Industry Update
Opinion Article26 March 2020

Plan for What Is Coming

By John Ragsdale Hendrie, Customer Experience Facilitator at Hospitality Performance

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Well, we really do not know what that is or what it will look like, but change is inevitable, shifting, declarative, sneaking and lasting in many cases. And, you, as the Brand architect, must prepare, react and manage the current disruption and ultimate reentry into the marketplace. As demand shifts, service and product quality become more important and scrutinized. You have a choice - you can reintroduce yourself with a faint fizzle or bust upon the stage with dramatic bursts.

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The Coronavirus has not given us many benefits, but there is one which gives us all some reach and potential - training and development. How many years (actually, decades) have we all complained about the need for and the actual training to be performed and yet do not commit? Yes, we in the hospitality industry need that training gestalt, but when will we find the time, the money for that effort, employees schooled for the sessions, and what those sessions will look like? Ladies and gents, your worries and excuses may be over, courtesy of the Coronavirus!

Get ready to bound! Consider the answers to the above concerns. We have been informed that there will be at minimum several weeks before the all clear sign (or portion of) for folks to leave from their bunkers to return to the workplace. That is open time to be booked, as they say. Having the employees is a known, for you have sent them home; they have the time. Plus, discussions are ongoing about several weeks or more of pay. They also have the personal technology (IPads, computer, laptop) to parlay your programs into relatable training platforms. Lastly, there is a plethora of different types of training available. Dust off the bookcases in your HR and Sales offices, contact your local, state and national trade associations to see what they have, do a Google search.

What a great chance to reestablish/upgrade standards, show how to set a dining room table, handle guest complaints, check-in at the front desk, upsell, etc. - it is "skies the limit" and all you have to do is take advantage of the obvious.

Remember the benefit of the fireworks - the boom, the cascade, the colors and the splendor when you are ready for business versus a fizzled dud (no impact).

John Ragsdale Hendrie

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