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Creating positive Feng Shui

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Creating positive Feng Shui

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Don't break out the water features and invest in auspiciously-coloured paint for the walls just yet. We don't mean the sort of feng shui that has you balancing your Ying and Yang, or optimising the flow of Chi. Feng shui, at its most basic level, is about promoting positive energy and creating a sense of harmony; a principal familiar to hospitality operators.

Surrounded by positivity, guests will feel relaxed, comfortable and enjoy their time with you that much more. A meal can quickly be ruined by surly or inattentive staff, or a downbeat and dreary atmosphere. In contrast, the right energy and vibe in your venue can create a memorable guest experience that people want to share; be it through social media, word of mouth, or return visits.

There are dozens of components that help to establish the energy in your business, from things as fundamental as branding and décor to the more flexible, like the music playing. However, essential to creating a positive environment, is the attitude of your staff members.

For example,Turtle Bay's job adverts specify an 'upbeat attitude', targeting those who will fit in with their company culture. During service, they encourage their staff to move to the music, personifying the relaxed, party atmosphere that's made them so successful. Last year, the chain's founder, Ajith Jaya-Wickrema, commented that "the Caribbean ethos is founded upon the friendliness of its people. Which is why it's so important we find staff who embody this and can make our customers feel comfortable and relaxed."

TGI Friday's, also understand the power of positivity and aim to deliver that Friday feeling to guests all week long. This feeling can't be evoked simply through décor or musical selection; instead, it's carried through the enthusiasm and energy of the staff. TGI Friday's website freely advertises their ethos of "pride, passion and personality".

Even in venues with a more relaxed atmosphere, the energy is generated by the staff. A smiling, engaged, relaxed server passes that attitude on to their guests, and influences the table's dynamic and their experience.

There are proven methods of improving staff engagement. From measuring, incentivising, and rewarding good service through a mystery guest program, to providing opportunities for progression. Ultimately, if the energy of your team is off-kilter, the experience of your guests will be too.

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