Hospitality employees “lack customer service skills”

Many people working in catering and hospitality jobs do not have adequate customer service skills, it has been claimed.
Despite an overwhelming number of businesses (87 per cent) regarding good customer service as being important to them over the next three to five years, the majority (53 per cent) thought that employees in the industry lacked such attributes.
The figure rose to 70 per cent for staff working in sales and customer service jobs, according to the report from People 1st.
A big part of the issue could be the quality of training, as 66 per cent of companies reported teaching customer service techniques to their employees in the past 12 months although 41 per cent said that they had not seen any improvement from their staff’s performance.
Many companies also appear to be experiencing problems when attempting to recruit quality employees, with businesses reporting that 66 per cent of hospitality and catering job vacancies are hard to fill due to a lack of candidates with the necessary skills.
Analysing the figures, Martin-Christian Kent, Executive Director at People 1st, said: “Employers have clearly recognised that ensuring good customer service is vital to their business and they have adapted to that need. But as customers’ expectations continue to rise, they need to make sure that they also raise the bar.
“With many businesses continuing to say there is a shortage of customer service skills among staff, there’s clearly more work to do.”
Elsewhere, the Craft Guild of Chefs recently gave out prizes to five young chefs who reached the Graduate Awards’ high standards.
Needing to average 85 per cent or above from their final examination, James Newton from the Royal Garden Hotel, led the way with 87.5 per cent, followed by Connor Godfrey from Wiltons Restaurant, Ruth Hansom from The Ritz in London, Wayne Herrington from the Landmark London Hotel, and Victoria Scupham from The Royal Household.
The chefs were challenged to prepare a classic main dish and dessert to impress the judges, as well as face butchery and fishmongery tasks at the University College Birmingham.
By Owen Mckeon
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