What qualities do employers look for?

What qualities do employers look for?

Whether you are entering hospitality or another industry, the competition is always fierce. You have to ensure you have a range of skills in order to stand out from the crowd. But in this day and age, what qualities do employers look for? What skills can you gain that will boost your career potential?

Soft and hard skills

Modern employers will want you to lead rather than follow. They will want you to bring exciting ideas, cutting-edge concepts and key insight to the table. To be able to do this, it requires the right combination of soft and hard skills. In terms of the latter, strong knowledge, attention-to-detail and experience are key.

However, soft skills are becoming more and more vital. Soft skills such as communication, teamwork, creativity and flexibility are equally as important as hard skills. Furthermore, in the world of hospitality such skills can make a positive difference to a range of aspects, including guest satisfaction.

According to a recent NACE survey, 80 per cent of employers are looking for leaders who can work as part of a team.

First-hand experience

In an increasingly competitive job market, experience is essential. It’s important to build your first-hand experience through internships, a part-time job or volunteering. Studying at Glion will enable you to embark on two internships with hospitality organizations. This means that when you graduate, you have considerable experience of the workplace and have gained some valuable contacts.

First-hand experience means you get a real taste of what a job is like, working face-to-face with customers and taking on a range of tasks. Additionally, it allows you to sample a job and see if it is the right role for you.

Internships are beneficial as they also give you the chance to see the world. You can gain experience of different cultures and take on different challenges, all the while giving your CV some individuality. At Glion, internships are a core element of our Bachelor’s degree in International Hospitality Business; our alumni graduate with one year of work experience across both the customer engagement and management aspects of the hospitality industry.

Be punctual

Employers need to know they can trust you. A contributing factor to this is being punctual. However, this is not just about showing up on time. Punctuality is all about achieving deadlines, ensuring projects arrive at the scheduled date and being ready for the next challenge. In the world of hospitality, guests constantly crave service that is efficient and timely. Keeping someone waiting, whether it be an employer or a customer, can create a negative effect on the whole business.

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Why do chefs wear white?

Why do chefs wear white?

Chef whites are a proud tradition in the world of hospitality. Although in the present day they are not widespread, they still remain a hallmark of quality. A chef wearing white commands respect and shows a well-regarded kitchen. But why do chefs wear white? And how did it begin?

The origins

Legendary French chef Marie-Antoine Carême is largely credited with creating the chef’s uniform. He created the uniform in the mid-19th century for a number of reasons. Firstly, Carême chose white to signify cleanliness. But isn’t it part of a chef’s job to make a mess and suffer the odd spillage? According to Carême, no. A good chef is a clean chef, one that is able to work without staining their uniform.

However, accidents happen, and that’s another reason why Carême chose white. Should a chef dirty their uniform, white is the most noticeable colour. A quick change reduces any risk of health hazards, such as cross-contamination and allergens. White can also be bleached, so stains aren’t permanent. Additionally, white is also reflective, repelling heat instead of absorbing it.

Completing the look

The chef’s jacket is an integral part of the uniform. It’s one of the most important items of clothing a chef can own, and every aspect of it has been carefully thought out. The jackets are usually double-breasted, so if the inevitable stain does occur, a chef can simply reverse the flaps. Furthermore, the buttons are knotted and not made of plastic, and can come undone quickly in the event of an emergency.

Another well-renowned aspect of the uniform is the toque, a chef’s hat. The height of the toque signifies the rank of the chef, so a head chef’s toque will stand the tallest. In addition, the folds in the hat allegedly signify the many ways to cook an egg.

In modern times, chefs’ uniforms often change depending on the style of the restaurant. For example, one that promotes casual clothing will often mean chefs wear something less traditional. However, chef whites are still an integral part of some of the world’s most aspirational restaurants where the finer details are never overlooked, something our Glion undergraduate students are well versed in with their foundation in Practical Arts.

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Why is hospitality important in businesses?

Why is hospitality important in businesses?

Hospitality is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries, but how does one stand out? Whether you are opening a hotel, restaurant, private resort or a casino, there are key rules you have to follow. Good service and efficient hospitality are key to any business. Here are three useful tips on how to provide excellent hospitality.

It ensures you gain loyal customers

In the hospitality industry, the customer is always your focus. They are at the heart of hospitality, and can often make or break a business. To elaborate, a satisfied customer will tell three of their friends, while an angry one will tell 3,000. When a customer pays for a room or a meal, it’s much more than that – they’re paying for the experience, the atmosphere and the service.

Providing excellent customer service will see you gain loyal customers that’ll help your business grow. Consider the perspective of the customer. Look at how it impacts overall service and hospitality. Get to know their names, understand what makes them tick and create a bond.

Good hospitality will separate you from the pack

There are millions of hotels, bars, resorts and other hospitality-focused institutions out there, but there is always room for a good product. Therefore, ensure you have a clear plan and execute it accordingly. If you want to run a successful customer-facing business, particularly in hospitality, you want a dream team of proactive, polite staff members. Additionally, focus on a particularly exciting and/or unique part of your business, and ensure you demonstrate this to your customers.

However, it’s not just enough to provide excellent customer service. In order to make yourself stand out from the pack, you need to go above and beyond. Customers expect good service and good experiences – it’s what they’re not expecting that will truly give your business a boost.

“Every single day I ask my staff about what you might call good customer service,” said Ricard Casimiro in a Forbes interview. Ricard is Director General of Hotel Eurostars Grand Marina. “But what we’re discussing, really, is engagement with the guests. I’m not asking my employees ‘did you put the doily under the glass?’. I’m asking “did you find out how your guest was feeling and work on making a connection with them?’”

It will help your business grow

Excellent hospitality means excellent growth. Recent reports show that, in the USA, 86 per cent of adults are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. It is also important to be open to suggestions – being in hospitality means customers will offer them. Show you are flexible and approachable by always listening. Incorporating ideas from others is a key strategy for growth and creating a positive impact.

No one is closer to your hotel experience than your customers. They live it, and for the time they are with you, are in it from start to finish. It’s your job to make every single touch point remarkable and positive, and you can’t do that without listening to them. Their feedback is the most valuable asset you have, it’s an insight into the user experience that otherwise would cost thousands to discover.

It especially important to review feedback, as employees are often too close to the experience to understand it – you’re too busy delivering the service day-in, day-out. It’s important to action both positive and negative feedback as the areas your hotel is weakest in offer the greatest opportunity to improve hospitality levels. If you’ve built those strong relationships we talked about earlier, then your guests are more likely to be open and constructive in their feedback, rather than jumping on Facebook to tell those 3,000 people about the issue they encountered.

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Glion student testimonial – Susana Oliveri

Glion student testimonial – Susana Oliveri

Susana Oliveri’s family have no hospitality history, so it may seem surprising it is the industry Susana wants to work in. However, she was determined to experience it and after falling in love with Glion, she is now Student Government Association (SGA) President.

“If you really want to be successful in hospitality, Glion is the place to be,” Susana said. “It has given me the opportunity to experience soft skills and real-life experiences. I have been taught teamwork, time management and understanding different cultures.” That multicultural atmosphere is something Susana feels is key to studying at Glion. “I have met people from all around the world – ‘contacts’ is one word, but lifelong friendships also apply.”

Becoming SGA President

Despite being able to “clearly see the Glion spirit”, Susana knew improvements could still be made. “I became SGA President because I believe in making the changes that students inspire, rather than faculty,” she said. “I think it’s interesting to see what new things students can bring to the table, and it’s important to keep introducing new clubs that can gain more student interest.”

As SGA President, Susana has added a whole new committee, The Arts Club. This is perfect for students with an interest in painting and photography, the Glion band and culinary arts. Additionally, there is the Glion Charity Committee, which provides aid to chosen charity partners. There is also the Networking Committee, which puts tomorrow’s industry leaders face to face with the leaders of today. The Graduation Committee organizes an event at the end of the semester in accordance with graduating classes, while the Entrepreneurship Club gives students the chance to build their skills and devise inventive new projects.

Susana believes her role will help her succeed in her future goals. “My leadership skills have risen spectacularly,” she said. “There are so many responsibilities other than my team, including staying in contact with students and faculty. I have learnt how to balance and manage time. I’ve grown and I’ve learned.”

Learning for the future

Internships are an integral part of Glion study, with Susana profiting from such opportunities. She worked in the Front Office department for her first internship, at the Penha Longa Ritz Carlton in Portugal, which she chose as she wanted to learn the language. “It was challenging yet interesting,” she said. “I saw the language barrier as a spring to jump higher.” For her second internship, she went a little further, working in marketing, PR and events for W Santiago in Chile.

For the future, Susana aims to be a General Manager. “I can’t wait to go out into the industry,” she said. “They teach us the skills we need to work in such a position. We also receive recognition from having studied at Glion. However, we should not take advantage – this is not a case of create your fame and go to sleep. We have the skills to take us where we belong.”

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