Revival of the Human Factor in Hospitality

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Revival of the Human Factor in Hospitality
Dimitri, Member
The hospitality industry is a powerhouse at the heart of several major world economies. In terms of its contribution to GDP it can rank alongside sectors such as manufacturing in its impact on wealth generation.
But the efficiency of the hospitality sector is constantly undermined by a failure to recognize that success, in terms of meeting the expectations of customers, relies on the human factor – in other words, the skills, and attributes, of those in the front line, at the interface with customers.
Those who work in the sector are too often judged only by their quantity, not their quality. The mere idea that those in the sector should aspire to structured careers is unheard of in many companies. The prestige associated with this part of the service sector is very low, putting aside the adulation reserved for so-called celebrity chefs.

This has not always been so. Past generations, in some cultures – such as France – did value individual skills. Now, employees in the hospitality industry are too often seen as costs, rather than assets in themselves. There needs to be a revolution in the way such workers are valued. The days when certain mechanical skills, such as silver service, were required is long gone. But the modern hospitality industry needs new skills.
Diners in the 21st century are prepared to pay money to be part of a fine dining ‘experience’ – they wish to ‘buy into the dream’ sold to them through television, films, books and popular culture. The fine dining experience is as much a branch of the entertainment industry as the food industry. Research needs to be undertaken to discover what attributes are needed in those employees upon whom the ‘experience’ is ultimately reliant.
Kelly J (2015) R.L.F. University of Essex.



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