Could the key to curing the people and skills shortages in hospitality and catering be much simpler than we think?
Driving back last Saturday morning from a stay at the Foxes Hotel in Minehead, the specialist catering college and training hotel for young adults with learning disabilities, I reflected on the stay.
I enjoyed it far more than I expected to, that said not sure of exactly what I was expecting, but it was immensely enjoyable. Thinking a bit more about it I realised it was simply that everyone there was happy, so must have been happy osmosis in action, and gratefully received.
Happy of course is rather difficult to drill down and define, the people I met smiled a lot, but their ‘happiness’ seemed much deeper than that.
At this point I should also explain who the happy people I am referring to are.
Young people with learning difficulties experiencing vocational training in food preparation, food service and housekeeping at the Foxes Hotel.
I visited with my wife Angela and we met many of the young people working at Foxes Hotel who without exception were doing their jobs very well. ‘The Learners’ as they are known to colleagues and visitors were taking their jobs very seriously and applying themselves ensuring they were doing their best. In many aspects the Learners are supervised and shown what to do, but that is surely what all employers should be doing to continuously improve skills.
The Learners were glad to be providing a service, they checked what they were doing was what ‘the customer’ wanted and were then glad to provide.
So, is enabling people being happy in their work key to addressing the people and skills shortages in hospitality and catering?
I think it is, if you agree, disagree or would like to add to the debate you are welcome to voice your opinion through the form below and we will compile a summary of replies for publishing.
Denis Sheehan, Publisher, H&C News
If this is a subject close to your heart you may also like to look at the conference and roundtable schedule taking place at H&C EXPO also addressing the people and skills shortages in hospitality and catering.
Oh, if you are staying anywhere near Minehead we can’t recommend the Foxes Hotel highly enough, breakfast was a real treat.
For more information click here