I grew up in a small rural town in the Riverina called Wakool. Quite often we would travel to Melbourne to visit relatives. On the trip home, which for four small children took forever, we would stop for tea.
As we pass through Heathcote questions are asked, cases are pleaded. Most likely. promises not to fight in the back of the car are made to parents who have absolutely no intention of not stopping.
Just before 5pm our Datsun 180B, blue with white roof, filled with hope and expectation pulls up in front of the super fancy hacienda facade of The Elmore Hotel. Bruce apologises for arriving before dinner service but this is entirely unnecessary. In the quiet of the dining room before the locals have poured in, we sit. stifling joyous giggles. Before us, 4 sparkling soft drinks and 4 ham steaks with pineapple. Luxury.
I rang mum and dad to ask why we always stopped at that particular hotel. They remembered feeling welcome. And grateful. Despite being early, with several small children, the staff would simply lead us to a table with a sense they were genuinely pleased to serve us. We repaid The Elmore Hotel with loyalty, both in attendance and by word of mouth.
AHA (Vic) recently released a compelling document to its members, Hospitality Insights “What makes licensed hotels successful?” A hotelier and patron survey by Shine Wing Australia and On Tap Hospitality.
The research shows very clearly two important pieces of data that seem to match up. The most significant factor in establishing patron loyalty is the quality of the staff and customer service.
Additionally, for owners and managers the key challenge is in the provision of HR; hiring and retaining quality staff, wages, training and rostering. A staggering 92% found this aspect a headache.
Everything you do is people. People, through customer service and great food, build loyalty. So how do you create good people, staff that understand what you want for your hotel and what the hotel wants for its customers?
An opportunity does exist through O’Malley Consulting to assist you in motivating your staff to do the best job they can do. By establishing clear goals, systems and processes for your team you can create the right culture to enable your staff to do the right things. Your leaders will understand they are never not influencing in order to create a positive customer experience
Loyalty is friendly service and the best ham steak and pineapple you can deliver.
OMC – Facilitation and Training has developed a practical Pub Leadership Program for hotels, combining all the leadership and team-building skills from big business in a manner that is specific for hoteliers. The program is designed to develop skills in your leadership team that will align with your goals for the hotel.

This article first appeared in Hotel Today, the official publication of the AHA Victoria