HURDLE NUMBER FOUR: RESPONDING TO A CRISIS
Another ability that falls under the hospitality manager’s umbrella of many talents is their ‘quick-to-think’ attitude. Let’s take a moment, and imagine you are sitting at a leaner in a busy bar, the line to get a drink is about four people deep, and the queue to pay at the Maitre’ D station is growing. Suddenly, the Eftpos terminals crash. You can see everyone starting to get annoyed, patience is faltering and frustrated customers are considering leaving.
It takes a lot of patience to deal with these sorts of situations as a manager, especially when you have disgruntled patrons wanting another drink, and you are running the risk of diners walking out without paying. It takes an experienced person with a calm and competent attitude to fix situations such as this one, where a large amount of money and customer satisfaction is on the line. It’s a make or break moment.
I’ve seen instances such as this dealt with in a multitude of ways. Some good, and some not so good. Often I’ve seen customers’ being told to wait a considerably long period of time until the situation is remedied. Other times, those with credit cards kindly offered their card details over to the manager, took a receipt with them and they were on their way; and the charge would simply be put through later when things were up and running again. I’ve also witnessed patrons who have used a crisis such as this as a way to get out of paying and have simply gotten up and left.
I’ll leave it up to you to decide what you consider is right from the customer point of view. As for managers, situations like these are important to remind you how crucial it is to know what system you use, how to fix it, or what to do if it can’t be fixed immediately.
Solution: Be prepared. Make sure you have plans in place for any sort of crisis that may happen. These incidents show patrons how organised you are when it comes to dealing with situations like these. For the majority of us, we don’t mind waiting at all if the incident is dealt with professionally and promptly.
The contingency plans you put in place must be tested and recorded for future incidents. Once you have set plans, ensure your staff are informed of these plans too, so everyone is up to date on how to respond to any sort of crisis that may occur.
So there you have it – a few suggestions on how to respond to a crisis within your hospitality venue. Next up we will be discussing Hurdle Five – Prioritising.
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