The secret to delivering a 5-star service

Recently I had the good fortune, through a holiday savings club, to enjoy a 5-star weekend in San Sebastián (I have been saving with friends £50 per month to enjoy something special every two years). It was a real foodie experience, if you haven’t already been then I would highly recommend it.

We stayed in a hotel that is one of best I have ever experienced, not because of the facilities or because it was glamourous, but because every team member was exceptional. Their service delivered me golden moments of sheer delight.

What is a 5-star service?

This got me thinking about what 5-star service really means. For many, it describes outstanding facilities. However, it also means that the team on the ground does it right, first time with passion and enthusiasm. That means they think ahead and anticipate guests’ needs, and look for moments when they can over-deliver. And most importantly they show that they are interested in what they do and genuinely care about their guests.

This ethos is something we share at bartlett mitchell. We want to work with clients who share our values and have a good cultural fit with us. We never set out to be the cheapest contractor, our aim is to deliver more than the ‘expected’.

What does a commitment to 5-star service mean in a practical sense?  

  • Proper budgeting for food costs. This allows us to buy ethically and the best quality, rather than the very cheapest.
  • Consistently delivering value for money for customers.
  • Small but significant things such as having the ability to have avocado on salad bars, and using cheese that actually tastes of cheese.

A virtuous circle creates 5-star service

To deliver great customer service, it means paying our team a fair wage. Showing we care about them as individuals, giving them the support and time and skills to be able to do their job. And letting them have the right tools to do their job, safely and in the right environment. From this foundation we expect our team to be engaged with us, to want to deliver the best, create success and enjoy their day at work. This virtuous circle means that our customers can enjoy a great service. Unlike a luxury hotel our customers see us every day, so the challenge to maintain enthusiasm is even greater.

Our 5-star service is only delivered because the team wants to deliver it. And the team will only deliver great service if they believe we care enough about them to start with.

My earliest food memories are of my mum’s baking; coconut pyramid cakes were my favourite.

More from Wendy Bartlett