Hotel OnlineSpecial Report
The Unsung Heroes

by Harry Nobles, February 2000

When we focus on maximizing guest satisfaction and earning or maintaining AAA/MOBIL ratings, we tend to give primary attention to front of the house employees who meet and serve guests directly.  We train them to smile,  make eye contact, address guests by name, and provide consistently superior service.  Nothing wrong with that; it makes perfect sense and produces excellent results.
It is, after all, what the guest sees and experiences; it is what the AAA/MOBIL inspector and the Richey shopper see and experience.  It is what I see and experience when I do secret shopping for my clients.  

While we continue to train guest contact employees to do all the right things, we must not overlook back of the house staff, whom I sometimes consider “unsung heroes."  Many hotel employees never meet a guest,  never render a service directly to a guest, and are never mentioned in a guest comment card or letter.  These employees do, however,  have significant impact on guest satisfaction.  

The quality of support that a pantry worker,  storeroom clerk,  dishwasher,  or payroll clerk provides the front line worker can greatly influence that worker’s attitude, level of motivation,  and ability to deliver superior guest service.  The degree of recognition and appreciation that a back of the house employee receives has a similar impact on attitude.

I encourage you to include back of the house employees in your guest service, hospitality & courtesy, and other front of the house training.   It is equally important that you include them in your recognition and incentive programs.

Never let your “unsung heroes” forget: 

“In the hotel business, if you are not serving a guest directly, you are supporting someone who is."


Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting
POC:  Harry Nobles
Phone:  757-564-3761
Fax:        757-564-0076
Pager:  800-577-7468  PIN# 303-9130

  • Former head of AAA Lodging/Dining Ratings Program. 
  • An independent consultant serving the hospitality industry. 
  • A Special Training Consultant to the Educational Institute, American Hotel/Motel Association

Also See: Creating Atmosphere / Jan 2000
What is "Atmosphere"? / December 1999
Maintaining Your AAA Rating / Nov 1999
Earning a AAA Rating vs Maintaining a AAA Rating: Which Is More Difficult?  / Oct 1999
Remaining Hospitable in an Inhospitable World / August 1999
Can Outstanding Service Offset Hotel Physical Deficiencies in the Rating Systems? / Harry Nobles / June 1999 
Consistency: The Hallmark of a Fine Hotel / September 1999
Mobil Travel Guide Announces 1998 Mobil Four-and Five-Star Award Winners / Jan 1998 
Are Your Employees Checking Out As Fast As Your Guests / Setting Up an Effective Training Program / Harry Nobles / May 1999 
The Legend of the Pineapple / Harry Nobles / Feb 1999 
To Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting Index Page

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