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TSR Blog

The Resort Life- Working in a Resort

- Friday, December 07, 2012
In part one of our Resort Life insight, we looked at what a guest may look forward to when visiting a resort, and what makes up a quintessential resort experience within Australia. Which brings us to part two... Working in a resort is very different to staying on one, however the goals for the staff and guest are pretty much the same- have fun, make friends, and try things you wouldn't normally have the chance to do!

First things first- a good resort can't exist without a monumental team working towards the same cause. I will keep referring to Cable Beach Club Resort in Broome, WA, because put simply, it is the most professional operation I have ever been a part of (well, excluding my own business of course!). As a guest roaming through the surrounds of the resort on the way to the pool at 10am one morning, you have no idea that at that very moment, there is a crisis meeting between the engineering, housekeeping, front office and security departments because a broken circuit is threatening the aircon supply. And so you shouldn't.

So professional is the setup of your resort, you will probably never know that in the space of 24 hours, a restaurant's opening hours were extended for a handful of guests, your housekeeping manager is working her single day off because 2 staff called in sick, reception has an extra 2 staff because of a tour group arriving at midnight, and the pool is being cleaned at 3am. Again, so you shouldn't.

Working in a resort is about two things: discretion, and fun. Discretion at work, fun outside work. Switch on, switch off.

Such is the importance that a guest enjoys their stay, the hierarchy behind the scenes of your poolside cocktail extends 5 pay ranks. Resorts generally employ the best they have to work with, and impress their unique brand of service on each employee. As a hospitality professional, this gives you the unique chance to work with and learn from the best, and presents the challenge to see if you measure up. As a casual waiter or bartender, it presents the ultimate test: do you survive the first week? Some don't.

A couple of the best hospitality minds I've met have been behind 5 star resorts, and a couple I'm still pursuing for my own business. Working at CBCR, I learnt more about customer service and understanding in my first 3 months than in 2 years in my previous work.

Once you finish work and shower (very important in the tropics boys!), and head to the local pub, the world is literally at your young feet. You're cashed up in a rewarding and challenging role, you work alongside interesting people from every corner of the globe, and you have one or two precious days off ahead to enjoy in paradise. The people you meet and work with will be friends for life, and you will always have a place to stay in at least 14 countries world wide. You will move on with skills that will hold up in any hotel in the world, and the experience of a lifetime.

Next time you're in a resort and notice your bartender or waitress smiling, just think about where they are in their lives, and why it's so easy for them to smile back. Very rewarding. Oh, and tip them.

For more reading on food, travel, our Hire Waiters, or Waiter Hire Melbourne, please click.



What’s the magic word?

- Monday, February 21, 2011

I’ve been asked to write a bit about manners and etiquette before, and I’m yet to pen my my thoughts on a subject that is a big part of my business. I have been inspired finally after crossing paths with a few school kids in the last few weeks, to the point where we just have to ask the question, where are peoples manners these days??

 

Don’t get me wrong. Yes, hospitality is my business, my life, and tolerating people’s bluntness and occasional rudeness comes with the territory. Doesn’t phase me, and never will, at all on the job. I’m looking at the bigger picture, and what on earth society will be like in a few generations time.

 

I guess given our business and up-bringing that bad manners stand out to me like a sore thumb, but people just seem to be getting less and less decent! People who work in customer service for a living can hardly look you in the eye, people in the street and in bars act like they’re the only ones there, and people on the road- well, another topic, yet again underlined by the same garbage attitude towards each other.

 

Kids don’t say please or thank you. Ever. They demand things, and get them. School students storm a train like they’re taking to a rugby field, and proceed to carry out the match (although with an invisible ball it seems) up and down each carriage. People working for large corporations, ie Telstra, banks, supermarkets, etc seem to think any enquiry to the Customer ‘Service’ department is a direct attack on them personally, and nothing is resolved.

 

There needs to be a monumental, fundamental shift in society in regards to the way people treat and respect each other’s space and possessions. Everyone needs to take a step back, and have a good, hard look at themselves in the mirror. Say please, thank you, and use people’s names when talking to them. Encourage your kids and families to do the same. Then encourage your friends. Then we’ll take it further…
 

Ban the 'Booze Bombs'?

- Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Herald Sun published an article titled ‘Ban the Booze Bombs’ in Tuesday’s (7/12) paper. It stated that in attempt to curb alcohol fueled violence in Melbourne's streets, drinks such Jagerbombs and Vodka Redbulls would be banned. Here's what I think:

I don’t believe banning these ‘Booze Bombs’ will do anything to curb the out of control binge drinking culture, not just in Melbourne, but Australia wide.

I’ve been both frequenting and involved in managing hotels and clubs in Australia’s capital cities for over 10 years, and it took a recent overseas trip through Europe and Asia (including 'boozy hotspots' Germany, Holland, the UK and Thailand) to see that it’s not any different combination of alcoholic or ‘poly-drug’ drinks, or Australia’s insipid ability to follow responsible service laws (another issue all together!), but a severe cultural difference that exists in our binge drinking habits.

No where else in over 20 countries did I experience any agro, macho or alpha-male behaviour (the kind you’ll find in any Aussie pub at ANY time of day)- in fact I barely even remember seeing a security guard in any of their packed venues. The vibe was always fun and cheerful, and patrons were generally far more intoxicated than you’ll find here, even at 3am in Melbourne on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

The difference in these countries is that alcohol culture centres around relaxing and having a genuinely good time- not getting as hammered as possible, in the smallest amount of time possible, and going out with twenty mates seeking trouble. Until our culture towards binge drinking changes, taking away certain drinks will have the same effect as taking the gun off a hitman- he’ll use a knife instead.


Five of the Best! (And a few of the Worst…)

- Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Working in customer service for a living is fantastic. Providing the best service we can is something we work on every day, and because of this, for better or worse, customer service outside our business is something I notice as second nature.

This “sixth sense” that has slowly developed over many years in the hospitality industry is great, because I’m constantly the lookout for fresh talent, a wonderful experience, or a new business to reward with my loyalty because of their great service. On the other hand, bad service sticks out like a Collingwood supporter at AAMI Stadium, and unfortunately for business owners such as Jason and myself, it's usually (though not always) the employees that let the business down.

Having noticed my quota of both exceptional and poor examples of customer service across the average week, i have outlined and graded ten examples below. Enjoy!


Top of the Class

A+ Coles Trolley Boy
Apparently gone are the days of torn jeans, a pantera t-shirt and the token headphones on the car park trolley boys. This young man was dressed as one of the Coles 'team members', had a great smile, and proudly unhooked and presented each customer with a trolley as they approached. First class introduction to the shopping experience! (courtesy waiterhiremelbourne.com)

A- Fruit and Veg Market Cashier
Maybe a little over the top, but proud, passionate and genuinely happy at work (or a very good actor!). Fast and efficient, and even asked if I'd found everything on my list. I hadn't, and the young fella grabbed both items I was missing. Great upselling technique.

A- Subway Sandwich Artist
In a weak team (I know because this store is a great convenience to me), my new best friend at my local Subway is a shining light. So fast, it takes her about 13 seconds to have your 6 inch chicken fillet wrapped and the offer of a 'meal deal' before you, all with a fantastic smile. Superstar!

B+ The Servo Bloke
This is one that really gets me. The single line when there's four staff, the "2 for everything" (I only want one!), and the guy so bored he's rating this week's Picture Homegirls in order of bust size. 
 What a nice change the independent owner operator is. Cheaper fuel, a good bloke, a quick chat and out the door. A refreshing change from the supermarket servos, and nice to support a businessman that is capable of uttering more than those two words. "Twenny Mate."

B KFC Drivethrough
Yes, we all have a few beers on the weekend, and yes, we all have our miracle next day cure. In this case- KFC chips.
Given the mood I may approach the drive through on a sunday afternoon, the notoriously painful KFC experience is slowly turning the corner. In the past fortnight I've been treated to some great service from all windows flying the Colonel's red and white flag, in particular the usually disinterested female staff. Almost worth the extra pint. 


A lot to Learn

C Call Couldn't Wait
My local is a top little pub, and all in all the staff are pretty good, which is why this manager stands out for all the wrong reasons. I understand a manager's role, and how many things are happening at once, but answering his phone while pouring beers, talking for a while, and putting a hand out for money with no words or eye contact is not the way to make friends. Shocking example for his staff too.

D The Subway Owner!
This bloke is not who trained my superstar Subway girl, but is probably the reason she is the only ace in customer service he holds. Very rude, blunt, slow and a slob- a reason to never return. (thanks again, waiterhiremelbourne.com)


And repeating this year...

F The Virgin Mobile Salesman
Honestly, I'm not really sure what to make of this one. I thought phone companies set pretty challenging targets for the sales and contracts they expect of their staff, but maybe I was wrong??
When I asked which iPhone plans were available, I was told pretty bluntly that they were all "way expensive, as most of the plans here are", and to try Crazy Johns (Vodaphone) downstairs. Nice one.

F Owner/ Operator Newsagent
As I said above, it's often the employees letting the business down. Sadly, not in this case. This man (who I know is the owner) was listening to a race during my (and 7 other people's) visit, and only started serving once his race was over! Ignored the queue completely, clearly lost his bet, and seven potential customers in the meantime. Shocker!


Thankfully the world of service is rotating the way it should for me this week, though if I keep visiting newsagents (or try and buy a pie at AAMI Stadium!) I might change my mind...

We love to hear stories (good and bad) regarding customer service at TSR, so please email us yours, or comment below! We'll publish some of your experiences in our next newsletter, and send the best entry a bottle of Yarra Valley Pinot. Thanks for reading!



    
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