I read with great interest the findings of the 2007 Zagat Survey London Restaurants guide (Caterer, 14 September, pages 8 and 9), and Tim Zagat's call for the restaurant industry to address the issue of bad service - following the survey's revelation that 65% of punters' complaints related to this issue.
He believed that it stemmed from a lack of training. Given this fact, I have good news for Mr Zagat and London's restaurateurs. The HCIMA is staging one of the association's acclaimed ongoing series of Small Business Seminars on this very subject.
Customer Service Skills: Top Tips for the Christmas Trade is the title of the HCIMA's latest SME event (www.hcima.org.uk/seminars), which is to be held on 23 November at the Bankside EC2 Restaurant, London.
The seminar speakers - who will be talking on how to sharpen service skills, in preparation for one of the busiest times of the year for restaurateurs and the hospitality industry generally - will include: Mark Jones, general manager, Whittlebury Hall Hotel and Spa, Northamptonshire; and Steve Samuel, managing director of the Gayton Group and lead trainer for Hospitality Assured, the HCIMA-championed standard for service and business excellence in hospitality, that focuses on the customer experience.
The HCIMA believes so strongly in the importance of enhancing customer service skills that we are offering a special deal to Caterer readers who reserve their places at the seminar by 31 October (quoting the magazine). We propose to waive the £75 seminar attendance cost for non-HCIMA members, so Caterer readers can join HCIMA members in attending free of charge.
Director of marketing and communications, HCIMA, Sutton, Surrey