Hospitality employers better on systems than warmth, research reveals

Warmth and hospitality is key to customer loyalty, but the UK’s hospitality employers are better at handling processes and systems, research has revealed.

A benchmarking study by the National Skills Academy for Hospitality showed that the “average” performance in hospitality was an impressive 74 out of 100, with 15 businesses scoring 100% and 69 scoring 95% or more. Those who didn’t fare as well lost points when it came to warmth and hospitality.

“The clear facts are that we are better at process and systems than we are at warmth and hospitality,” the academy said.

Two of the top-scoring firms – the King’s Lodge bar and restaurant in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, and the franchisee-owned McDonald’s drive-thru in East Grinstead, Sussex – have also scooped the inaugural National Skills Academy Hospitality Benchmark Awards in the British Hospitality Association awards that were announced yesterday.

“What the top performers have in common is warmth and personality allied with excellent systems and processes that evidently translates into their customer loyalty and willingness to recommend scores,” said David McHattie, chief executive at the academy.

Key findings of the programme included:

  • All sectors and regions scored better on skills-based questions than personality-based questions
  • Staff failed to take the opportunity to create a positive example in 60% of visits that revealed a problem
  • A member of staff did something over and above expectations on 36% of visits
  • Restaurants with hosts performed best
  • Brands performed no better than other players and faced a challenge of consistency – one brand’s scores ranged from 13% to 91%.

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