April 25th, 2012
The bad news?
The last few years have taken a tremendous toll on the foodservice industry. While onsite foodservice companies were less affected than commercial restaurants, reduced consumer spending has forced institutions to reduce labor and operating costs.
The good news?
Foodservice operators across the country are optimistic about the near future. Industry expert Darren Tristano, executive vice president of the Technomic forecasting firm, expects modest real growth beyond inflation in 2012. In the onsite sector, Technomic predicts that growth will be led by foodservice in hospitals, colleges, senior living and K-12 schools:
Other foodservice trend drivers include:
- Food price inflation will become more predictable. Although prices will likely increase 3 to 4 percent in 2012, some of last year’s volatility will moderate.
- Commodity prices will likely decline in the beef, dairy, coffee and cereal/bakery categories.
- Increases in labor costs will continue to be problematic, as recent actions by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) may make it easier for unions to organize and structure bargaining units.
- Food trends remain on the same course. The latest NRA/ACF “What’s Hot” survey of chefs predicts a continuing emphasis on locally-produced, sustainable foods, international street food, small plate grazing and nutrition-inspired trends.
These trends all point to a widespread, if cautious, optimism that onsite foodservice business will be noticeably improved for the remainder of 2012.
Penguin Staff provides comprehensive hospitality workforce solutions to help you effectively manage labor costs, simplify administration and capitalize on the industry upturn. Serving Atlanta, Central Virginia and the DC/Baltimore Metro region, Penguin delivers the most highly-qualified and trained professionals for your hospitality positions.
April 18th, 2012
Want to get more from your hospitality staffing service? Who doesn’t!
Whether you work for a banquet facility, industrial caterer, hotel or convention center, you deserve the best from your staffing company. In February, Penguin Staffing provided a list of five tips to get better hospitality staffing results. Today, here are five more:
- Set expectations from the start. Establish mutually agreed-upon standards for interacting with your hospitality staffing partner at the beginning of your relationship (think order-placing procedures, feedback methods, quality control checks, etc.). As with any business relationship, setting clear expectations from the outset will ensure clear communication and expedient service.
- Benchmark performance of your core employees. Find out exactly what tests candidates who work for your staffing firm must take, and then ask for the test scores of referred candidates. Establish preferred scoring levels for placements within your hospitality organization, using your own staff as benchmarks. Finally, encourage temporary employees to take advantage of hospitality training available through the staffing service.
- Provide regular feedback. Maintain an ongoing dialogue and honest relationship with your hospitality staffing company, keeping them abreast of changes in your company. Provide feedback on their service and the performance of their hospitality temporaries. Meet regularly to obtain their input on what you can do to improve the quality of service and placements.
- Create a true partner in your success. Consider involving a staffing firm in your organization’s business planning. For example, you might want to include your staffing representative in an annual meeting to plan staffing strategies. Hospitality staffing experts, like Penguin Staff, can offer valuable insight regarding the possible uses of workforce partnerships and outsourcing to manage production cycles, improve customer service and help you hire better.
- Reward results. High quality hospitality staffing firms focus on more than filling orders. They want to help you save time, lower expenses and get work done. When you find a company that does a great job, look for opportunities to enhance the relationship. Invite them in. Challenge them to help you solve your problems. See what you can do to reward their good results. Not only will you make your top vendor happy, you’ll increase their commitment to your success.
At Penguin Staff, we know what it takes to:
- improve the quality of hospitality temporaries you receive;
- increase your staffing ROI;
- simplify your staffing function.
Give us a call, and let us help you achieve better staffing results – every time.
April 11th, 2012
Getting ready for an upcoming hospitality job interview? Here is a quick list of 10 questions you should be prepared to answer:
- What do you consider to be good hygiene practices on the job?
- Can you give me an example of a situation where you solved a problem for a customer who was unhappy?
- How do you handle difficult co-workers?
- Can you explain what the Heimlich maneuver is, when to use it and how to perform it?
- How do you handle a rush?
- What did you like best (or dislike most) about your last job?
- How have you prepared yourself for this position (i.e., experience, special skills/training, etc.)?
- How do you help your team to be more successful?
- What can you tell me about the food/drinks we prepare/serve here?
- How do you ensure a great customer experience, time after time?
Preparing answers to common interview questions like these will help you feel more calm and confident. The more poised you are, the better your chances will be of landing the job!
If you’re looking for a great hospitality job in Atlanta, Central Virgina or the D.C./Baltimore Metro area, be sure to register with Penguin Staff. As a leader in hospitality staffing, Penguin matches job seekers like you with front of house, back of house and culinary professional employment opportunities. Contact Penguin today to learn more or apply online.
April 4th, 2012
Hosting an outdoor event this summer? Then keep reading. Here are a few tips and trends to ensure your event runs smoothly and exceeds guests’ expectations:
- Plan carefully. Weather, permits, accessibility, noise restrictions, bugs, catering, power and lighting present a host of unique challenges for outdoor event planners. Think through potential problems before they occur to avoid possible fines and prevent unnecessary spending.
- Allow enough time for a thorough site inspection. Require all participating vendors to attend, so you can create contingency plans and coordinate efforts.
- During the summer months, people dehydrate more quickly. Provide plenty of water at your event and make it easily accessible to all guests.
- No matter what type of summer event you’re hosting, keep things fresh, comfortable and light. From menu to seating to dress code, incorporate elements that play-up the season’s best at your event.
Once you have the basics covered, you can move onto the fun stuff. Here are a few summer event trends for 2012 to make sure you’re on-point:
- Summer’s hot color palettes come in a wide range to suit every taste and event. If you want to go bold, consider Pantone’s color of the year, Tangerine Tango, hot pink or mustard yellow. If the event features a more classic theme, choose lavendar, lilac, navy, sage green, tiffany blue, grey or khaki.
- When considering seat coverings, linens or other decorative fabrics for your summer event, think TEXTURE. Dupioni, rosette, lace, bold Pucci-style prints and classic embroidered sheer fabrics are popping up everywhere from brides’ gowns to tabletops.
- Every event has its own unique feel, but the most popular design trends for 2012 events include: eco chic – using ecologically friendly materials for everything from invitations to the event sites themselves; modage – combining the best of modern and vintage trends; and simple chic – simply using color as the dominant theme element.
Penguin Staffing plays an essential role in making summer events a success. Throughout Atlanta, Central Virginia and the D.C./Baltimore Metro area, we provide the finest hospitality event staff around. Whatever your hospitality staffing need, there’s only one choice – Penguin.