The professionals disappear
Another big blow for service is the long time decline in quality Management and staff. Poorly paid staff makes the hotel industry one of the leading turnover fields. Short time employment , trained with only the basics to fulfill limited tasks. The professionals disappear. Replaced by students or other part timers who want to make the fast cash. They are of course not too much interested to be trained and the hospitality industry is not interested to invest in training of short term employees. An exception is still the kitchen where professionals are needed but they are almost never in direct guest contact.
But it is good that Chefs are on TV shows, stand in the spotlight, give interviews and become stars. It gave a boost to the reputation to the craft and triggered the desire in young people to follow in their footsteps.
But have you ever heard of a great famous Maitre d’Hotel? Can you recall any name? Most properly only if you work in the industry. Why not ? Because it is the essence of their profession not to stay in the spot light. Great Maitre’ds and waiters are there when the guest needs them – and not there when they don’t need them. They can read guest, create an atmosphere that gives guest trust and let them become loyal guest. The Guest and his satisfaction will be always in the spotlight. The good Maitre D and waiter will never be. They will never want to be!
Sommeliers are the employees that should get the spotlight and this position really did some good for the service reputation. But what would they be without the Maitre and the waiters that organize the surroundings, the smooth evening the balance and communication between kitchen, service and guest, the schedules and the motivation of staff ?
Great Wine knowledge was always expected of Maitre D and the good ones are on the same level as a sommelier. But they never wanted to be focused only on wine and wine service. They are the conductors that manage the whole orchestra of a hotel and restaurants, banquets and bars. They are the ones that deliver the whole symphony perfectly that a guest will appreciate and enjoy. They wisely left the first violin to be played by the sommelier.
Management is often not trained but only branded. Little do they know about the variety of services, the possibilities of serving the guest better. Serving the Stakeholders has become the priority.
Of course there are – luckily - exceptions. Those exceptions are mostly in the 5* star sector and therefore out of reach for the majority of guests.