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What does recruitment have in common with hospitality?

25th January 2017 | Blog

By Chloe Khatcherian, NonStop Pharma Team Leader

Having studied hospitality and then embarking on a career with NonStop, I’ve been struck with how many similarities there are between the two industries. In both cases, the objective is the same: how do I make sure my customers will come back? What are they looking for?

Well think about yourself. Once you find an interesting place with good value for money, you will obviously recommend it to your peers and most likely come back. This being said, you will, step by step, create your own comfort zone and may be less and less tempted to try something new because you trust your favourite restaurant and know you won’t be disappointed. In recruitment that’s the same, your clients have a preferred supplier list (PSL) and they know what their suppliers can provide, so why change?

When canvassing a client, I always ask myself: how can I prove that I could be a better alternative?

  • Show passion and energy: They need to want to talk to you. Likewise, if you see a waiter not really showing any enthusiasm, you start wondering when you will get your food and probably won’t leave him a tip.
  • Customer service: This one is pretty obvious; we’ve all experienced bad service in a restaurant and never went back. Therefore if it took you 3 weeks to send one CV to a hot role, you probably lost the client.
  • Managing expectations: To enhance patronage and profitability in a restaurant, you also need to ensure customers are satisfied. Overpromising has never been a good thing to do, especially in Catering. What makes some restaurants more successful than others is the ability to define and deliver on the unspoken (or intimated) expectations of the customers. If you pretend you are serving the best pork ribs in the city, then it better be true. Likewise, if you state that you will be able to send 5 CVs in the space of 3 days, you should not rest until it’s done, otherwise your credibility will be damaged.
  • Value for Money: Luke Gurrey mentioned this point in one of the previous articles. A good single malt whisky will cost more than a cheap bottle of Grant’s. It’s the same for pretty much anything but we tend to forget this in our business. You DO add value so stop underevaluating your performance. If the client has been looking to find someone for 2 months, why would you charge the same rate as the company which has just failed? This is nonsense.
  • Creating habits/customers’ loyalty: This is probably the most important thing to remember in Hospitality/Catering. 20% of your customers will represent 80% of your profit. You should focus on attracting new customers of course, but your current pool of clients is equally important, if not more so.Don’t neglect them and don’t take them for granted!
  • Branding/Marketing: I want to relate this to the concept of niche markets. A successful restaurant has successfully defined a target market and oriented its marketing towards their expectations/needs. Word of Mouth is such a powerful marketing tool, so make sure the right people know who you are.
  • Problem Solving Skills: Sometimes you simply need to be reactive. When something goes wrong, you instantly need to think about how you are going to fix the problem, or it could damage your reputation. Of course proactivity is always preferred as anticipating your clients’/customers’ needs is always preferable, however no one is perfect and you should be prepared to make mistakes. If you managed to solve the problem quickly, the clients’ will trust you even more.

I hope you can all relate to this (as I imagine you all need food to survive)! Bon Apétit!

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