The Name of the Game

Ever needed tomato sauce for your chips, and then tried to grab the attention of the waitron walking past?

It’s more than likely that you didn’t succeed, as your “ahem... excuse me!” didn't register with said waitron, who subsequently disappeared off to the kitchen leaving you with a plateful of dry chips. If, however, you knew his or her name, it would have been a cinch. “Excuse me John.” “Um, yes ma’am?” “Would you be so kind as to bring me some tomato sauce for my chips please?” 
“Certainly, ma’am. No problem.”

Now the only reason that you could possibly have called the waiter by his name (unless you knew him personally) was that you saw his name tag. If you had not been able to grab his attention by calling out his name, you would have kept quiet and had dry chips, all the while thinking that the service in this particular restaurant was awful. Or you would have found someone else to help you, whose job it may not have been in the first place. This person may have grudgingly helped you, but thought of you as a real grouch for complaining in the first place!

As the above example shows, a nametag can make all the difference, and can do so in all aspects of the hospitality industry. From the moment your door is opened to your guest to the second he drives out of your premises, one of the most important aspects to being successful in the hospitality industry is to ensure that you, your company and your staff are properly represented. There is nothing more presentable than a neatly groomed staff member (uniform or not) with a tag that states that he or she works here and represents this establishment.

Ensuring that your staff wear name tags at all times is a great way to guarantee that your guests feel comfortable when approaching them with any queries or comments. Thus a nametag is a great way to make somebody more approachable. The nametag bearer is therefore always ready to serve customers, and can thus do the job they were hired to do more effectively. Not only is a nametag a great way to make your staff more approachable to the public, but (especially in larger establishments), to other staff members too. Also, and let’s be honest here, people are terrible at remembering names, even if they are fellow work colleagues. This will no doubt go a long way towards fostering amicable relationships between staff members, and in the process creating a harmonious work environment.

When a staff member wears a nametag, it is clear for all to see that he or she is an ambassador of the company. In this sense, the nametag becomes a billboard for your establishment. When treated as such by the public, the staff member wearing the nametag will naturally tend to be careful of the manner in which she relates to people, and this will in essence keep her accountable for her actions. With both the company’s name and the staff member’s name visible to all, the presentable and efficient member of staff promotes a good image of the establishment.

Another, often over-looked aspect of using nametags, is the impact it has on the person reading the tag. Just like a well designed business card, a striking nametag, designed with the company’s logo and name, is an excellent way to keep the establishment’s brand, logo and corporate ethos in the minds of your clientele. A well-designed nametag will also help portray the image of you establishment. A colourful, informal name tag will not suit a five-star hotel, while a gold-edged black tag with gold stylised font will not be suitable for an adventure-resort.

Sam Walton, the founder of the mega shopping chain Wal-Mart, was the first business owner to require that his staff wear name tags. Look at where that attitude got him! He believed that it was important that customers “get to know the people they bought from”, and the same can be said of the hospitality industry today – people respect knowing that services they pay for come from such and such a person. This touch of professionalism will ensure that your employees are approachable, that your staff members feel comfortable with both the public and colleagues, and that your establishment is continually being promoted by each and every one of your team members.