Communication and interpersonal skills are an essential part of any kind of business. When we talk about the food industry, it is no different either. Communication and interpersonal skills in food and beverage service are highly necessary. It is mandatory for giving good customer service. It also helps the staff cooperate with each other to run the business smoothly.
If you want to run a food service or want to be a part of it, you must have your communication and interpersonal skills well refined. So let us see why communication and interpersonal skills in food and beverage service is important.
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What is Communication and Interpersonal Skills?
Many of us think Communication and Interpersonal skills are similar. They both revolve around interaction and being at your best behaviour. But there are some major differences between Communication and Interpersonal skills.
Food and beverage service is about hospitality. It is about making people comfortable with delicious foods and a serene environment. Communication and interpersonal skills of the people running the business play a great role to maintain it. In a way, communication skills fall under the radar of interpersonal skills. So we will start with what is interpersonal skills.
Interpersonal skills are the ability to understand and interact with other people, individually or in a group. It includes a variety of sub-skills such as speaking, listening or questioning skills. Interpersonal skills also refer to social skills, people skills and soft skills.
Furthermore, interpersonal skills are our ability to get along with others on a personal or professional level. It is the level of empathy that we feel toward another person and the situation they are going through.
From your customers to your co-workers are people with individual feelings and needs. Therefore, if you understand them and put yourself in their shoes, you can provide quality service. You can also make your co-workers feel valued as well. All this will, in turn, increase the efficiency of your service.
Interpersonal skills, therefore, mainly cover the following aspects of our skills.
1. Communication Skills:
These include verbal and non-verbal communication and listening skills. Food and beverage services usually take instruction from customers. Communication skills will be discussed in detail in a while.
2. Team Working
Showing a great deal of teamwork spirit and capacity helps to work in a group. In the food and drink business, chefs and waiters need to have a good amount of teamwork skills. It helps to keep the business organized at all times. It also helps to get the orders ready in time and give exclusive services.
3. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to control or manage your own emotions in order to relieve your stress. Having control over your emotions helps you to work efficiently. People usually come to a restaurant or similar places to spend quality time personally or professionally. Emotional Intelligence helps you to connect and empathise with your customers and co-workers.
4. Problem-Solving and Decision Making Skills
You need to handle problematic situations, angry customers or unhelpful co-workers. You need the ability to identify and solve problems. Furthermore, you also need to have decision-making skills which will be the best for business.
5. Influencing or Negotiation Skills
With a good amount of influencing and negotiation skills, you can retain your customers. For example, if your orders are running late, you can offer your guests some complimentary treats. With positive reinforcement or inspiring your staff, you can also increase service performance.
6. Conflict Management:
You need to work through conflicts and disagreements. Many times customers will not be satisfied with the food or services. You need to have a way with them to keep them pleased as much as possible. Many times there are conflicts inside management. You also need to think through it to get out of it positively without any damage.
Communication skills are the ability to convey an idea or message to others in the most understandable way. It includes understanding an idea, message or set of instructions and the ability to take action on it. Communication skills include verbal and non-verbal and listening skills. These skills help you give and take clear instructions. They help you share ideas with your team and co-workers and keep the overall management updated with helpful information and tasks.
For effective communication, interpersonal skill is an integral part. Your interpersonal skills will be useless if you cannot understand a message or pass it to another person. On the other hand, conveying a clear message will be useless if you say it in a rude or impolite way.
There are three necessary parts of communication skills:
1. Verbal Communication
Verbal communication is conveying a message from one person to the other by using words and voice. When you speak, you have to be clear, concise, and accurate. While giving food services, you have to speak politely as well. Through verbal communication, you can greet your customers, give instructions to your staff and co-workers. Therefore, you must have good verbal communication skills to interact.
2. Non-verbal Communication
Non-verbal communication is the message that you give to the surrounding people without saying anything. For example, your gesture, body language, behaviour are examples of nonverbal communication. In a food and beverage service, you have to concentrate on non-verbal communication a lot. Your uniform should be clean, and your behaviour should be friendly. It will help send your customer the message that your food and beverage service is hygienic and clean.
3. Listening Skills
Along with great verbal and non-verbal communication, you have to be perfect at listening too. You have to listen carefully to what your customer is asking for. You also need to listen to your co-worker to carry out an instruction perfectly.
What is Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Food and Beverage Service?
Did you see in the movies where there are scenes that show a restaurant with a cheerful waiter or waitress? Everyone happens to know their name. The waiter or waitress talks with the customer like they know each other for ages. If you are their regular customer, they will know your burger or waffle choice by heart. That is a great example of communication and interpersonal skills in food and beverage service.
When it comes to food and beverage service, businesses have to provide heart-warming service to their customers. It helps to retain customers and gain new ones. Restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops or bars need staff to have outstanding interpersonal skills. Thus, they have to be interactive, polite, well-mannered and can get along well with people.
Communication skill is the ability to interact with another person. You convey your message to someone through written or verbal communication. You have to talk to someone in a polite, well-mannered, and yet persuasive way to running a food business. Also, actively listening, understanding and taking the right action on a message is part of communication skills.
Interpersonal skills sum up the whole, effective communication process. It also includes interacting and cooperatively working with someone or in a group. It means that you have a way with people. Good interpersonal skills help to know people and their needs and acting on them while profiting your business.
In short, you will need interpersonal skills to create good relationships with your customers, co-worker and staff. Unfortunately, many times good communication and interpersonal skills in food and beverage service also mean that you have to deal with bad-tempered customers and troublemakers. You have to deal with them without distorting the peace and reputation of the business.
Why is it Essential to have Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Food and Beverage Service?
Miscommunication or weak interpersonal skills in business can lead to bad customer service. It can create misunderstanding and a bad environment. Moreover, communication and interpersonal skills in food and beverage service can hamper overall business performance and impression.
When people enter a bakery or a restaurant, they want the restaurant host to be well-dressed and well-mannered. This gives the customer the first non-verbal impression. In addition, it sends the message that this restaurant and food service is clean and well-organised. There are many roles like this; that’s why communication and interpersonal skills in food and beverage service are essential. We will be discussing these below.
Reception and Front Office
Whether you are running a small food business or a large one, the reception area is important. If you are involved in this section, you need to have a high level of interpersonal skills. From etiquette, body language and posture and most importantly, your communication skills should be at their peak. You have to lead your staff so that they get a heads-up on how to deal with the customers.
Customers will come to you with the quarries, requests, and complaints. So you have to know how to help them with their need and issues in the best way possible.
Management in Food and Beverage service
Managers at different levels of the food and beverage business also need great interpersonal skills. It helps to handle customers, to organise staff and their work. They have to be great at problem-solving, have patience and be polite in times of crisis. Manager watch over if the staff are working in harmony. They have to appreciate positively and motivate everyone who works under them. When any kind of serious problem arises in food service they have to manage the whole situation.
They have to be able to interact positively with other people by showing good interpersonal skills. Managers must appraise the staff for good work. While giving feedback, they should do so positively. All this should be done in a way that the staff member does not feel ‘put down’ or criticised.
The person behind the beverage or food counter, managers and waiters are responsible for looking after the customers. Effective communication and interpersonal skills are very important among them. It helps to look after and carry out customer orders and needs. It helps to run the business swiftly, hospitably and efficiently.
Department of Food Preparation
Staff or chefs who are behind the food preparation doesn’t have much interaction with customers. But they need to carry out instructions and show great team performance to prepare food. A head chef needs the most effective interpersonal skills to lead a chef team and motivate members to do their tasks efficiently. Here interpersonal skills involve how staff talk to each other, listen to, show respect and create bonding that positively boosts their work.
Good interpersonal skills help to build a positive working environment. It helps employees to feel valued. As a result, there will be a positive working environment where everyone feels valued. All these, in turn, will increase productivity and loyalty, which is good for the business.
Food Delivery Person
As a food delivery person, you also need to have a great deal of interpersonal and communication skills. This helps you get instruction, understanding the food requirements you will be delivering. In addition, you need to be timely, well managed and behave well with your customers and colleagues.
Communication and interpersonal skills in food and beverage service are key to run a successful business. Customers who come to you want great hospitality along with delicious foods and drinks. Food with outstanding service will keep your customers and service unsatisfied. To refine your communication and interpersonal skills in food and beverage service, join our course Effective Communication Skills.