Approachable Teaching In Hospitality

The hospitality staffing crisis and what we can do

To put it simply, change the way we are taught. When I first started in this industry teaching methods were less than exemplary, they instilled a fear of making mistakes and a fear of repercussions. Once fear mongering is combined with long unsociable hours, poor wages, and an abusive work environment, it is only a matter of time before people leave the industry or parents discourage their children to pursue a career in it. Yes teaching within hospitality has changed a little since I started my career, but we have not gone far enough as an industry to affect change. I love this industry and if you do too, you have to admit it needs to change and that starts with education. Those managers, who use the ‘fear’ approach, do not deserve to be in a position of power.

 

So how do you change this culture by teaching and what can we do differently?

Recognize the differences

It is important to understand that every single person you encounter is different and should be treated as such. Speaking from personal experience, as someone who struggled in school with dyslexia, teachers didn’t have the time to adjust their teaching methods to suit my needs and as a result, I struggled academically. It was only when I grew up and had to learn things on my own, that I realized I had to ‘learn to learn’ and study differently. In a school setting, I understand it must be exceedingly difficult for teachers to adjust their approach when they have a class of 30 students, however in a workplace or a hospitality setting, this should be an industry standard. Managers should be trained to learn how to change their approach to different types of learners, to understand the various approaches needed to effectively help the student retain the information.

Use Compassion and Empathy

We also need to be compassionate and empathetic. How do we expect people to work if we do not understand what might be going on in their personal life? We need to be approachable and foster an environment where their feelings and concerns could be heard and acknowledged.

Nurture and build confidence

It is our role as managers, leaders, and teachers to be a mentor and encourage growth and learning. As a mentor we must nurture our learners and build their confidence. We should focus on bringing people up, not tearing them down. Their unique quirks and qualities are what make our industry great, so who are we to try and weed out individuality?

Make it approachable

Wine, spirits, cocktails, and hospitality are amazing subjects and should be for everyone. Unfortunately, they are often unapproachable for people of different races and socio-economic backgrounds as not everyone has the resources to get official certification, and this needs to change. I personally have not been able to attempt to reach such heights because of the lack of financial resources. We put so much emphasis on the prestige of the highest levels of this type of education when in fact those at the top reflect those who have the connections and financial resources to be there. The argument here could be that we are not truly finding the world’s greatest at these subjects because it is so exclusive.

 

We should look at making certifications more accessible. This does not mean that it would make it any less special or unique when someone gets a very high-level certification, but it would accredit that individual with the certification they deserve.

 

One of the reasons I was so happy to sign up as a teacher with Amphy was because I now have the opportunity to take the subjects I know about well (hospitality, wine & cocktails) and make them approachable for everyone.

 

In summary, to affect change and tackle the hospitality staffing crisis, we need to start by changing the way we teach. We need to recognize people’s differences, be compassionate, nurture and build confidence and make it approachable for all. By starting with these fundamental aspects, we can promote better working conditions for employees, better training and increase opportunities for diversity. Workplace conditions undoubtedly need to improve along with wages but if we do not change the attitude of the people at the top, these things will never get better and consequently the industry will continue to lose workers. I believe once we are all committed to this, we will build better teams and better working environments. The days of ruling by fear, teaching by yelling and berating within hospitality should be long gone. Hospitality is in crisis mode and change needs to happen now! 

About the author:

Adam has worked in hospitality for 13 years and enjoys working with people and making them smile. He has completed proficient training and has built many successful teams. Adam ran his own company during the pandemic by hosting virtual cocktail and wine pairing classes, which were fun, attended by many and became a hit!