I Used to Teach Restaurant Staff About Vodka. Now I Teach Them About Hospitality.

Restaurant diaries is a weekly series featuring four people who work in the industry. Every week you will hear from one of them: farmer Kristyn Leach, wine educator Kyla Peal, line chef Peter Steckler and the bartender who became brand ambassador Jenny Feldt. Here, Feldt talks about how the lack of staff in the hospitality industry affects her restaurant and bar partners, her role at Gray Goose, and the industry as a whole. Read Feldt’s previous journal entries Here.

There are a real shortage of hotel professionals right now.

It’s been a problem since the onset of COVID, but I’ve noticed it especially in the last few months when restaurants start opening and just have incredibly few staff. I’ve seen the same problem in almost every market I work in or visit. When the first restaurant closings pushed hospitality workers out of their jobs, many of them left the industry. I know a lot of people who went back to school or found jobs outside of bars and restaurants that were more stable or beneficial. Now some of these hospitality veterans are not coming back. Instead we find a new group of younger employees. For restaurant managers, this means training a whole new workforce in the 101s and the basics of hospitality. This has shifted my daily focus for our Gray Goose partners, essentially our own restaurant and bar customers.

Before that, I spent more time training restaurant and bar staff for the Gray Goose brand or the entire vodka category. During these days I also offer introductory hospitality training. I teach newbies to the industry the basic steps of service, such as: B. How long to wait before greeting a guest after they have sat down. how often you look on a table; how to understand and effectively communicate a menu with descriptions of foods and ingredients. In fact, I provide them with the building blocks on how to create an experience for a guest. While some restaurants have very intensive onboarding programs for this type of information, I find that many teams are so understaffed that they simply don’t have time to do this training on their own. This is where I come in. I am doing training that I would never have thought of before the pandemic or that I would have thought necessary. For example, I was recently asked to demonstrate how to present a bottle during service, which I had never done before. But it’s a great opportunity for me to also learn what restaurants and restaurant staff really need right now and possibly dust off my own skills and services.

Photo by Jose Pereiro

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