Course Outcomes

This hospitality course will:

  • Discuss best practices for delivering first-rate guest services and provide a forum for articulating standards specific to the organization.
  • Give guidance regarding professional appearance, actions, and attitude.
  • Suggest language for welcoming guests, interacting professionally, and closing conversations.
  • Explain service body language and what is and is not appropriate.
  • Review service recovery tactics.
  • Offer suggestions for managing service-related stress.

Course Overview

“Be our guest. Be our guest. Put our service to the test. Tie your napkin ’round your neck, cherie, and we provide the rest. Soup du jour, hot hors d’oeuvres, why, we only live to serve….”  If you recall that musical number from Beauty and the Beast, you may also remember the fantastic animated choreography and enthusiasm shown by each character. Just as in the movies, in hospitality great service choreography and enthusiasm are essential. This course explores the ins and outs of guest relations and what it takes to deliver great service.


At the program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Outline what guests expect.
  • Describe the look and sound of “courtesy,” “flexibility,” “responsiveness,” and other attributes top service providers share.
  • Explain “on-stage” and “off-stage” behavior.”
  • Demonstrate top communication skills when dealing with angry, upset, or disappointed customers.
  • Perform a site audit.
  • Better manage service-related stress.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Our House Is a Very, Very, Very Fine House: The Basics of Customer Service

Beyond the architecture, décor, amenities, or natural beauty that might contribute to customers’ pleasure in patronizing certain hospitality venues, nothing will ruin their experience faster than poor service. In this introductory discussion, participants will discuss the service experience and what factors lead to a positive or negative impression of an establishment and its staff. 

The Look and Sound of Hospitality: Appearance, Actions, and Attitude

For a five-star experience, guests must receive great service every time. In this part of the workshop, we will look at the guests’ journey and determine what should happen at every turn. Next, we will identify the appearance employees should present, the actions they should demonstrate, and the attitude they should adopt when interacting with customers.

Who’s Sleeping in Our Beds?: Customizing Service

Hospitality is a people business. The stronger your staff’s communication skills, the better each guest’s experience will be. In this seminar segment, we will look at different customer groups and how to adjust to their varying needs. We will also develop several profiles and solution strategies for each.

Little Things Mean a Lot: The Extra Mile

Our next discussion revolves around the little extras that can mean the difference between a great service experience and one that’s just “okay.” In this part of the program, participants will identify the specific extras they can add to their arsenal of service tools.

What’s the Forecast?: Reading Customer-Satisfaction Levels

Learning to gauge customer satisfaction is a valuable skill that can help preempt or prevent problems in a hospitality setting. During this part of the workshop, the facilitator will show participants how to “read” their patrons for the purpose of stopping trouble before it starts. Included in the lesson is information about how to interpret body language and facial features in others and how to listen for changes in tone of voice as a precursor to a verbal attack. 

If They Huff and They Puff: Calming Those Who Would Blow the House Down

“It’s on the house.” “There’s no charge.” “We’ll put you in another room.” “I can take care of that.” Sometimes even offers such as these aren’t enough to smooth the ruffled feathers of dissatisfied customers. There are some who will not be happy with anything you try. For the others who may be temporarily upset by certain unpleasant circumstances, there are ways of turning them around. In this segment of the training, participants will learn tactics for handling service breakdowns and unhappy customers. 

Before the Next Wave Reaches Shore: Steps for Successful Stress Reduction

Not all guests are easy. Even so, employees who are not able to move beyond experiences with difficult customers will find themselves stressed out and unable to provide service of any kind to their guests. This component teaches participants valuable skills in stress reduction. By spending a few minutes following some simple steps, employees will learn how to ease tension and focus their efforts on offering the best possible service to those who visit their establishments.

Under New Management: A Plan for Self-Improvement

This final segment of the training seminar is set aside for participants to design a personal action plan for improving their customer-service skills. Based on a set of both short- and long-term goals, their individualized lists will function as a ready reference to assist them and their businesses in exceeding customer expectations.

At the program’s conclusion, participants will have a clear understanding of what constitutes exceptional customer service, especially in the hospitality industry. They will know how to provide such service, how to handle impediments that are not always within their control, and how to manage dissatisfied customers. They will also know the steps to take to minimize their own stress so that they can stay motivated and remain valued guest services providers.