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What Does It Take to Work in the Hospitality Industry? Staying Calm & Being Creative

Laurel Delaney (2010) suggested 2010 is the year of spontaneous innovation and small business needs to be creative in order to survive in a tough time. Here is a link to her discussion: http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/2010-the-year-of-spontaneous-innovation-laurel-delaney.

It is no doubt that being inventive or creative is important in hospitality industry, but it should not limit to the year of 2010. Working in hospitality industry is fun, but also very demanding. People either love working in this field or hate it. Often, people like it because they can experience different customers and different scenarios at work. Every day is a different day, and they never feel bored. It is true. Very likely, hospitality professionals face “new” people with “new” problems every day. Even under the same scenario, one solution might work for one customer but not for the others.

One key of solving new problems is to stay calm and be creative. Staying calm will allow us to “listen” what our guests need, see the “whole picture,” identify the “real problem,” and possibly find the best solution for them. Here is an example. A hotel is sold out for three days. A front office agent might receive many requests for late check-out from in-house guests and for clean rooms from early arrivals. While staff is being pushed by guests, it is important to stay calm and listen to what these guests really need and react creatively to different inquiries. If a guest just needs a room to put their luggage so that he/she can go out for fun, then this guest does not really need a clean room. If a guest is sick, she/he might indeed need a clean room as soon as possible. At least, a staff needs to “think outside the box” and offers alternative quite area for this guest to relax.

The process of solving different problems every day brings excitement and fun to the hospitality industry. No matter which era we are in, one key for success in this business is to stay calm and react to the problems with creative solutions.

Comments

  1. The issue resolving approach that you demonstrate here parallels one taught by Professor Allsion in Intro to Hospitality (At Syracuse University). By remembering the acronym, LAST: listen, apologize, solve, and thank; many of the issues you discuss here could easily be solved. If only more people in the industry would go back to the basic foundations and morals of Hospitality, and truely listen to what their guests are fighting you for, a compromise could be reached and things would run much smoother. Great suggestion!

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  2. I agree, listening is the key. If we "listen," we may be able to skip the "apologize" part. In this case, a hotel has a very good reason to reject a guest's request because many hotels don't guarantee a clean room until 3pm. Apology seems unnecessary. Of course, we need to deal with guest problems case by case, that is "being creative" is important.

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