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Two-fingered Pour

April 15, 2013

(Typed with one finger on my Galaxy Nexus post-breakfast while my PM plans our daytrip up the Mediterranean coast…) You may have heard reports about a dire Spanish economy, but if our experience in Barcelona is any indication, things here are bueno. The streets and tapas bars have been packed, and the service friendly and mostly excellante. There was one waiter whose pace suggested he was mid-siesta, but most workers have been engaged and hustling to keep their hospitality businesses humming. Margins are tight, and every Euro critical. That’s why training these front-line employees is so important…

20130415-111258.jpgBarcelona is a late-night city, and most of our dinners have been after 11PM. We hit the hotel lobby bar for a nightcap around 1:30 Saturday morning. (Play)Joyce ordered. Bailey’s on the rocks, and I went straight up. As we sunk into the cushy white leather chairs, she admired the pours and said, “that’s the sign of an untrained employee.” The young French woman who served us only thought of serving first, and that was wonderful for us. For the most part, she was just cleaning up after a long night. Still, her lack of training on bar basics cost the hotel a couple free drinks.

The actions of front-line employees can multiply quickly, and if those actions are costs, the impact can be severe before you can begin to manage it. That’s why so many hospitality businesses use Kronos workforce management systems to control labor costs and improve productivity. Yeah, about 1.5 million hospitality workers use Kronos systems today, and over 100 of our hospitality customers are using KnowledgePass to train new employees and provide refresher training to existing staff. Maybe we need to add an on-demand module on how to pour a drink…

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