The top three frustrations that hotel guests have about their experience of a property are all service-related – including how informed kitchen and waiting staff are, a report has revealed.
According to the poll by talent management specialist Brigad, quality service still lies at the very heart of the sector, with consumers’ biggest gripes all linked to poor service.
This includes unhelpful staff (47%), slow service (41%) and staff who aren’t knowledgeable enough about facilities and menus (24%).
Authors of the report said the results highlight why quality service is more important than any stand-out interior design, tech gadget or food trend.
Brigad country manager, Johan De Jager, called the industry’s people its “most valuable commodity”.
He said: “It’s clear from our research that the customer prioritises top level service, yet evidently many hospitality professionals do not feel the industry is doing enough to address key issues such as work/life balance, pay, working conditions and training.
The research also highlights a need for greater knowledge on food allergies and special dietary requirements.
When it comes to training, customers say that their hospitality experience would be improved the most in 2020 with more education and training in allergies and special diets (27%) as well as health foods and nutritional information (22%).
Half of consumers admitting they now choose a hotel based on the unique experience and personalised service it can provide.
Furthermore, 47% say they prefer to be able to customise their meals as opposed to ordering off a traditional menu when dining out.
When it comes to dining out, consumers have a keen interest in provenance and expect the industry’s people to be knowledgeable on the subject.
For a quarter of diners (25%), locally sourced menus with limited airmiles are taking preference over exotic menus in 2020 and two thirds (64%) say its key that they know where their food comes from when dining out.
In fact, one in five consumers (20%) are put off returning to a restaurant if the staff cannot explain where the food is sourced, making it crucial for the industry to invest in upskilling and educating its people.