The hospitality industry has been steadily hiring over the past several months and the tourism and travel industry is expected to see employment continue to rise through 2024. While many factors go into the formula that help drive long-term business success, having the right traits to lead your teams is often an unrecognized, but essential factor.
What should you be looking for in your next hospitality or restaurant leader?
What skills are most important?
Our industry is all about comfort and service; success often depends on the ability to make positive connections with guests, peers and even vendors. Look for accomplishments that demonstrate how the candidate could resolve a crisis with a positive attitude, or one who has developed lasting guest relationships during their tenure.
Whether it’s PMS, POS, mobile POS, or other hospitality software and hardware skills, proficiency and confidence using these solutions will help a hospitality manager stand out from the pack. Take the time to look for special training the candidate may have received in previous roles.
Staff who are most likely to be successful in a leadership role are authentic and generally happy. They are fair in their dealings with peers, acknowledge the successes of others and utilize failure as a tool for learning. They seek activities that promote personal growth and satisfaction. For example, formal and informal mentoring programs are often used to help build workplace relationships, participants’ feelings of self-worth and boost their confidence. These programs can be leveraged to create a path upon which future leaders are created.
Hospitality leaders are a curious, inquisitive bunch, and are willing to risk looking foolish by asking what may seem like “dumb questions”. In doing so, they provide the spark that inspires peers to take risks as well.
A leader must also foster communication skills that can defuse complaints by guests and correct any problems with peers.
The most effective candidates will understand and put into practice multiple forms of communication that create buy-in. Verbal communications are critical, but when they’re matched with non-verbal communications, trust is established.
Active listening skills are essential to becoming a good communicator. This involves not only hearing what’s being said, but using empathy to better understand its context and meaning.
The current job growth trend, in the United States and worldwide, is creating increased demand for hospitality and restaurant leaders. Where the need is greatest is not just for hospitality, but for those who can lead organizations on the path to solidarity and growth. Understanding these differentiators can have a powerful effect on your company’s overall success. Not every manager has the skills to become a hospitality leader, but a manager who can grow into that role will be instrumental in driving long-term business prosperity.