More often than not, the vibe or atmosphere of a venue is what keeps guests coming back for more. Whether it’s in the lobby of a hotel, waiting for a table at a highly reviewed restaurant or letting loose with friends, guests want to feel something—something that sets your venue apart from the rest.
Getting the right atmosphere for your restaurant, lounge, bar or even hotel depends heavily on the staff. Sure things like the menu, specialties, lighting and décor all make a huge impact, but it’s the human interactions that can make or break an atmosphere.
If you want your restaurant to exude romance, you’ll play soft love songs in the background, dim the lights, have candles dispersed throughout the room. Having a waiter who is overly loud, too casual in conversation or constantly checking on tables may disrupt the romantic atmosphere.
A night club that wants to appear exclusive and reserved for the rich and famous, would go above and beyond in décor, serving the finest liquors in designated VIP sections. A nervous and shy bartender, may distract from the high-class feeling.
What is the number one priority in creating an atmosphere that makes guests want to come back?
Andy Masi, CEO of The Light Group, a Las Vegas-based hospitality and entertainment company, sat down with Forbes and shared some tips on creating the perfect atmosphere.
“It’s one thing to get the hardware and staffing in place,” Masi explains. “How do you create an atmosphere? What gives a place its soul is the staff.”
Masi continued explaining by starting off with the core staff such as the chef, manager and the marketing people, will set the tone for the rest of the staff.
“They create the cool local vibe,” Masi said. “If you have the wrong people working in the place, you will never get the same result.”
In most other industries the hiring process is driven by HR. In the hospitality industry the hiring process should appear more like tapping into friendships than recruitment. Taking the time to get to know the person you’re hiring will serve you, the atmosphere and the venue overall much better in the long run.
Most people who work in the hospitality industry tend to wear their emotions on their sleeves, giving the hiring manager an insight into who they are. Because of the high-energy nature of those working in the hospitality industry, it becomes easier to know if the person you are hiring will be the right fit, Masi said.
Once you have the right people in the core positions, they’ll start bringing in the right people to fill in the rest of the positions. An energy, and eventually an atmosphere will start to build, allowing your venue to start giving off the cool vibes you’re looking for, Masi said.
In a place so highly visited by tourists, like Las Vegas, visitors want to feel the culture and atmosphere of the area, and it is through the staff and this atmosphere begins to grow and develop.
So how can you make sure you’re the right person to add to the venue’s atmosphere?
Being well educated and highly trained in your field is a great start. Guests and managers alike want to know you are well-versed in the subject matter, and are confident in your field. With a great education behind you, you’re off to great heights.
Thinking of the hotel, restaurant, bar or even lounge as a party will help you get a feel of the atmosphere. You are in charge of the guest list. What type of people would you invite to your party? Are they the type of people who are ready to be pampered? Or are they here for a weekend of romance? Understanding who is coming to the party, allows you to be the hostess with the mostess, and equips you to add to the atmosphere.
The atmosphere of any venue is what leaves guests raving and wanting more. Starting with the core staff, and hiring those confident in the industry allows the atmosphere of your business to flourish.