Hospitality is a service-oriented industry where employees work to make clients feel welcomed and cared for. Jobs might include housekeeping, food service, event planning and hotel services. A key to providing good hospitality services involves offering training that engages employees while also teaching them how to best serve their customers.
Ice Breaker Games
A successful hospitality training program often starts with an ice breaker game or two. The game should be energizing and not intimidating, to help break the tension and give participants a chance to feel more comfortable with one another. For example, you can ask participants to list the pros and cons of their favorite restaurants or get groups together to briefly come up with ideas on how their favorite stores can improve customer service. A personality test, like the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator, is also a fun way to help trainees understand themselves better and share results in a non-threatening environment.
Simple Role Playing
Simple role playing exercises are another type of game that can be used for hospitality training. For example, you can break a group into teams and give them a customer service role-playing exercise. Videotape the exercise and play it back, allowing groups to rate each other. The training leader can also play the role of a restaurant customer and rate how each group handles difficult situations, awarding prizes to the winners.
Individual Virtual Games
Hospitality training games don't have to take place in group settings. For example, Ultimate Team Play is a computer game that individuals can play on their PlayStations at home. An employee has an avatar that engages in various service positions, like housekeeping or front desk work, and earns points for correct decisions. Similarly, Marriott International has a video game called Business Acumen used to train international property managers. It simulates different hotel management circumstances, including budget decisions and handling economic problems.
Advanced Group Simulation
Advanced group simulations involve game-playing for hospitality teams and can be digital or in-person. For example, Cornell University has a Cocktail Party Simulation that teaches hospitality workers how to handle intercultural situations. Participants play the roles of company representatives from different countries. Similarly, the Hotel Operational Training System, developed by The Total Simulator Company, is an advanced simulation game where teams simulate being hotel managers at locations that are operating poorly. They make decisions on how to improve the hotel and are awarded based on who performs the best.