The line in the sand (part 2)

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I believe the line raises standards and help us achieve our potential. This is why we must learn about it as early as possible.

In the Art of Service there is no advanced level, it's all about the basics. One of those basics as described in The Art of Service training board game is the Golden Rule number 7 -"Always look your best".

The meaning of this rule is that it is vital to make a good first impression and look the part. It's about trust and confidence and creating and sharing a connection and bond between the guests and yourself before a word is even spoken.

"Elementary, my dear Watson." Unfortunately, not so elementary.

As an industry we forever lament the fact that so few of our people are from the UK. I could cite 1001 reasons why young people do not want to study and join our ranks. Yet, when they do join and study Hospitality I sometimes wonder if we teach them the right values and if all the Catering Colleges really draw the line on what the basics are.

I often visit Catering Colleges or receive students at Galvin at Windows as part of my role and interest in education. More often than I can say I find myself surprised by the way the students are groomed or dressed (piercing and earrings, badly shaven, zip open, shirt hanging out of the trousers etc...). I am equally just as shocked that the teachers or the head teachers would find this type of personal grooming appropriate or acceptable.

This is the Hospitality industry!!!

I too was at Catering College once and my parents were not wealthy. I never wore designer's suit but was always suitably dressed as and when necessary with a shirt, tie, jacket, trousers, black polished shoes and black socks. I was also well shaven, my hair was neatly cut and my hands were clean.

At my old College the students had to behave and accept the school's code of conduct. We understood the reason why we had to dress up for service and for schools visits. There was no way we would have left the school dressed in the same way as some of the young people I have recently seen. My old head teacher always told us that we did not only represent ourselves but the school and its reputation too.

There are some great Catering Colleges in this country like Westminster Kingsway College in London for example who do a great job and set very high standards. I only wish more would follow in their foot step and teach young people the basics with the same beliefs, rigour and discipline.

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