General Manager, Hyatt Regency Gurgaon, Roger Wright, speaks to FoodService India about how to be a differentiator in a crowded and increasingly cookie-cutter industry and the systems and processes that help to build deep interpersonal connections with the customers…
At Hyatt Regency Gurgaon and the restaurants under its wing, where does service ends and hospitality begins?
At Hyatt Regency Gurgaon, we make sure that both service and hospitality are taken care of with utmost importance as they go together hand in hand. Our restaurants promise unparalleled service and genuine warmth that will make you want to revisit time and again. Both complement each other at various facets. Hyatt Regency has a distinct brand promise and a framework of guiding principles offering unique and differentiated experiences to our guests.
We are an experienced hospitality player with a well-designed infrastructure offering customised accommodation and meeting solutions for corporate and individual business travellers. Our convention halls are usually the preferred choice for large events. Spread over 40,000 sq.ft., they seamlessly blend impeccable hospitality and services.
Which are the typical services and standards that are the core components of service and hospitality at your outlets?
We believe in creating energising experiences for our guests by developing signifi cant connections with them keeping their desires and preferences in consideration. We earn loyalty by fostering personal relationships and creating emotional connections that makes Hyatt one of the most preferred hotels.We strongly believe that true loyalty is built due to deep interpersonal connections, authenticity, care and trust.
In your opinion, which is a better foodservice approach: Good food and great service or great food and good service?
We believe in providing a world-class experience to our guests as it’s the experience that matters the most. The time spent should be memorable and both food and service are of prime importance to make it special. Our chefs personally cater to the guests in case of any problem with food. We also provide fresh and natural ingredients in appropriately sized portions, prepared with the best cooking techniques in our hotels for a holistic food and beverage experience.
What are your processes and SOPs for making your staff good ambassadors of service and hospitality?
As our brand has a single purpose – to care for people so they can be their best. This singular focus allows us to do business and reap ardent loyalty – driving preference and propelling thoughtful growth. It is our differentiator in a crowded and increasingly cookie-cutter industry. With our purpose as our foundation, we’ve begun to align how we do business and what we’re focused on. We’ve always been centered around people and now momentum is in full swing on helping them be their best. A new learning strategy and system has been launched to achieve this goal.
Which are these new systems and processes you have put in place for amping up your service and hospitality standards further?
There are quite a few examples: For infusing work ethics, we have created a workshop on Purpose & Brand Activation, introduced an Pictorial task breakdown for various processes to ease understanding, and offer a minimum of three hours on-the-job training to all associates in a month by departmental trainers & situation handling trainings. Similarly, we have quite a few examples by which we seek to sharpen our service focus. These include Express Airport Check-Ins by our airport representative for our repeat guests, In-room checkins by the guest relations team, personalising rooms for guests celebrating special occasions (Birthday, Honeymoon & Anniversary) with the hotel, In-car internet facility in hotel cars, weekend kids activity (water zorbing, mini-golf, trampoline etc) by the kids pool & special kids amenities for guests travelling with kids.
Do you have a manual and a standard operating procedure for dealing with ticklish situations at your F&B outlets?
Our personnel are trained to first calmly take stock of the situation and then find an appropriate solution to it. We understand and resolve all guests problems by listening to them with empathy. We have plenty of kids activities at the property to keep them engaged through out the stay. In case of hyper-active children, we do not come across unpleasant experiences very often. On some rare instances, a polite request to the parents works well. Our chefs also personally speak to such children and cater to their demands.
What are the technology tools you are employing for ensuring higher F&B standards and customer service at your outlets?
We believe that encouraging innovation and the use of technology helps in creating productive workplace cultures. We are currently using ‘Reserve Out’ as technology tool where we have guest records of their dining, preferences etc. So every time they call us we explore the opportunity for a unique experience. Internally, we use the very handy WhatsApp service to communicate within the team for the updates, guest preferences and other information. We do have Hyatt internally-built GEM tool where guests likes and dislikes are recorded and they can be accessed all over the world within Hyatt.
How do you deal with negative comments and reviews posted online?
The ever-growing landscape can certainly pose a problem for a hotel’s goodwill. However, we do believe that the reputation built over the years cannot be written off by one or two bad experiences. If there is a negative review online, we try to address the issue by getting to the core of the cause. We cannot bear to see our guests unhappy. We have adopted stringent quality control practices and always learn from our mistakes.
There are several industry standards for the types of service styles that might be used in a banquet/conference setting. What is the style your establishment follows with regard to food service by way of the selection and presentation of appetisers and beverages?
We focus a lot on theatrical experiences in events spaces where we put lot of emphasis on set ups and live kitchen shows. As event attendees, Hyatt Regency colleagues reenergise and refresh themselves with creative food and drinks. Abundant power outlets re-energise the electronic devices, and robust Wi-Fi makes it easy to reboot and reconnect.
What is your approach when it comes to arranging and managing appetisers and beverages at a well-attended event?
At events we focus on live stations strategically stationed – which serves individual portions with open space to communicate with the chef on the other side – is a tantalising experience. Beverages taste best when they are custom made, our skilful bartenders make drinks that you like, not what we like.
What seasonal innovations are your trying out in F&B?
To beat the scorching summers, The Long Bar at Hyatt Regency Gurgaon is carrying out a special promotion that will continue for the whole month of May. The promotion features presenting a range of exotic alcoholic chuski. You can dip in a variety of shaved ice and pick your flavours from Pinacolada Chuski, Kala Khatta chuki with vodka, Lemonee with gin and lemon juice and after burner with rum and crushed mint leaves, which will take you to the another level of freshness and excitement in this summer.
What do you think are the opportunities for collaboration with outside players in the Foodservice business?
Hyatt Regency Gurgaon has recently started Outdoor Catering and plan to continue collaborations with different people and brands in future as it is highly beneficial to us as well as to the brand we associate with.