5 secret skills every hospitality student should have

Hospitality is an industry in which soft skills are crucial. While some of them are inborn or can take a while to master, here’s a few you can learn quickly and that will impress your friends, family and colleagues.

We have put together a list of five skills that are quite easy and quick to learn so you can claim you have a secret talent you can put to good use.

Greet people in different languages

As you probably already know, working in the hospitality industry means interacting with people from many different countries, whether they are your colleagues or your guests. Your first reaction when you will hear a guest speaking a foreign language will be greeting him in English. However, do you know what makes the guest impressed with the service and wanting to come back? Personalization and “wow effect”. And what better way to surprise your guests than greeting them in their own language?

This may seem like a tedious task, however you only need to learn how to say “hi” in their language, nobody expects you to hold a conversation in many different languages (but of course, speaking various languages is a big bonus when working in hospitality). Check out this video on how to say “hello” in 50 different languages.

Doomsday rule

You may not have heard this name and if you did, you probably think it sounds very negative. It is actually a very interesting and even useful technique to immediately know the day of the week for any date. You may wonder “how is this going to help me?” well, you’d be surprised! Imagine you are working in a restaurant and your guests wish to book another dinner later on. While they may start thinking about the date of their dinner, they may also wonder which day it falls on to know if it actually fits their schedule. Instead of waiting while they look at the phone calendar, help them out and surprise them by knowing the day of the week of any date. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised as it is not a skill many people master.

It can also be useful in your personal life as it will enable you to book an appointment or simply plan an evening with friends without looking at your calendar or phone every time. It can save you time, not to mention it will impress the people around you. Here’s how you can learn how to use the Doomsday rule.

Knowing constellations and stars

The vast majority of people are fascinated by stars and the sky in general. There is something intriguing in the unknown, which probably explains this interest. However, not all the people interested in it actually take the time to develop this passion. Whether you are working in a hotel in the middle of the Alps where the stars are perfectly visible, or in a city where you can see those more seldom, there are always special nights of the year during which you can see constellations or a particular celestial event.

It can definitely give an added value to your service. In fact, once you live in a certain place, you learn to know which constellations you can see. Therefore, when talking to your guests, pay attention to what they talk about (without being intrusive) or if you see some guests that would be interested in stargazing on a clear sky night. Of course, it is up to you and your discretion to only talk to the guests you deem interested. Here is a list of constellations you may want to know. It can add a bonus if you are also aware of bigger events: it is guaranteed to surprise your guests (and employer!)

Napkin folding

Napkin folding is something that gets us all happy when sitting at a restaurant and seeing different shapes in front of us, shapes that look sometimes very difficult to make. It is true that many restaurants today only use some basic folding in order to keep it as classy and classic as possible. Nonetheless, a nice and different folding for a particular occasion can be an interesting way to add a special touch to it. For instance, hotels often organize a Christmas dinner and one idea would be to fold napkins in a tree, or as a rose for a Mother’s Day lunch… It could also come in handy if a child is bored or parents just want a way to distract him/her.

Here are some folding techniques that look elaborate but are in fact very easy to make. Not to mention, this skill can always surprise your relatives during a family gathering.

Latte art

Every single one of us is pleasantly surprised when we order our morning cappuccino and the barista makes a nice drawing on top. It literally makes a hard morning better! And how many of us has tried (and probably failed) to replicate these drawings? It takes a lot of practice to get it right however once you master the technique, it is guaranteed to be a success! It will brighten up your customer’s day. In today’s busy lives, a coffee represents a small break from work, or a bonding moment with friends. In any case, it is a moment we want to enjoy, despite everything we have to do. Make these small parts of the day special for the customers in front of you by making them smile at their coffee. You will see it will be a differentiating point for your bar/restaurant and will make the guests wanting to come back, not only “for the ‘Gram”, but also for the nice atmosphere you provide them.

Check out these tips on how to master latte art that will also turn you into the go-to host within your friends circle, serving the best coffees during Sunday brunches.

 

So here you have it, five unusual skills that are for sure to impress people around you and will add an additional sparkle in your life as a hospitality student, but not only, as your friends and family will appreciate them just as much as your guests would!

 

Did you know? 91% of employers agree that soft skills development is very  important to the future of recruiting Learn More