RCA has been conducting a tailored Service Culture Module developed for the Vineyard Hotel. The first graduates are now delighting the hotel's guests with their newly developed hospitality acumen.







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Compiled by Rob Arnold - RCA CONSULTING .


The Importance of Culture


As one of the most successful South African hotel establishments for some time now, the Vineyard Hotel understands the importance of building the right culture within it's human capital. 


What the decision makers of this beautiful hotel understand is the influential impact that each of their front of house staff make on a guest's stay. The power to exceed a guest's expectation and ultimately ensure that said guest returns, rests predominantly in the hands of the wonderful team at the Vineyard. People create memorable experiences, not furniture. 


The Service Culture module has been about inter alia getting staff to comprehensively appreciate and understand the importance of every guest interaction and the opportunity that comes with it. 

The Power of Authenticity


One of the great strengths of the Vineyard Hotel lies in the authenticity of the staff they choose to employ. It's not the kind of place where a streetsmart waiter will try to con you into that top end (and expensive) bordeaux blend when all you wanted was a light and simple Sauvignon Blanc. Our focus with this team has been the importance of taking the time to understand each guest for who they are and consequently what will make their day. It's always a great experience, and conversely a terrible one, when staff are able or unable to empathise with a guest. The first part of the challenge is having the inclination to want to learn more about your guest - a trait that you will find the experts in customer service make use of innately. 


RCA's focus on this regard has been to get the team to develop their ability to read guests through more proactive use of senses as well as intelligent questioning. We all want personalised recognition as customers for our patronage. As a hotel, the greater extent to which this can be achieved, the more positive word of mouth one will enjoy. 

Growing through Friction


The business of hospitality demands long hours of those who choose a career in the industry. As a result, service teams go through ups and downs on a constant basis. It can be somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster at times, especially during the busy season. However, through every bit of conflict there exists a lesson. Sometimes the lesson is more difficult to identify than others. As part of the Vineyard Culture, the focus has been to see the glass as half-full when it comes to differences between staff. Nothing great was ever achieved without friction. The most important ingredient to moving forward is continued communication.



One of the many tests that the Vineyard Hotel has passed with flying colours is that of time. Building and developing a culture of service is also not achieved without tireless reinforcement from management and leaders within the organization. The Vineyard understands the importance of all singing off the same hymn sheet and staying true to the message of service they aim to deliver to all their guests. 


We look forward to being a continued part of this fantastic team.