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 Describe the Hospitality Management for Services of the St. George Restaurant.

Pre-arrival

The hospitality industry remains one of the most vibrant drivers of the economies of several countries. It is heavily dependent on the state of the country’s attractions and the quality of the services they offer. In the wake of globalization accompanied by great strides in information technology, traveller world over can access information about almost any hotel, restaurant or any another attraction and conduct a comparison before they make a choice. This paper takes a look at the selected restaurant St. Georges Restaurant in Preston, Melbourne’s with a view of understanding the range and quality of services they have. The analysis looks at the whole process from pre arrival, to arrival and the attraction itself and makes recommendations as to what improvements could be undertaken to make things better.

This section of the paper takes a look the manner in which the restaurant meets the client’s needs before interacting with the client. Before one can visit a hotel or any other destination, they must know about it. This means that the attraction must do its best to make itself known to its clients and potential clients. One of the platforms through which clients can access the restaurant today is through the internet. In a fast changing world, the focus service providers in the hospitality industry have to increase their online presence (SiteMinder 2016). St. Georges Restaurant has a fair online presence; they have an official website as well as a Facebook page. Clients can access information about the hotel on their official website regarding their services and facilities. The contacts of the restaurant are also provided so one can directly make inquiries and ask questions of concern.  

The restaurant also makes itself known through brochures and leaflets.

St. Georges Restaurant has several parking lots. Visitors driving in have a variety of parking lots to choose from. They could park at the designated parking spaces right outside building K. the challenge posed by this space is its size. Owing to this clients have to park in alternate spaces such as the parking lot outside building Q which is very far from Building K where the restaurant is located. Alternatively they could park at the parking spaces outside buildings C or H which are still far (St. George’s Restaurant 2018).

The first impression that one gets when they get into the compound is actually impressive. The place looks fairy organized. The lawns are beautifully manicured and the flowers neatly done. The grass is kept short too. All these give the impression of a place that is well taken care of and gives the customer an anticipation of what to expect in the restaurant itself. As SmartMeetings (2018) submits, making the right first impression makes a lot of difference in the hotel industry.

Arrival

The hotel appears fairly accessible. It can actually be accessed from several roads such as the St. Georges Road and the Bruce Street through, Jessie Street. Access to a hotel or restaurant is one key factor that will either encourage or discourage clients from visiting the attraction (Fall 2017). There are also a number of entry points into ST. Georges Restaurant. All the entry points are managed by trained security guards who make sure there is controlled entry and exit. They also ensure that the appropriate security checks are conducted on persons seeking entry in order to guarantee the safety of all. Safety of a hotel or restaurant begins with the management of the entry and exit points. In the wake of terror attacks which have happened at a number of public places and entertainment joints in the recent past, this safety and security has become a priority. Incidents such as the terrorist attack on a French supermarket early this year in March which claimed four lives would have been avoided if proper security was maintained. The security officers at the gates of St. Georges Restaurant are well aware of this and are not taking any chances.

Signage is very important in the tourism sector because it helps the visitors to locate their destinations of travel easily. It is projected that in the year 2018 and beyond there is going to be an exponential rise in the number of millennial traveller- those of ages between 18 and 34 (Forbes 2017). Although it is the age of internet technology and the average millennial traveller can simply use GoogleMaps to find their location and destination, it is incumbent upon the destination owners to erect signage posts direction their clients and potential clients to their location.  Visitors’ information must be availed and St. Georges restaurant knows this. Driving to the location is easy thanks to the signage posts that have been erected along the way.

The layout of a hotel or restaurant premise affects the visitor flow. As pointed out by Miller & Washington 2017, p. 491, facility layout is a vital component of the overall success of the operations of the business. A good restaurant layout must provide ease of access to the facility. It must also provide an ease of movement of the customers once in the facility and facilitate ease of exchange in movement between the customers and the staff.

The Attraction

The arrangement of St Georges Restaurant is quite impressive. The customer entrance is a wide double door big enough to allow smooth passage during entry and exit. The advantage of this kind of odor is seen best in moment of emergency. At such moments it becomes facilitative of the movement of a large number of people at the same time. There is a door that leads to the restaurant seat area which is also wide enough. Behind the seated restaurant area is the bar. There is a large space behind the seated restaurant area that allows the exchange of clients and the staff between the bar area and the seated restaurant section (St. Georges Restaurant 2018). This is very necessary as there are usually movement between the two sections. Staff also makes frequent movements between the two areas as they do service. It is fair to say that the flow of visitors at the St. Georges restaurant is well taken care of.

This section of the paper takes a look at the reality on the ground in the operations of St. Georges Restaurant against the expectations that one has while visiting especially for the fists time. When visiting for the first time one does not expect much from the attraction given the fact that it is located within a polytechnic setting. It is necessary that what the reality looks like marches the expectation on the gorund (Mihailovi?, Simonovi? & ?ur?i? 2017). Most people actually wrongly assume that all activities are handled by inexperienced students. Quite on the contrary, the services are above board and are atypical of what one would expect from students. The level of hygiene is not the kind that would be expected in an environment with students for example.

Signage is very important in the tourism sector because it helps the visitors to locate their destinations of travel easily. It is projected that in the year 2018 and beyond there is going to be an exponential rise in the number of millennial traveller- those of ages between 18 and 34 (Forbes 2017). Although it is the age of internet technology and the average millennial traveller can simply use GoogleMaps to find their location and destination, it is incumbent upon the destination owners to erect signage posts direction their clients and potential clients to their location.  Visitors’ information must be availed and St. Georges restaurant knows this. Driving to the location is easy thanks to the signage posts that have been erected along the way.

Range of Content versus Expectation

Urban and suburban landscapes today are very different from what they looked like before. People are growing to appreciate the value of having a flower garden that is properly kept. The demand for this is even higher in the hotel and tourism sector. In the provision of hotel and restaurant services, appearances and first impressions count a lot (Lundberg 2011). St. Georges Restaurant has a garden with flowers that are well kept although the gardens are not elaborate in terms of the flora and fauna. In order to make the site more attractive, a wider variety is required.

The buildings that houses the St. Georges restaurant is designated as building K according to the plan provided. From the look outside, the building looks properly kept. The painting on the wall and other surfaces appears fairly new. It is fair to say that the buildings are routinely checked and maintained in terms of renovating the painting, roof and fittings. The impression that this gives to clients is that of a place that is kept hygienic and clean, a factor that is very good for business in the hotel industry (Forbes 2014). Clients want to feel like they are walking in to a nice place when they walk into a restaurant, this is why the appearance of the walls and other surfaces form the exterior is very important.

This section takes a look at the state of the interior of the restaurant in terms of maintenance and decorations. A look at the interior wall of the St. Georges restaurant reveals a beautiful art. These are a number of beautiful wall hangings and paintings displayed on the walls. These give the rooms a feel of ambience and luxury and are very necessary in order to enhance the guests experience. According to Mansbach & Kolton 2010, p. 2, interior design plays a significant role in shaping the consumers mood and their overall experience at their choice destination. St. Georges Restaurant has this going for them too. Their customers get quite a good customer experience sitting in the restaurant area which has just the right amount of paint and color.

Urban and suburban landscapes today are very different from what they looked like before. People are growing to appreciate the value of having a flower garden that is properly kept. The demand for this is even higher in the hotel and tourism sector. In the provision of hotel and restaurant services, appearances and first impressions count a lot (Forbes 2017). St. Georges Restaurant has a garden with flowers that are well kept although the gardens are not elaborate in terms of the flora and fauna. In order to make the site more attractive, a wider variety is required.

Visitor Information and Signage

In a crowded hotel industry, where interior design artists are jostling for opportunities to do the interior of hotel and restaurant walls, it is difficult to get it done right. Wall displays in the hotel industry today is taking on a more prominent presence (Lundberg 2011). This is accompanied by the right kind of lighting in order to create the right kind of ambience and feel.at St. George’s restaurant, lighting and display is nothing better than ordinary. The millennial client is unlikely to settle for anything ordinary. They are looking for the best. Presentation of displays is one of the areas where the restaurant requires improving on.

The role of hospitality interpreters in this century cannot be overemphasized. Tourist destination, hotels world over today are receiving international guests and St. George Restaurant is not an exception (Miller & Washington 2017). Just like many other hotels in Australia, it receives international guests notably from Asia. There is therefore a great need for interpreters who comprehend and speak a variety of Asian languages to aid guests of Asiatic origin to understand what is going on. Like has already been mentioned in this paper, customer satisfaction is what drives success in the hotel industry. The number of interpreters at the St. Georges restaurant is not sufficient. There is need for the management to consider hiring more interpreters.

The car parking spaces are supposed to be kept clean just like they are at St. Georges Restaurant. It might look like a small matter but it is not. Clients will be attracted by minute details about the hotels and restaurants just the same way they will be repelled by such small things as dirt in the parking lot.

The general state of cleanliness in a hotel or restaurant is a very important factor. It goes a long way in determining what the clients will think about the services offered. As one drives or walks into a restaurant or hotel, they certainly want to be sure that the environment is clean. Despite the fact that the St. Georges Restaurant is frequented by students, the attraction is clean. Strict regulation help to maintain this; for example, for the students, chewing gum is not allowed in the restaurant (St. Georges Restaurant 2018).

The state of toilets speaks a lot about a place. It is common for staff to forget to keep them clean. Given that toilets in a restaurant are used by several people, they have to be washed on a regular basis. If not they could pose a serious public health concern. Even more dangerous for the business, they would drive customers away. This is why at St. Georges; the toilets are washes every so often. As soon as they have been used, they are washed (St. Georges Restaurant 2018).

The catering outlets are where the food is actually made. It is mandatory practice that the cooking areas be kept clean. If there was to be a drop in the state of cleanliness in the cooking area, so that food was contaminated, what would result is food poisoning for an unknown number of people. St. Georges Restaurant management is keen to avoid this kind of situation and hence ensures that cleanliness of the catering area is maintained (St. Georges Restaurant 2018).

The retail outlet is just as much part of the restaurant as the seated restaurant area or the bar. For this reason, it must be kept clean as well. Actually the product shop area at St. George’s restaurant is located very close to the reception and one passed by it in order to access the seated restaurant area (St. Georges Restaurant 2018).This explains the reason why it is neatly arranged and clean-to make an impression to incoming customers.

As seen from the plan of St. Georges Restaurant earlier in this paper, there are two toilets provide within building K (St. Georges Restaurant 2018).the toilet that serves the customers is provided behind the bar area, just the right distance away. Another toilet that serves the students is provided adjacent to the Hospitality staff offices. What cannot be seen in the plan is a toilet designated for the hospitality staff themselves.

The toilets are maintained in terms of renovation and painting but there is no evidence of any decoration of whatever sort.

The state of fixtures and fittings in the toilets is good both in the toilet that serves the customers as well as that which serves the students. The toilet seats as well as their covers are in place and the toilet flushing units are operational.

According to the layout provided, there are a total of 3 three kitchen areas in total. The first one which is large and spacious is located close to the plate storage section. Apposite this is another kitchen designated as the dessert kitchen.  They are both easily accessible from the seated restaurant area and are well served by the plate storage room. The other two kitchens are withdrawn from the retail section (St. Georges Restaurant 2018).

It is always about first impressions in the hospitality industry. This supports the efforts that are put in by hotel and restaurant management in making sure that their catering services impress (Forbes 2014). For St. Georges Restaurant, the ambience begins to how from the beautiful arrangement of the dining table and chairs. This is complemented by the neatly arranged cutlery which is beautifully laid out on the tables. The image created in a customer by all of that makes them anticipate the best.

Apart from the fact that the seats ought to be neatly arranged in the seat restaurant area, it always makes a difference if they are decorated accordingly; this makes them to look inviting (Forbes 2017). It also improves the feel of the customers and boosting the customer experience.

 A wide range of menus is provided at St. George’s Restaurant for the customer to choose form. There is entrée which include oysters, crustaceans, pate and salmon. Then there is the main course with a variety of dishes such as roast turkey, duck lamb or pork, fish fillets, grilled steak and risotto veal and mixed salad. All desserts as well as cheese are also available. (St. Georges Restaurant 2018).

The quality of the food is trustworthy if the state of the kitchens is anything to go by. The fact that they are not prepared by students is also proof that the food is of acceptable quality. Actually at St. George’s Restaurant, students are strictly not allowed into the kitchens.

The retail section in the St. Georges Restaurant is conveniently located just after the main entrance into the restaurant. After the reception area, a door leads to the seated restaurant area. There is ample space between the reception and the seated restaurant area allowing for ease of access as well as ease of flow of customer as they move to access the places they wish to go to. The bar is suitable located behind the seated restaurant section and can also be accessed easily form the seated restaurant section (St. Georges Restaurant 2018).

The display unit in the retail section is an area where impression matter a lot. In any case the merchandise here are on display which cannot look attractive to clients unless appropriate fittings and lightings are included in the section. This explains why the lighting and fittings in this section are up to speed.

The retail section of the St. Georges section has a lot to offer. This is the section where the product section area is located. In this area, merchandise that is sold in the hotel is put on display for the clients to see. The area stocks a variety of wine collections

The products that are on display in the retail section are majorly wines. Wines sales at the cellar door sales in St. Georges have been honored with more than 70 awards (St. Georges Restaurant 2018). The wine is grown and brewed right in the premises of the Melbourne Polytechnic. The range of wines displayed includes Noir, Chardonay, Riesling, Shiraz, Cbernet, Merlot and Pinot, Sauvignon Blanc.

The staff of the St. Georges Restaurant is always smartly dressed. They adhere to a strict code of dressing as stated in their professional code. All staff most of whom are usually students is required to wear their uniforms which are always freshly washed and neatly pressed. Since hoteliering relies heavily on image even the way the staff dress matters (Mansbach & Kolton, J 2010, p. 3). The students maintain high level of personal hygiene including a good body odor. They maintain a simple look with no heavy makeup such as eyeliners and lipsticks. All with long hair are required to be tied at the back of the head. Jewelry and other ornamental dressings are not allowed either. All these are requirements that are met by the staff of the restaurant. For this reason they all appear very smart and presentable as is expected of hotel staff worldwide.

The term customer care also commonly referred to as customer service is use in reference to the care that is given to the client before their arrival, during their stay as well as after their stay at the attraction. Hotels and restaurants and such attractions are generally heavily dependent on marketing by word of mouth by loyal customers and clients who leave the facility satisfied (Wolfe 2015, p. 14).  For this reason establishment such as St. Georges Restaurant have to ensure that their customer service is good so that their customer keep coming back and they do. Their customer service is well above the threshold. They excel in terms of courtesy and etiquette. They speak to the clients politely and are of great help when requested for assistance such as directions and other inquiries.

This segment is devoted to scrutinizing the efficiency of the staff at the St. Georges Restaurant. It can generally be observed that the staffs are efficient in the delivery of service. This is evident form the order of service; immediately guests arrive, they are greeted at the reception are after which the waiter then does an introduction of themselves and tells the customers about food specials of the day before taking the beverage orders. After this the waiter takes the customer’s order for food and proceeds s to serve them. This is a seamless process that is devoid of hassle and works quite fast. This is what the modern client is looking for-convenience. As Forbes (2017) submits, the convenience services are the hallmark of service provision in the service sector today.

It is the expectation of clients when they ask any questions that they will be answered to their satisfaction and that the answer they get will give them all the information that they need. For this to take place, it demands that the staff be knowledgeable about the services that are offered by the attraction they work for (Mihailovi?, Simonovi? & ?ur?i? 2017, p. 6). Staffs who appear not to be in the know about the specific goings on in the work place cannot sell the organization positively. This is the reason why all staff on duty at St. Georges Restaurant attends a briefing session before the start of duties so that they are informed on what is being offered on that specific day e.g. meal specials, discounts and other offers.

This section looks at the gaps that are existing at the St. Georges Restaurant in relation to the existing body of knowledge on the current trends in the hospitality industry that are shaping the sector and then attempts to make suggestions as to what could be done. As pointed out in ///// in the next decade the millennial travellers will account for about 50% of the total number of clients visiting attractions worldwide. Restaurants such as St. George’s should anticipate the needs of this age group of customers 18-34). This is coupled with the fact that this generation is generally people whose grasp of technology is good. Besides their affinity for convenience services is unmatched. They want to be able to make reservations for their hotel and restaurants just by a click on their tabs, smartphones and PCs. This makes it imperative upon attractions to establish a prominent online presence so that they can be accessed easily. According to SiteMinder (2016), hotels and restaurants will not survive the wave of technological advancement if they do not pursue a digital footprint.

Conclusion

After a semester of learning, it was about time to do some practical work. The hotel and hospitality industry today offers a variety of services to their clients. The needs of the modern client who visits hotels, restaurants, attractions and other destinations are evolving every other day.  This is presenting hoteliers hotel owners and managers with the challenge of either shaping up to the modern clients’ needs or shipping out of business. The essential outcome of this audit revealed that the online presence of St. George’s is wanting and the range of menus is limited. The needs and expectation of the millennial traveller are also not addressed adequately. The St. Georges restaurant offers fairly good services but the there is a lot that can be changed in order to make the services better suited to meet the needs of the customers.  

List of References

Djub (2018), ‘Food Safety and Healthy Hygiene Practices in the Hotel and Hospitality Industry’, Accessed on 10th, Oct, 2018. Retrieved from https://djubo.com/blog/food-safety-healthy-hygiene-practises-hotel-hospitality-industry/

Fall (2017), ‘A (Diamond) Cut above the Rest: Improving Hotel Operations Based on TripAdvisor Rating Attribute’, Accessed on 10th, Oct, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.bu.edu/bhr/2017/10/05/a-diamond-cut-above-the-rest-improving-hotel-operations-based-on-tripadvisor-rating-attributes/

Forbes, (2014), ‘The Rising Wave Of Millennial Travelers’, Accessed on 10th, Oct, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/tanyamohn/2014/11/08/the-rising-wave-of-millennial-travelers/#7eee55802bc8

Forbes, (2017), ‘Why Millennials are the Most Important Consumer Generation for the Travel Industry, Accessed on 10th, Oct, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefffromm/2017/11/08/why-millennials-are-the-most-important-consumer-generation-for-the-travel-industry/#43ce74d8e1f1.

Lundberg, C 2011, ‘Critical Service Encounters in Hotel Restaurants: The Personnel’s Perspective’, Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality & Tourism, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 1–19, viewed 10 October 2018, <https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=60122617&site=ehost-live>.

Mansbach, D & Kolton, J 2010, ‘Hotel Restaurant Solutions’, HVS International Journal, pp. 1–4, viewed 10 October 2018, <https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=56567868&site=ehost-live>.

Mihailovi?, B, Simonovi?, Z & ?ur?i?, N 2017, ‘Marketing Communication of Domestic Hotel Organizations’, Ekonomika, vol. 63, no. 4, pp. 1–12, viewed 10 October 2018, <https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=127447660&site=ehost-live>.

Miller, RK & Washington, K 2017, ‘Part Vi: Hotels & Resorts: 97 Hotel Sector Trends: 97.2 Occupancy and Rates For Metropolitan Areas’, Travel & Tourism Market Research Handbook, pp. 491–492, viewed 10 October 2018, <https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=120182670&site=ehost-live>.

SiteMinder, 2016, ‘What are the three types of strong online presence that your hotel needs in 2016?’ Accessed on 10th, Oct, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.siteminder.com/r/marketing/hotel-digital-marketing/what-are-the-three-types-of-strong-online-presence-that-your-hotel-needs-in-2016/

SmartMeetings (2018). ‘Top 10 Trends Impacting the Hospitality Industry’,  Retrieved from https://www.smartmeetings.com/news/trends/74256/top-10-trends-impacting-hospitality-industry

St. George’s Restaurant, 2018, Accessed on 10th, Oct, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.melbournepolytechnic.edu.au/services/restaurants/st-georges-restaurant/

St. George’s Restaurant, 2018. Accessed on 10th, Oct, 2018Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/pg/stgeorgesrestaurantMP/about/?ref=page_internal

Wolfe, F 2015, ‘Hotels should be leaders in mobile payment adoption’, Hotel Management (21582122), vol. 230, no. 13, p. 14, viewed 10 October 2018, https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=110547978&site=ehost-live

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