Shaping the Future of Hospitality: Your Voice Matters

HWTC, The Bartenders Benevolent Fund, and The SHoW-TO have united forces to support the hospitality industry through research, training, and resources. Now, more than ever, we are turning to you, to help us answer a crucial question: How can we make the hospitality industry better?

We invite you to share your insights through either survey responses or attending our upcoming virtual focus group set on for February 13th. Here is what we are going to cover:

Defining a Good Job in Hospitality
Your unique perspective shapes the future of hospitality. What, in your eyes, constitutes a fantastic job in the industry? Your responses will provide invaluable insights as we collectively aim to enhance work environments and experiences.

Celebrating the Joys of the Industry
Let’s take a moment to celebrate the joys that make the hospitality industry special. Whether you’re a chef, bartender, server, or manager, your passion is the heartbeat of this vibrant community.

Making Hospitality Jobs Even Better
Your ideas are critical for positive change. How do you envision making hospitality jobs even better? Are there specific training programs, resources, or workplace policy changes you believe would contribute to a healthier, more fulfilling work environment?

Join Our Virtual Focus Group on February 13th!

We are excited to invite you to a virtual focus group where your voice will directly impact the future of the hospitality industry.

Sign up now to secure your spot and contribute to this collaborative effort. Your insights matter, and together, we can shape a future where the hospitality industry continues to thrive as a rewarding and fulfilling workplace. Be a part of the change—register today!

Job Fair Hacks: 5 Sneaky Tips to Boost Your Chances (That Nobody Talks About!)

We all know job fairs can be a bit overwhelming, but we’ve got your back with some not-so-common tips to help you shine. We have five hacks that can make a real difference at a job fair. 

Body Language Matters
Sure, everyone’s talking about resumes and pitches, but don’t forget about body language. Keep it cool, make eye contact, and throw in a good handshake. Believe it or not, how you carry yourself speaks volumes and can make you stick in recruiters’ minds.

Example: A handshake, some eye contact and a smile might sound simple, but they’re like secret weapons. They show you’re confident and can handle yourself in a social setting.

Social Media Mojo
After the event, follow the companies you applied to on LinkedIn or Twitter, engage with their posts, and show them you’re still interested. It’s like a digital highlighter that keeps you on their radar.

Example: Following and commenting a company’s social media posts shows you’re serious about their stuff. It’s like an extra way to say, ‘Hey, I’m still here and keen!’

Chat with a Purpose
Small talk is great, but how about making it count? Ask questions that show you’ve done your homework and really are passionate about working for this company.

Example: “Don’t just stick to the usual talking about yourself. Ask questions that show you’ve done some digging. It’s a slick way to be the one they remember.”

Old School Thank Yous
Emails are cool, but how about a good old-fashioned thank-you note? A hand-written one. Almost no one does it, so it’s a sly way to show you really appreciate the connection and stand out from the crowd.

Example: Write up a bunch of Thank you cards with your contact information and give them to any employers at the job fair you have a conversation with or onsite interview.

Ready to rock your next job fair with some not so common strategies? These tips are your secret weapons for standing out in the job-seeking crowd. So, go out there, be yourself, and show them what you’ve got. You’ve got this!

Leap into Hospitality Job Fair

Test out these tips at the HWTC Leap into Hospitality Job Fair on Feb 29th 2029

We will be hosting many of the top employers in Toronto and have a wide variety of jobs available. Learn more and register here.

Revolutionizing Workplaces: Key HR Trends for 2024

As we step into the evolving landscape of 2024, the human resources (HR) domain is undergoing transformative shifts that promise to redefine the way organizations approach talent management, employee engagement, and workplace culture. Let’s explore the cutting-edge HR trends poised to shape the professional landscape in the coming year.

AI-Powered Talent Acquisition
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is taking center stage in HR functions, especially in talent acquisition. Automated processes for screening resumes, conducting initial interviews, and even predicting candidate success are becoming more prevalent. AI-driven tools not only streamline recruitment processes but also contribute to unbiased decision-making and enhanced candidate experiences.

Employee Well-being as a Priority
Organizations are placing a renewed emphasis on employee well-being, recognizing its impact on productivity and overall company success. In 2024, HR professionals will implement initiatives that prioritize mental health, work-life balance, and holistic wellness. Expect the introduction of well-being programs, flexible schedules, and resources to support employees’ physical and mental health.

Upskilling and Continuous Learning
In the fast-paced world of technology, skills become obsolete quickly. HR trends in 2024 will spotlight the importance of upskilling and continuous learning. Companies will invest in learning and development programs to empower employees with the skills needed to adapt to changing industry landscapes, fostering a culture of growth and innovation.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives
Diversity, equity, and inclusion will remain at the forefront of HR agendas. Organizations are expected to take comprehensive measures to address systemic issues, promote diversity in leadership roles, and create inclusive workplaces. HR strategies will focus on creating environments where all employees feel valued, heard, and represented.

Data-Driven HR Decision-Making
Data analytics will continue to play a pivotal role in HR decision-making. HR professionals will leverage advanced analytics tools to gain insights into employee performance, engagement, and overall satisfaction. Predictive analytics will help organizations make strategic decisions based on data-driven forecasts.

Employee Experience Platforms (EXP)
Employee Experience Platforms are emerging as comprehensive solutions to enhance the overall employee journey. These platforms integrate various HR functions, including onboarding, communication, performance management, and employee feedback, providing a seamless and connected experience for employees.

Agile Performance Management
Traditional performance reviews are making way for more agile and continuous performance management practices. HR trends in 2024 will see the adoption of real-time feedback mechanisms, goal-setting frameworks, and regular check-ins, fostering a more dynamic and responsive approach to employee performance.

Blockchain in HR Operations
Blockchain technology is making inroads into HR operations, offering enhanced security, transparency, and efficiency in processes such as payroll, recruitment, and employee records management. Expect to see increased experimentation and implementation of blockchain solutions in HR departments.

The HR landscape in 2024 will be marked by innovation, adaptability, and a deep commitment to fostering a positive and inclusive workplace. As organizations embrace these trends, they are not only preparing for the challenges of the future but also creating environments that empower their most valuable asset—their people. Stay tuned as we witness the unfolding of these transformative HR trends throughout the year.

Rising Stars: Navigating Success in Hospitality for Youth Professionals

Embarking on a career in the dynamic world of hospitality is an exhilarating journey for any young professional. While the industry is renowned for its lively atmosphere and diverse opportunities, it’s essential to recognize the unique experiences that can shape a positive and rewarding career path for the youth. There are some challenges that come with working in the hospitality sector, but they can be seen as positive way by turning them into stepping stones toward personal and professional growth.

Flexibility and Variety in Working Hours

The hospitality industry’s trademark flexibility in working hours provides an incredible opportunity for young professionals to embrace diverse schedules. Late-night shifts and weekend work allow for a rich tapestry of experiences, providing a chance to develop adaptable time-management skills and foster resilience.

Employee Tip: Communicate openly with employers about scheduling preferences and explore the excitement of working during different shifts. Embrace the variety as a chance to develop a unique skill set that sets you apart in the industry.

Learning and Gaining Experience

Entering the hospitality industry often marks the beginning of an exciting learning journey. While initial wages may be modest, the invaluable experience gained opens doors to limitless opportunities for advancement. Embracing an attitude of continuous learning propels young professionals toward long-term success.

Employee Tip: View each role as a stepping stone to further career development. Seek mentorship, attend industry events, and consider pursuing part-time educational programs that align with your aspirations.

Embracing Dynamic Environments

Job security in hospitality may vary, but the industry’s dynamic nature encourages adaptability and resilience. Seasonal employment or temporary positions provide chances for exposure to different facets of the industry, allowing young workers to build a versatile skill set.

Employee Tip: Embrace the dynamic nature of the industry as a chance to diversify your experience. Keep an eye out for emerging trends and market demands to stay ahead of the curve.

Thriving Under Pressure

The fast-paced nature of hospitality work cultivates a unique skill set in young professionals. Managing high-stress situations and meeting customer expectations contribute to the development of resilience and effective stress-management strategies.

Employee Tip: Embrace stress as a catalyst for personal and professional growth. Prioritize self-care practices, and recognize that your ability to thrive under pressure is a valuable asset in the industry.

Building a Supportive Professional Network

While certain benefits and perks may be limited in entry-level positions, the hospitality industry provides a rich environment for building a supportive professional network. Colleagues and mentors can offer guidance, share experiences, and contribute to a positive workplace culture.

 Employee Tip: Leverage networking opportunities within the industry to build meaningful connections. Seek out mentors who can provide insights and support your career aspirations.

The professional journey in the hospitality industry is not just about overcoming challenges but embracing them as opportunities for growth. By maintaining a positive mindset, seeking continuous learning, and fostering a supportive network, young workers can transform their experiences into a thriving and fulfilling career.

Beyond the Resume: Crafting Your Professional Journey on LinkedIn

In the ever-evolving professional landscape, where personal connections and storytelling play pivotal roles, your career journey is more than just a list of accomplishments on a resume. LinkedIn has emerged as a powerful platform for professionals to not only showcase their skills but also narrate their unique career journey. Here are some tips to maximize how you tell your professional story on LinkedIn.

Crafting Your Professional Narrative

Your LinkedIn profile is a canvas where you can paint a vivid picture of your career journey. Start with a compelling summary that showcases your passion for your field, key experiences, and your vision for your industry. Think of it as the opening chapter of your professional autobiography.

Visual Storytelling with Media

LinkedIn allows you to enhance your profile with rich media, including photos, videos, and presentations. Use this feature to your advantage by showcasing snapshots of your memorable moments in your career. Whether it’s a successful team project, a key presentation, or a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your daily operations, these visuals add depth to your story. PS. Make sure you have permission to share this information online first!

Highlighting Milestones and Achievements

While a resume might list your achievements, LinkedIn gives you the space to expand on these accomplishments. Share the story behind a successful project, the challenges you overcame, and the impact it had on your career. Engage your network by celebrating milestones, be it anniversaries at a particular company, certifications earned, or industry recognition received.

Testimonials and Recommendations

Encourage colleagues, mentors, and team members to leave testimonials on your LinkedIn profile. These endorsements provide social proof of your skills and contribute to the narrative of your career journey. A well-crafted recommendation can offer a unique perspective on your strengths and contributions.

In the professional world, where personal connections and storytelling are integral, LinkedIn serves as a canvas for showcasing your unique journey. Beyond the resume, your profile becomes a living narrative that captures the essence of your experiences, challenges, and triumphs. So, take the time to curate your story on LinkedIn, creating a compelling narrative that resonates with fellow professionals and sets you apart from the competition.

The Gift of Great Service: Training Your Staff for the Holiday Rush

The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the hustle and bustle of eager patrons seeking festive experiences. For hospitality businesses, this translates to a golden opportunity to deliver exceptional service that not only meets but exceeds expectations. The question is, how can you ensure your staff is well-prepared for the holiday rush? Let’s unwrap the secrets to delivering the gift of great service this season.

Fostering Flexibility: Adapting to Unpredictable Peaks
The holiday season is notorious for its unpredictability. Unexpected rushes or last-minute reservations are par for the course. Train your staff to stay flexible and adapt to changing circumstances. A well-prepared and adaptable team can handle the ebb and flow of the holiday rush with grace.

Empathy in Action: Managing Customer Expectations
Long wait times and crowded spaces can sometimes test the patience of even the most festive customers. Empower your staff with the tools to manage expectations and diffuse potentially tense situations. A friendly smile, a proactive approach, and clear communication can turn a potential hiccup into a positive experience.

Team Spirit: Encouraging Collaboration and Support
The holiday rush is a team effort. Foster a sense of camaraderie among your staff. Encourage teamwork, open communication, and a shared commitment to delivering outstanding service. A united front ensures that everyone plays a role in creating a positive holiday atmosphere.

Post-Holiday Pep Talk: Recognizing and Rewarding Efforts
Once the rush subsides, take the time to recognize and reward your staff for their hard work. A post-holiday pep talk or celebratory event can boost morale and reinforce the value of their efforts. Appreciation goes a long way in cultivating a motivated and loyal team.

Training your staff for the holiday rush is not just about managing the chaos; it’s about creating memorable experiences that customers will cherish. By infusing the holiday spirit into your training, anticipating challenges, and fostering a flexible and empathetic approach, your staff becomes not just service providers but holiday memory-makers.

Career Compass: Blueprinting Career Pathways in Hospitality

In the hustle and bustle of the hospitality workplaces, managers often throw new hires right into the action without much talk about where their careers could go. This lack of discussion about career paths can make it hard for employees to see a future with the company. It’s not just about having a job; it’s about making a place where employees can picture themselves sticking around for the long haul.

Top 8 ways to bring career planning and advancement into your business:

Mapping the Journey
The first step in establishing clear career pathways is defining job levels and roles within your business. Clearly outline the skills and responsibilities associated with each position, creating a roadmap that employees can follow as they progress in their careers.

Customized Training Programs
Offer training programs tailored to each career level. From entry-level positions to supervisor roles, providing targeted training helps employees acquire the skills necessary for advancement. This not only enhances their capabilities but also instills a sense of confidence and competence.

Mentorship Programs
Implement mentorship programs that pair experienced employees with those looking to advance in their careers. Mentors can provide guidance, share insights, and help mentees navigate challenges. These relationships foster a sense of community and support, crucial for career growth.

Cross-Training Opportunities
Encourage cross-training initiatives that expose employees to various aspects of your business. Experiencing different roles not only broadens their skill set but also helps them discover areas of interest they might want to explore further in their careers.

Recognition and Advancement Opportunities
Acknowledge and reward staff who excel in their roles. Clearly communicate the criteria for advancement, whether it’s based on skills, performance, or a combination of factors. Recognizing and celebrating achievements motivates employees to strive for continuous improvement.

Continual Learning Programs
Promote a culture of continual learning by offering ongoing education and development programs. This can include workshops, micro-credentials, and access to online courses. A commitment to learning reinforces the idea that growth is a continuous journey rather than a destination.

Flexibility for Career Pivot
Recognize that career pathways are not always linear. Allow for flexibility, enabling employees to pivot or explore lateral moves within the organization. This flexibility accommodates changing interests and evolving skill sets.

Clear career pathways are not just about climbing the ladder; they are about empowering individuals to navigate their unique journeys. By providing a roadmap and creating a culture of continuous learning, hospitality businesses can cultivate a workforce that is not only skilled and motivated but also committed to the long-term success of your business.

Creating a Positive Brand: Strategies to Stand Out

In the competitive world of hospitality, where exceptional service is key, the success of your business not only rests on the quality of your offerings but also on the strength of your team. One of your most powerful tools in attracting top talent is a positive employer brand. Some strategies to help your business stand out as an employer of choice include:

Emphasize a Positive Work Culture
A positive work culture is a magnet for top talent. Highlight initiatives that promote a healthy work-life balance, employee recognition programs, and team-building activities. Potential hires want to know they’re joining a workplace where they are not just a part of a worker but a valued contributor of a team.

Invest in Training and Development
Demonstrate your commitment to employee growth by investing in training and development programs. Whether it’s micro credentials, improving customer service, or providing supervisor training, a commitment to continuous learning makes your hotel or restaurant an attractive place for career advancement.

Prioritize Workplace Well-being
Addressing the well-being of your staff is crucial. Discuss initiatives such as flexible schedules, mental health support, and health and wellness programs. A healthy and happy team is more likely to provide exceptional service and contribute positively to your restaurant’s atmosphere.

Leverage Social Media
In the digital age, social media is a powerful tool for building your employer brand. Regularly update your platforms with behind-the-scenes glimpses, team highlights, and customer testimonials. Encourage your team to share their experiences on social media, creating an authentic and positive online presence.

Seek and Showcase Employee Feedback
Invite feedback from your current team members and use their positive experiences to shape your employer brand. Authenticity is key, and showcasing real employee testimonials can be a powerful way to build trust with potential hires.

In the competitive world of hospitality and finding the best workers, a positive employer brand is a game-changer. It not only attracts top talent but also contributes to the overall success and reputation of your business. By prioritizing a positive work culture, you’re not just creating a job – you’re building a community of passionate individuals dedicated to the success of your hospitality business.

Becoming a Head Chef: The Road from Line Cook

With the ongoing popularity of cooking shows and celebrity chefs, many more people are inspiring to become a top chef. But getting to a head chef position requires hard work, dedication, and a love for cooking. Let’s explore the steps involved in this exciting journey, along with the training and experience needed:

Step 1: Begin as a Line Cook
Most chefs start as line cooks. In this role, you learn the basics of cooking and how a professional kitchen works. It’s like your training ground for becoming a great chef.

Training and Experience:

  • Culinary School: Some people go to culinary school to learn the basics. It’s like cooking school, and you’ll learn important skills and techniques.

  • On-the-Job Training: Many chefs start by working in a kitchen. This is where you really learn how to cook in a fast-paced environment.

  • Mentorship: Learning from experienced chefs is incredibly valuable. They can teach you a lot and help you get better.

Step 2: Move Up to Station Chef or Sous Chef
After some experience as a line cook, you can move up to become a station chef or a sous chef. These roles come with more responsibilities and opportunities to specialize.

Training and Experience:

  • Specialization: Station chefs focus on one part of the kitchen, like appetizers or desserts. You’ll get really good at your specialty.

  • Leadership Skills: Sous chefs help the head chef run the kitchen. You learn to manage the kitchen, handle staff issues, and even help plan the menu.

  • Menu Development: As you gain experience, you might get to create new dishes and improve existing ones.

Step 3: Reach the Top as Head Chef
Becoming a head chef is the big goal. It’s the highest position in the kitchen, and it’s about leading, creating, and running the show.

Training and Experience:

  • Lots of Experience: Head chefs usually have at least ten years of cooking experience. This includes time as a line cook and in the other chef roles.

  • Culinary Creativity: You’ll need to be creative to come up with new dishes and keep up with food trends.

  • Management Skills: As the head chef, you need to be good at managing the kitchen, staff, and all the cooking operations.

  • Leading the Team: You’ll lead the kitchen team, so it’s essential to motivate and teach your staff.

Going from a line cook to a head chef is an amazing journey filled with learning and growth. It’s hard work, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. Whether you’re just starting as a line cook or have big dreams of leading your own kitchen, remember that every step of the journey is important. With passion and dedication, you can make your culinary dreams come true.

Creating a Culture of Inclusivity: Diversity and Equity in Hospitality

The hospitality industry is all about making customers feel welcome and valued. To extend this principle internally, it’s important to create a culture of inclusivity, diversity, and equity within your team. In recent years, this industry has made significant strides in recognizing the importance of embracing diversity and fostering a workplace where every employee feels valued. Let’s look at why diversity and equity are crucial in the hospitality and how you can create a more inclusive culture within your business:

Leadership: Creating an inclusive culture starts at the top. Leadership must be committed to diversity and equity, setting an example for the rest of the organization. Also, it’s important that leadership is also diverse, so promoting and hiring leaders who represent the diversity you want to see is critical. Diverse leadership can set the tone and serve as role models for employees.

Diverse Recruitment: It’s essential to source talent from diverse pools. Use inclusive language in job postings and partner with organizations that focus on underrepresented groups. Avoid unconscious bias during the hiring process to ensure all applicants receive equal consideration.

Training and Education: Conduct diversity and equity training for all employees. This helps foster understanding and awareness of different perspectives, and it ensures everyone feels safe and respected in the workplace.

Inclusive Policies and Practices: Review and update your company policies to reflect inclusivity and equity. Ensure that policies address issues like harassment, discrimination, and accommodation for diverse needs.

Benefits of an Inclusive Culture
There are numerous benefits of having a diverse and inclusive workplace including:

  • Improved Employee Morale: Employees are more likely to be engaged and motivated in an inclusive workplace where they feel valued and respected.
  • Reduced Turnover: Inclusive cultures help retain top talent, reducing the costs and disruptions associated with high turnover rates.
  • Stronger Brand Reputation: A commitment to diversity and equity enhances your business’ brand’s reputation and can attract more workers and customers who appreciate these values.
  • Innovation and Creativity: Diverse teams bring fresh perspectives, fostering innovation and creative problem-solving.

Creating a culture of inclusivity, diversity, and equity in the hospitality industry is not just a social responsibility but also a strategic advantage. It leads to a better guest experience, attracts top talent, and helps your business stay competitive and innovative. By embracing diversity, you can ensure that your organization not only thrives but also truly embodies the hospitality spirit of welcoming all.

Hospitality Recruitment: Finding and Keeping Top Talent

The hospitality industry is renowned for its fast-paced and dynamic nature. From hotels and restaurants to bars and event venues, this sector relies heavily on the quality of its staff to create great customer experiences. To excel in this competitive environment, finding and retaining top talent is key. The recruitment landscape is constantly adapting and the hospitality industry is needs to continuously evolve to keep up. Let’s explore the latest trends that are helping businesses find and keep the best employees.

Embracing Technology
Technology is continuing to play a central role in recruitment. Hospitality businesses are increasingly turning to AI-driven tools for candidate screening and assessment. These systems can process numerous applications in a fraction of the time it would take a human recruiter. They use algorithms to analyze resumes, predict job fit, and even conduct initial interviews. While technology streamlines the hiring process, it also allows HR professionals to focus on the human aspect of recruitment – building relationships and ensuring candidates are a good fit.

Focus on Soft Skills
While technical skills are essential in the hospitality industry, recruiters are placing increasing importance on soft skills. Top talent must be adaptable, empathetic, and capable of delivering outstanding customer service. Interviews and assessment methods are now designed to uncover these traits. Behavioral questions and situational interviews can help assess how candidates would handle real-life scenarios, ensuring they possess the qualities that make for a great team member.

Continuous Learning and Development
Hospitality businesses are recognizing the importance of investing in their employees’ growth and development. Offering training, mentorship programs, and career advancement opportunities can significantly impact an employee’s decision to join and stay with a company. Top talent is attracted to employers who demonstrate a commitment to their development and professional growth.

Flexibility and Work-Life Balance
The hospitality industry is notorious for demanding schedules. While the nature of the work often involves long hours and irregular shifts, businesses are increasingly offering flexibility where possible. Allowing employees to balance their work and personal lives can make a significant difference in which employer they want to work for and their retention.

Competitive Compensation and Benefits
Competitive salaries and benefits are essential in attracting and retaining top talent. Some hospitality businesses are offering not only attractive pay rates but also benefits like extended health benefits, retirement plans, and paid time off. This helps attract the best candidates and keeps them for the long run because they feel valued and appreciated.

The recruitment trends in the hospitality industry are evolving to meet the changing needs and expectations of both employers and employees. The focus has shifted from merely filling positions to finding the right fit so that employees are retained and the workplace culture is positive. By embracing these trends and continuously adapting to new ones, businesses can successfully find and keep top talent in an industry known for its demanding environments and fierce competition. In this way, they can create exceptional customer experiences and thrive in an ever-evolving landscape.

Transforming Lives: Stories of Success from HWTC Graduation

On September 27, the atmosphere was charged with excitement as HWTC hosted its quarterly graduation ceremony, an event that not only marked the completion of our training programs from the past few months but also celebrated the remarkable achievements of our participants.

For many, the journey to this moment had been one of dedication, hard work, and perseverance. HWTC, a beacon of hope for those seeking to enhance their skills and secure brighter futures, has been a nurturing ground for aspiring hospitality workers from diverse backgrounds.

What makes this graduation even more special is that it wasn’t just about receiving certificates. It was about the transformative power of education. Many of the graduates had joined HWTC with the aspiration of improving their employment prospects, and the results were astounding.

Numerous participants, upon completing their training, found employment almost immediately. This accomplishment is a testament to both their commitment and the training and support they received at HWTC. These graduates are now stepping into the workforce with newfound confidence and skills that will serve them well in their careers.

The ceremony itself was a heartwarming affair. Friends and family members of the graduates gathered to show their support and celebrate this significant milestone. There were tears of joy, hugs of congratulations, and applause that echoed the pride of the audience.

HWTC’s dedicated team of facilitators, career consultants and employment specialists played a pivotal role in guiding the graduates through their journey. Their dedication to supporting participants with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the real world shone brightly at the graduation.

As we reflect on this event, it’s evident that HWTC is not just training organization; it’s a community that fosters dreams and turns them into realities. The success stories that emerged from this graduation reaffirm the organization’s commitment to helping people find good jobs that they keep.

In the end, HWTC’s quarterly graduation was a celebration of accomplishment, hope, and the promise of a brighter future. It showcased the potential that lies within each individual and the transformative power of education. As HWTC continues to empower its participants, there’s no doubt that more success stories will emerge, and more dreams will take flight.

Nurturing a Thriving Restaurant Culture: Best Practices for New Managers

In the dynamic world of restaurant management, success isn’t solely about the delicious dishes or the ambiance; it’s also about understanding your team and creating a supportive environment. There are many essential practices that new restaurant managers can embrace to cultivate a thriving workplace culture conducive to success.

Empathetic Leadership: The Heart of Effective Management

Empathy is at the core of effective restaurant management. New managers can harness its power by following these techniques:

  • Active Listening: Build a strong team foundation by fostering open communication. Actively listen to employees’ concerns and suggestions, making them feel valued and heard.
  • Understanding Personal Needs: Recognize the diverse needs of your staff. Be adaptable and accommodating, understanding that each person has unique motivations and concerns.
  • Conflict Resolution: Address conflicts promptly and fairly. This promotes a harmonious and psychologically safe work atmosphere, ensuring your team thrives.

Team Building: Orchestrating Synergy

In the restaurant world, a cohesive team is vital. New managers can create this synergy by:

  • Training and Development: Invest in training programs to boost your team’s skills and expand their horizons. This fosters growth and confidence.
  • Team-Building Activities: Organize activities that build camaraderie and trust among staff members. These activities nurture a sense of belonging and unity.
  • Recognition and Appreciation: Motivate your team by acknowledging their hard work. Recognizing their efforts makes them feel valued and appreciated, boosting morale.

Clear Communication: The Foundation of Success

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any thriving workplace culture. New managers can reinforce this foundation with these tactics:

  • Regular Meetings: Set clear expectations by holding staff meetings regularly. Discuss goals, expectations, and procedural changes to foster unity.
  • Feedback Loop: Cultivate growth by providing constructive feedback. Create a feedback loop where employees can express their opinions and managers can offer guidance.
    Transparency: Build trust by being transparent about decisions and changes. This ensures a confident and informed team.

Diversity and Inclusion: Fostering Innovation

Embracing diversity and inclusion creates a welcoming and innovative workplace:

  • Equal Opportunities: Offer equal opportunities for career advancement, breaking down barriers and motivating your team.
  • Anti-Discrimination Policies: Implement clear policies and diversity training to create a safe environment where everyone feels valued.
  • Celebrate Differences: Embrace various cultures and traditions within your team, fostering a sense of belonging and shared experiences.

Employee Wellness: A Top Priority

Prioritizing work-life balance reflects a manager’s commitment to the team’s well-being:

  • Health Benefits: Provide health insurance benefits and wellness programs to ensure their peace of mind.
  • Mental Health Support: Offer access to resources for managing stress and mental health, promoting psychological resilience.
  • Flexible Scheduling: Recognize the importance of personal commitments. Offer flexible schedules to accommodate these, promoting job satisfaction.

Restaurant management isn’t just about crafting culinary delights; it’s a delicate dance where empathetic leadership, effective communication, work-life balance, combine to create a thriving workplace culture. As new managers, embracing these practices will lay the foundation for long-term success and the development of a stellar restaurant reputation. Remember, a positive workplace culture sets the stage for truly exceptional customer experiences.

Cracking the Code: Personality’s Role in Customer Service Excellence

Customer service is more than just scripted interactions; it’s a complex interplay of psychological factors, with your personality at the center of it all. Your unique traits and characteristics have a significant influence over how you engage with customers, ultimately defining their experience.

Your personality plays a pivotal role in shaping your customer service approach. Here are some common personality traits and how they can manifest in customer service:

  • Extroversion vs. Introversion: Extroverted individuals tend to excel in customer-facing roles, as they enjoy engaging with people. They are often warm, talkative, and enthusiastic. Introverts, on the other hand, may provide more thoughtful and focused service, paying close attention to details.

  • Empathy: High levels of empathy make it easier to connect with customers emotionally. Empathetic individuals can understand and relate to a customer’s feelings, making them excellent at diffusing tense situations.

  • Conscientiousness: Highly conscientious individuals are organized, detail-oriented, and reliable. They excel in following through on commitments and ensuring tasks are completed accurately.

  • Assertiveness: A balance between assertiveness and flexibility is crucial. While assertiveness can be beneficial in resolving issues, excessive assertiveness may come across as pushy or confrontational.

  • Openness to Experience: Those with a high degree of openness are often creative and adaptable. They can think outside the box when addressing customer concerns and adapting to unique situations.

Improve your customer service by better understanding yourself

Understanding your personality can be a valuable tool in delivering exceptional customer service. Here are some tips to help you explore your own personality:

  • Take Personality Assessments: Consider taking personality assessments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Big Five Personality Traits, or the Enneagram. These tests can provide insights into your strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies.

  • Self-Reflection: Take time for self-reflection. Think about past customer service interactions and what worked well and what didn’t. What aspects of your personality contributed to those outcomes?

  • Seek Feedback: Ask coworkers or supervisors for feedback on your customer service style. They may offer valuable insights into how your personality impacts your interactions.

Improve customer service by better understanding Others

Understanding the personalities of your customers is equally important. Here are some tips to help you navigate diverse customer personalities:

  • Active Listening: Pay close attention to your customer’s words, tone, and body language. This can provide clues about their personality and emotional state.
  • Ask Open-Ended Questions: Encourage customers to share more about themselves. Open-ended questions can help you gather information about their preferences and needs.
  • Adaptability: Be flexible in your approach. Tailor your service to match the customer’s personality. Some may prefer a more formal approach, while others may appreciate a friendly and casual interaction.
  • Empathy: Practice empathy by trying to understand the customer’s perspective and emotions. This can help you build rapport and provide more personalized service.

Your personality has a profound impact on your customer service delivery, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all equation. By understanding your own personality and being attuned to the personalities of your customers, you can adapt your approach and create positive, memorable interactions. Whether you’re naturally extroverted, highly conscientious, or deeply empathetic, your unique qualities can be assets in the world of customer service when harnessed effectively. Embrace self-discovery and empathy to create connections that leave a lasting impression on your customers.


HWTC is offering a FREE weekend training program called Resiliency & Retention and focused on customer service from a personality perspective. It provides great insights into an individual’s personality and how they can be the best at their jobs dealing with customers.  Spot still available – learn more here !

Hospitality Unwrapped: The Vital Ingredients of a Satisfying Job

A good job is more than just a means of earning a paycheck; it’s a source of fulfillment, professional growth, and overall well-being. As the hospitality industry continues to evolve, the definition of a “good job” expands beyond salary to encompass various factors that contribute to a worker’s satisfaction and success.

Compensation and Benefits

Fair compensation is the foundation of a good job. Adequate pay that aligns with industry standards and reflects an individual’s skills and experience demonstrates respect for an employee’s contributions. Additionally, benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off showcase an employer’s commitment to the well-being of their workforce, enhancing job security and peace of mind.

Work-Life Balance

In today’s fast-paced world, work-life balance is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity. A good job respects the boundaries between professional and personal life, allowing workers to recharge and pursue activities beyond their jobs. Flexible work arrangements and working hours contribute to reduced stress levels and increased job satisfaction.

Opportunities for Learning and Growth

A good job provides ample opportunities for learning and growth, including training programs, skill development like Micro-credentials, and avenues for career advancement. The chance to acquire new skills and take on challenging tasks not only enhances job satisfaction but also prepares workers for future career opportunities.

Supportive Work Environment

A positive work environment is crucial for fostering creativity, productivity, and a sense of belonging. A good job offers a supportive atmosphere where teamwork, collaboration, and open communication are encouraged. A culture that values diversity and inclusion ensure that every employee’s voice is heard and respected.

Recognition and Feedback

Recognition and feedback fuel motivation and build a sense of accomplishment. A good job acknowledges and celebrates employees’ achievements, both big and small. Constructive feedback provides guidance for improvement and helps individuals align their efforts with organizational goals, contributing to a sense of purpose and growth.

A good job goes beyond a simple exchange of labor for compensation. It includes fair compensation, work-life balance and growth opportunities. As the workforce continues to evolve, hospitality employers who recognize and prioritize these components are not only cultivating a satisfied workforce but also creating an environment where individuals can thrive, contribute, and find lasting fulfillment in their careers.



HWTC, The Bartenders Benevolent Fund and The SHoW-TO all exist to support the hospitality industry with research, training and resources.

We believe that the hospitality industry is a great place to work, but we also know that there are things we can do to make it even better for workers.

We want to hear from you:

  • Tell us what a good job in hospitality looks like.
  • Let us know what you love about this industry.
  • Share what would make hospitality jobs even better

Recertification Deadline looms for Smart Serve Ontario Certificates

In a bustling world where responsibilities and commitments often take center stage, it’s not uncommon for deadlines to sneak up on us. In a bid to address the challenges posed by last-minute recertifications, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has extended Smart Serve recertification window. The new deadline was set for August 31st, 2023.  Now that date is quickly approaching and the window for recertifications is closing.

Why It Matters

Maintaining an up-to-date certification is not just a formality; it’s a commitment to ensuring the responsible service of alcohol. Whether you’re a bartender, server, or manager, possessing a valid Smart Serve certificate demonstrates your dedication to adhering to AGCO regulations and prioritizing the safety of patrons and the community.

Seizing the Opportunity

For those holding certificates, this extended recertification window is an open door to demonstrating your commitment to excellence. By seizing this opportunity and recertifying your credentials promptly, you actively contribute to the industry’s reputation for responsible alcohol service.

Navigating the Process

Smart Serve Ontario acknowledges the patience and understanding required during periods of high demand. Their commitment to supporting the industry and ensuring the highest standards of responsible alcohol service is unwavering. To learn more about the recertification process, gather information, or initiate your recertification journey, the Smart Serve website and dedicated support team are readily available resources.

This extended recertification window marks a significant milestone in ensuring the responsible service of alcohol across Ontario. By embracing this opportunity, individuals and the industry at large can continue to set the standard for excellence in responsible alcohol service.

Fueling Change: HWTC’s Funding Win Amplifies Hospitality Industry Support

During the pandemic, HWTC provided essential support to workers and employers in the Hospitality industry, an area significantly impacted by closures and restrictions. Post-pandemic, this sector faced challenges in staffing, retention, and increased costs. Despite recovery, many businesses grapple with finding skilled employees and maintaining staff over time.

We’re thrilled to share that HTWC secured funding from the Community Services Recovery Fund. This funding empowers us to continue aiding hospitality employers with valuable data and resources. Our access to relevant data sources can enhance decision-making in recruitment and retention for these employers.

However, data in its raw form – comprising numbers, statistics, and figures – can be perplexing to interpret. Data visualization simplifies this complexity by presenting information clearly and concisely. Visual aids like charts, graphs, and maps unveil patterns, trends, and correlations within datasets at a glance. This visual context makes data easier to understand and analyze, significantly increasing its practicality.

Data visualization doesn’t just simplify, it empowers. It lets us effortlessly identify trends, patterns, and correlations within datasets. Various types of visualizations, from line charts to scatter plots and heatmaps, enable analysts to delve into data from diverse angles. This exposes insights hidden in raw formats, which can prove pivotal for proactive decision-making and strategic planning. It helps organizations and individuals stay ahead of the curve.

The Community Services Recovery Fund, a $400 million initiative by the Government of Canada, is aiding charities and non-profits as they adapt for pandemic recovery. These organizations play a pivotal role in addressing enduring social challenges faced by communities.

HWTC is immensely grateful for this funding, which energizes our commitment to supporting the hospitality industry. We’re eager to see the positive impact it will have as we continue our vital work.

government of canada

Job Postings: The key to a better workforce

In the dynamic world of hospitality recruitment, the significance of crafting impactful job postings cannot be overstated. A well-crafted job posting goes is more that just listing qualifications and responsibilities.  It serves as a strategic communication tool that attracts top-tier talent, showcases your brand and ultimately shapes the composition of your candidate pool.  Here are a few reasons why enhancing your job postings can help:

Finding your perfect match

A well written job posting acts like a magnet, attracting more candidates and potentially those that are the perfect fit for your role. By clearly spelling out the skills you need, plus the benefits of working for your business, you are more likely to stand above other employers who are recruiting for similar positions.

Showcasing your culture

Job postings are a great opportunity to showcase the vibrancy of your establishment’s culture. The language, tone, and style of the posting should reflect the experience you offer to staff and guests.  Candidates who resonate with these words are more likely to apply, increasing the chance of finding individuals who seamlessly fit into your team.

Embracing Diversity and Inclusion

Inclusive language in job postings is crucial to attract a diverse array of candidates. Certain phrases or terms can unintentionally deter qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds. Employers should consider gender-neutral language and avoid any biased wording to ensure all potential candidates feel welcomed and encouraged to apply.

Elevating Your Brand

Job postings play a vital role in shaping your brand image. A well-crafted posting that highlights the unique experiences and growth opportunities your business offers can entice top-tier talent, including those who may not actively be seeking a new position.

Job postings are an art and a science that demands in-depth understanding of the industry’s unique requirements. A carefully crafted job posting not only attracts the right talent but also enhances your brand image, leaving a lasting impression on potential candidates. Ultimately, the right job posting plays a pivotal role in shaping your ideal talent pool, leading to successful hires that elevate the success of your business.

HWTC is currently conducting research into the best practices of Hospitality Job Postings and will be leveraging these finding to help employers in the future improve their recruitment and hiring practices. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting project in the future.

Liftoff: The Ultimate Job Exploration Tool for Ontario Job Seekers

In today’s competitive job market, finding the right career path can be a daunting task for job seekers. The ever-changing landscape of the hospitality and tourism industries can make it challenging to navigate through numerous opportunities and identify the perfect fit.

HWTC has developed a powerful but easy to use tool called LiftOff.  It is an innovative website that that helps job seekers in Ontario explore hospitality careers and identify job opportunities based on their skills and experience.

LiftOff is built with data from Vicinity Jobs, a company specializing in Canadian Labor Market analytics, and job posting data from the Canada Job Bank. Together this data provides users with a unique career exploration experience, educating them about hospitality careers and then directing them to current job opportunities.

Vicinity Jobs provides aggregated labour market data to Liftoff, showing job frequency and educational, certification and skill demands by occupation. Although its name might suggest otherwise, Vicinity Jobs is not a job board. Instead, it offers information about which jobs and skills are highly sought after by employers.

The Canada Job Bank is a platform that offers job seekers access to verified job postings from employers. These job postings include details on the required skills, certifications and educational requirements for each posting. The Canada Jobs Bank has partnerships with, and includes postings from many of the large Canadian job search sites including; Indeed, Monster Jobs and Magnet. As a result, the Canada Job Bank includes a broad representation of job opportunities.

Liftoff is a game-changing job exploration tool that offers a wealth of value to job seekers. With its skill-based searching ability, the platform simplifies the job search process and maximizes the chances of landing the ideal job.

So, if you’re a job seeker ready to take the leap, is your launchpad to success. Happy job hunting!

Micro-credentials put you ahead of the pack

In today’s fast-changing job market, continuous learning is key to unlocking career opportunities. That’s where micro credentials come in – they offer flexible and relevant learning options. Whether you’re looking for a job or aiming to improve your skills, micro credentials can help.

Micro-credentials are bite-sized, focused learning that provide you with specific skills and knowledge in a specific skill. Unlike traditional degree programs, micro credentials offer targeted and condensed learning experiences, allowing you to acquire expertise in high-demand areas quickly.

When you successfully completed a micro-credential, you will be awarded a ebadge – this digital certificate can be added to your resume, LinkedIn profile or HR file.

There are many benefits to micro-credentials including:

In-Demand Skills
Micro-credentials focus on specialized knowledge, giving you the expertise employers are seeking. Instead of long degree programs, micro-credentials provide targeted learning modules that quickly teach you in demand skills. This helps you stay competitive and stand out from other job candidates.

Micro-credentials are designed to fit into your busy life. They’re shorter and more flexible than traditional training. You can learn at your own pace, making it easier to juggle work, family, and other commitments.

Micro-credentials give you tangible proof of your skills. Adding them to your resume or LinkedIn profile shows employers your commitment to learning and makes you a more attractive candidate. Employers value candidates who continuously update their skills and have specialized knowledge.

Keeping Up with Industry
The hospitality industry is always evolving, and micro-credentials help you stay up-to-date. They allow you to learn about the latest skills and procedures. By gaining new skills or refreshing existing ones, you’ll stay relevant and adapt to industry changes.

Advancing Your Career
Micro-credentials can open doors for career advancement and promotion. By gaining specialized knowledge, you position yourself as an expert. This can lead to new opportunities and increase your chances of getting promoted or transitioning to a new role.

Micro-credentials offer a world of benefits for job seekers and workers. They provide specific skills, flexibility, and improved employability. With their flexibility and ability to advance your career, micro-credentials can help you achieve your professional goals. Embrace the power of micro-credentials, unlock your potential, and embark on a journey of success. 

Learn more about HWTC micro credentials here