Tasmanian Hospitality Review - February / March 2023

Hospitality Doctor

Max Hitchins


about knowing the people who keep you in business. Regularly stay in touch with them once or twice a month for something other than blatant appeals for money. Give more. “Sell” less... hospitality folks WILL support you... because they WANT to support you. When you suddenly see your database as an expression of family rather than a piggy bank, you won’t dare let it die of neglect.

Bill Marvin is one of the smartest professionals I know in the worldwide Hospitality Industry. A few years ago he invited me to tour America with him, giving seminars to industry people in many US States. I was very happy to share Aussie marketing ideas with the American audiences. But, I was equally ‘open’ to leaning as much as possible from Bill and the American attendees. Below are just a few of the ideas Bill has recently shared in his weekly Hospitality Journal

Caring for Customers

This should be a natural part of any coffee or tea service. But, as it is so uncommon these days, your staff will stand out from the herd when they show the customer they CARE with this simple format for serving tea/coffee. Instruct your staff to place the cup at the appropriate spot on the table. Then rotate the cup until the handle is in the proper position for the guest to grasp it. This usually means on the right side with the handle at 4:00 for right-handers and on the left side with the handle at 8:00 for left-handed guests. If the cup is served on a saucer, rotate the saucer (rather than the cup) to place the handle in position. If you use a mug, be careful to keep your fingers well away from the lip of the mug when you turn it. It is another small way to help your guests see how much you CARE for them... and that can’t hurt your business. (This tip come from Bill’s booklet designed for staff: 50 tips to improve your tips). http://www.restaurantdoctor.com/50tips-app.pdf

Databases Deliver

It should be blindingly obvious by now, building business in slow times depends on your ability to deliver the right messages to the right markets in the right way at the right time. You can’t do this without a current permission- based database... you know, all those names you’ve been collecting from business cards and Birthday Club sign-ups for years.

(You HAVE been regularly collecting and entering those names into a database program ... haven’t you?)

But, may I ask… when was the last time you contacted the people on your list? The Rule of Thumb in the direct marketing biz suggests a list loses 10 per cent of its value every month that passes without some sort of contact. This means 10 months of neglect and your list isn’t worth a dime! How’s that for perishable?

But, even more important than how often you’re in touch is, HOW and WHY you’re in touch.

The real value in your database isn’t the list of names, but rather in the relationship you have with the people on the list and their perception of that relationship. If you can make the transition from thinking of your guests as pockets to be picked and seeing them as warm relationships to be continually nourished, you’ll be well ahead in dollars. Your business will enjoy extraordinary profits. You will be better insulated from economic ups and downs, and competitors won’t be able to steal your patrons away.

I urge you to make an early resolution to get serious

47 Tasmanian Hospitality Review Feb/Mar Edition

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