease. Staff at Capella Singapore are even known for organising themed events and seeking out equipment to meet the unique needs of their guests.
Cultural Awareness and Mindfulness
Good customer service involves being attentive, knowing about different people and cultures and understanding the customers’ needs before providing appropriate service.
Common knowledge has it that Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset during Ramadan. Hotel restaurant staff who are aware of this can prevent any misunderstandings from occurring and even use it to show concern for these guests.
Staff also need to be mindful of guests’ needs and note for example, if a customer is allergic to certain ingredients like MSG and food colourings.
Ultimately, it is about treating others the way you would like to be treated.
Interpersonal skills determine the level of service provided by frontline staff, which include flight attendants and reservation officers. Excellent communication skills are crucial whether verbally or in writing. This not only applies to the ability to appease difficult customers during tricky situations but also being able to relate to others on a personal level.
With Singapore being one of the most attractive tourist destinations, many hospitality professionals are also learning foreign languages to communicate with customers of diverse nationalities.
Strong Knowledge of Best Practices
F&B staff are required to know and adhere to the F&B Safety and Hygiene Policies and Procedures set by the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications System. For instance, they need to know the right temperatures for cooking and storing ingredients, appropriate methods for defrosting frozen foods, and how to spot spoilt food products.
When serving customers, service crew should also be careful not to touch food or the inside of cups and bowls with their bare hands.
On the other hand, frontline officers should know how to manage crisis and emergencies, and be able to accommodate to disabled guests.
There are abundant opportunities for you to rise through the ranks in the hospitality industry. However, you need to be adventurous enough to take on roles that offer more operational experience.
Successful leaders – like Group CEO of Last Mason Pte Ltd, Pieter Idenburg – have had varied experiences working on the ground. Idenburg had been a waiter, bartender, ticket agent, receptionist and supervisor before moving on to senior management roles.
Do you have a passion for people? Explore career opportunities in the world of restaurants, resorts, hotels and fun-filled theme parks here.