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Etiquette - a vital component of the hospitality industry

Learning how to deal with different types of people, their individual needs and expectations, can be a challenge for those working in the hospitality industry. However, it remains a vital component to perform your job to the best of your ability.
"Our main focus is on hospitality, and although the market in the US is somewhat different to that in South Africa, we always try our best to prepare our recruits on the 'dos and don'ts' of what is generally accepted in the industry," says Charlotte Quenet-Meintjes, general manager of Workaway International in South Africa.

Quenet-Meintjes shares some important insight into the industry's best practice and has listed some top etiquette and behavioural tips that all staff should employ to ensure success:

  • Always look neat and presentable, and ensure you are well-spoken. The number one rule in this industry is always to look and sound your best. First impressions count - ensure that your clothes are neat, that you are well groomed and look presentable, and that you communicate clearly and effectively. Engaging in meaningful and intelligent conversation will allow you to gain the respect of your employer, co-workers and customers.

  • Be courteous and always willing to help others. Helpfulness, support and going the extra mile are crucial factors that employers look for. If you are helpful towards others and are always willing to provide assistance where it is needed, rest assured that it will not go unnoticed.

  • Anticipate your customer's needs. Going the extra mile for your customers is the epitome of great customer service, so always try and anticipate what your customer might need. This can be done by putting yourself in their position and thinking about what you would have wanted.

  • Treat all customers equally. In the hospitality industry you will come across many different types of customers, and it is important to always provide the same standard of service to all your customers.

  • Always be punctual. When you work in the hospitality industry you are very often required to work shifts. For this reason you need to ensure that you are punctual and reliable. Do not skip any shifts or think it is acceptable to arrive late. By being punctual, you will show your employer that you are dedicated and responsible.
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