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Excerpts from Easytraining
Insights Digital - a Hospitality
and Management Newsletter

 All content copyright of Claire Belilos
CHIC Hospitality Consulting Services

You will find here, and on the subsequent pages, excerpts from the Easytraining Insights Digital Newsletter, followed by highlights of our Easytraining News newsletter.

Please note that Easytraining Insights Digital Newsletter has now been replaced by Easytraining News, a free monthly management newsletter.  

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Subscribers will be the first to know when the entire collection of newsletter issues of both Easytraining Insights Digital and Easytraining News will be ready for sale in book form, in print 

Some newsletters offer a list of services and links, others are written only to promote the writer's product and service, and some are written with love of a subject.  Our style is described here.  Some newsletters just offer nothing and are worthy of the trash bin.  In our eyes, and in the eyes of our subscribers, our newsletters offer down-to-earth practical value.   Testimonials. 

If you wish to subscribe to our free Easytraining News, fill this form with your work details at: Our newsletter is a service to officials in companies and institutions. Subscription is approved after verification of details submitted.

I love solving the many challenges faced by Managers, Human Resources and Training Directors regarding people management, employee motivation and Customer Service.  I hope and trust that subscribers find value in the Easytraining Insights Newsletter; something which will add to their lives and provoke a new trend of thought, something to keep them always on the edge, helping them always question, revise and improve their management and operational style.  

From feedback received, we are happy to learn that Easytraining Insights Digital is achieving these goals.  We deal with practical up-to-date issues and this is why we do not, at this stage, determine the subjects in advance.  For example, Issue # 14 was planned to cover Customer Feedback and Customer Satisfaction.  However, due to what happened on September 11, 2001, Issue #14 covers Safety and Security in the Workplace.

Here are some excerpts from past issues of:


Vol.1, Issue #1 -  December 6, 2000
Benchmarking Human Performance


"   Benchmarks are the "standards" (or "criteria") management sets to help achieve  organizational goals and specific departmental objectives. They are also used to measure actual organizational and departmental performance.  In these instances they are based on quantitative and financial data, enabling "measurable goals" and an objective assessment of performance. Such benchmarks form the basis of forecasts, budget planning, and Profit and Loss reports.   Benchmarks are set after goals and objectives are decided upon.

Benchmarks are also set for work performance which can be measured, such as the number of cars assembled, number of faulty equipment, returned merchandise and the reason for the return, number of covers served by a waiter, the number of rings before an incoming call is answered by company employees, the duration and number of unanswered calls, the number customers who hanged up, and so forth. Most companies also express work performance-related benchmarks in quantitative and financial data.  This practice is a disservice to the company and to the managers and employees whose performance is being measured.  Purely quantitative and financial benchmarks do not provide for the intangible individual "human" aspect nor do they reflect on whether company values have been upheld.  "

"   Do we count the number of labour disputes  this Director (or any Manager or for that matter) deals with, or do we measure his performance by other yardsticks such as leadership style,  human relations and negotiation skills which, when properly applied, lead to the absence of disputes?  "...."  Or should his quality of leadership be gauged by the measure of his employees'   motivation?  "

Vol.1, Issue #2 - December 21, 2000
Sharing Knowledge and Know-How


"  First, let us take a very simple personal example:  Do you know people
(acquaintances, friends or even relatives) who fail to inform you when
something joyous occurs, such as a wedding or the birth of a child or a
sudden financial gain, but who do not fail to call you when a misfortune
happens, expecting you to wallow in their grief and offer support?  This
is a bit what happens between Managers and their employees.  

During these holidays, it would serve managers well to dedicate 2-4 hours
for some deep thought about what they share with employees and how they are perceived by employees ("employees" here also stands for their
Department Heads or Supervisors).  

* What type of communication do you use?  
* What is the spirit of your communication and
* What do you communicate?  
* Do you only tell them what they have to do?
* Do you communicate business pressure and Customer Complaints?
* Do you communicate business and market achievements?
* Did you ever share goals and objectives in two-way communications?
* Do you give them an opportunity to question decisions?
* Do you give answers which truly satisfy?
* Do you transmit a broader range of knowledge and know-how to help them become team players and members of your "organizational family"?

When owners and managers do not communicate data with their employees, they let imaginations run wild, lead to frustration, lack of motivation and involvement, and even pave the way to employee theft and fraud. "

Vol.1, Issue #3 - January 4, 2001
Benchmarking continued......

"  It seems that the first issue of Easytraining Insights has caused some
Executives to question and begin rethinking the measurement tools and
systems they use regarding employee performance, both tangible and
intangible.  This is the reason why I thought to send you a new issue
giving you a real-life example which will trouble you from a management
and marketing point of view.  The example given is also a hotel example
but it can be interpreted in different contexts to fit a variety of
departments and industries:................"

(Real-life case study given showing the conflict between benchmark
"numbers" established by management vs. reality, if we take into
account the personal needs and expectations of customers.  This case
put the employee involved in an impossible dilemma and caused him
to quit his job.)

Vol.1, Issue #4 -  January 22, 2001
The Three Pillars of Customer Service


"  Restaurante Fellini in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
-----------------------------------------------------------------  and
(When you click on "camera" you are taken to their virtual tour at

The owner of Restaurante Fellini has an integrative human approach in the management of his operation.  He considers Customer and Employee needs and expectations, extends recognition, incentives and rewards to both parties, based on the principle:  Treat your employees right and they will treat your customers right.   With his permission, I am quoting a short description of what his management and business style:

"  I will list some of the things that we do which makes us different:

  • We don't charge unhappy customers;  if you don't like it, you don't pay.  We respect word of mouth.
  • Normally we have lines outside waiting for room.  For these people, we serve outside soft drinks and draft beer with some appetizers for free, respecting our customer's patience to have business with us.
  • We do not give discounts or make promotions.  Instead, when our "frequent customers" come to pay, we tell them that today they are our guest (you can imagine how thankful  and happy they become).   Yes, here in Restaurante Fellini there is a free meal !
  • Normally we give kids a dessert for free (you can imagine how happy parents get when someone pleases their kids).
  • We call (follow up) every customer who places food orders "to go"
    (normally on Christmas,  New Year, and special dates and events).  And for those who aren't happy, we send their money back , we apologize and send an invitation to come dine in the restaurant itself as our guests (free).
  • Every time a customer praises one of our employees, we give the
    employee US$ 5 in reward for the "great customer service" they extended .
  • We call our customers when we have in our buffet their favourite
    plates (we have a gastronomic  buffet, which changes daily).
  • Customers who come to enjoy their birthday with us are our guests.
  • There are other benefits our employees receive.  Our cashier got a
    17-day tour of Europe, our night manager got a brand new car !, ours pasta chef got a 5 day-cruise, the person in charge of the office got a new home computer, our waiters got air tickets to visit where their family live, we pay for medical care, orthodontic care, we buy medicines for employees and their family (wife, children), we gave 4 color tv's, 8 sound systems,10 small tv's etc... at the Christmas employees party, birthday gifts, loans without interest, and school material for employees children.

-------------- Unquote -------------------

People in and out of the restaurant industry will understand the business
feat of this restaurant.  It is known that there is an 80% failure rate
for new restaurants.  Existing restaurants face a constant struggle to
survive in face of competition and invest great effort and expense to
attract new customers.   When an individual low-to-medium-priced
restaurant achieves such consistent high sales figures, we know it excels in its field.  This owner decided to be proactive in a most positive
manner.  He offers quality employment, quality service and value rather
than suffer losses and be engulfed by competition.  With his personal
approach (surprise free meals for birthdays and frequent customers), he
won a loyal customer base much more than he would have accomplished by offering rebates and coupons to all and sundry.  From his employees he won loyalty, cooperation, motivation and performance  excellence.

In his description you can see active expression of the three Customer
Service pillars carrying up his company:   Respect, Value and the Human Approach.  "

Vol.1, Issue #5 -
 December 6, 2000
Effective Training

"There are still some people out there who believe that Training comes in the form of lectures (telling people what to do) and/or "Showing people
what to do".  These are important, but effective only when contained within the broader context of a well-rounded training design."

"Pedagogy, child instruction, differs from Andragogy, the instruction of
adults.  In Andragogy, there are some important steps to follow.  The
instruction of adults cannot be enforced.  It has to be "accepted" mentally
and emotionally.  It has to have meaning.  It has to offer a benefit to the
adult concerned.  While it is being communicated, it is being scrutinized
and evaluated by the "learner" (trainee), who will decide whether to
"accept" it or "reject" it.  It needs the adult's full cooperation and
genuine motivation."

"Some of the steps needed in training design:
- Identify Gaps (actual situation versus desired situation)
- Design an Evaluation Strategy
- Design a Motivational Strategy
.............................................  "


Vol.1, Issue #6 -  March 19, 2001
Correct Diagnosis and Subscriber Feedback

"  .......When there is a problem, do we sometimes have several people look into it without actually SOLVING the problem?  Do you find that some of them just deal with the symptom (giving pain killers) rather than getting to the root of the problem, diagnosing the illness and coming up with the correct solution (treatment to heal and eradicate the disease)?

Like doctors, people in organizations (managers and supervisors) may have the right education, certification and field experience.  However, this does not mean that they posses the most important elements of all: "insight", "savvy", analytical powers and the ability to make the right diagnosis.

How many times have you seen people fall into the trap of "remaining in the comfort zone", preferring to discuss and alleviate the symptoms rather than find and deal with the root of the problem?  If you happen to be "upper management" and the final decision-maker, what do you do when you see this "blindness" by managers and supervisors whose role is to solve problems?  How do you lead them or guide them?  Do you immediately discern lack of insight or perspicacity?  How do you make sure they know how to distinguish between symptom and disease?  Is it only an "inborn gift" or is it a mind process which can be taught?  Is this your greatest role as General Manager, CEO or COO?..... Does ego often play a role in perpetuating organizational problems? "

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