Unleashing AI’s Potential: 10 Specific Ways ChatGPT Can Empower Hospitality Trainers Right Now

June 21, 2023 | 1294 Views

Unleashing AI’s Potential: 10 Specific Ways ChatGPT Can Empower Hospitality Trainers Right Now

Patrick Yearout, FMP, CHT

Director of Innovation, Recruiting, and Training | Ivar's & Kidd Valley Restaurants

For more on putting AI tools to work for you, be sure to attend Donna Herbel's breakout session, "Tech for the Rest of Us: AI Foundations" at the upcoming CHART 104 Orlando Hospitality Training Conference.

In an era of rapidly advancing technology, the possibilities of artificial intelligence seem boundless for the hospitality industry, captivating our imaginations with visions of lifelike robots serving us drinks in a lounge and fully automated systems that check us into a resort as soon as our (most likely driverless) car pulls into the parking lot. While the grand vision of AI transforming every aspect of our lives is indeed compelling, it's easy to overlook the practical benefits that are already within our grasp.

For trainers seeking immediate solutions, you can start finding them today with ChatGPT. By simply engaging in text-based conversations with this incredibly powerful online chatbot, hotel and restaurant professionals can access a wealth of knowledge, guidance, and support to enhance their employee training programs, improve their workplaces, and, as a result, deliver exceptional guest experiences.

If you haven’t taken the time to explore ChatGPT yet, here are 10 examples of how it can assist with your responsibilities.

  1. Certification quizzes – Crafting well-designed quiz questions and answers is crucial for assessing learners' knowledge, but it’s not always an easy task – especially (at least for me) dreaming up plausible detractors for multiple choice questions. ChatGPT can streamline that process by creating them for you. For example, below is a question about food safety procedures, along with one correct answer and three wrong ones, that it wrote in just under two seconds. Side note: You should always double-check fact-based ChatGPT responses for accuracy, as it can sometimes make errors, too.

What is the correct method for properly taking the temperature of a cooked turkey?

A) Insert the thermometer into the drumstick and wait for a few seconds.

B) Place the thermometer in the stuffing and ensure it reaches the desired temperature.

C) Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey's thigh, avoiding the bone.

D) Touch the surface of the turkey and assess its firmness to determine if it's fully cooked.

  1. Product/service descriptions – When your locations introduce a new product or service, or they roll out a limited time offer, you may be called upon to create scripts for employees to inform your hotel or restaurant guests about these items. Rather than muddle through on your own and try to put the right words together, however, you can call up ChatGPT to generate these audience-captivating descriptions for you. Here is an example from when I asked ChatGPT how a server at a seafood restaurant could describe a new pineapple wine.

Today, we have a delightful and unique special feature on our menu: pineapple wine. It is made from carefully selected ripe pineapples, creating a refreshing and tropical flavor profile, and its bright acidity and tartness beautifully complement dishes like our grilled shrimp, fish tacos, and fresh ceviche.

  1. Policy updates – Companies need to stay current with their policies and procedures, but the task of revising these items can be time-consuming because it is often difficult to know where to start (or even know when they’ve become outdated). ChatGPT can give recommendations to get the job finished much more quickly and thoroughly, like the three points it made when I submitted our old employee uniform policy and asked how we could modernize it.

    - Offer options for employee hairstyles that allow self-expression while maintaining a professional appearance.

    - Revise the earring policy to be gender-neutral and allow for a wider range of styles, as long as they are tasteful and not excessive.

    - Encourage employees to express their gender identity through their uniform choices, within the boundaries of a professional appearance.

  1. Onboarding updates – It is also occasionally necessary to refresh your new hire materials, either because the previous versions became stale or your business has changed. That responsibility often falls to the training department (sometimes solo, and sometimes in conjunction with Human Resources). If you’re going through that process at your own company, ChatGPT can help you get the ball rolling with suggestions to improve items such as employee handbooks and benefits overviews. Here are the first two paragraphs, out of a total of seven, it provided when I asked for a new welcome letter for Ivar’s Restaurants. Side note: make sure you get permission before typing anything proprietary into ChatGPT as it cannot guarantee absolute security of that information.

We are thrilled to have you join our team and embark on an exciting journey in the hospitality industry. At Ivar's Restaurants, we take immense pride in creating exceptional dining experiences, and you now have the opportunity to be a part of that legacy which began back in 1938.

As a new member of our team, you are an integral part of our commitment to delivering outstanding service, mouthwatering seafood, and unforgettable moments for our guests. We believe that each interaction is an opportunity to make a positive impact and create lasting memories.

  1. Job descriptions – Writing and updating job descriptions is another chore that often falls to the training team in a hospitality organization, but it can be a laborious slog since you need to make sure they contain accurate depictions of all the skills, duties, and education required by the positions. But with your new best friend, ChatGPT, you can make quick work of this task by asking it to produce them for you, and then you just need to fill in any gaps that it missed. Below is the overall summary and the first two responsibilities listed when I requested a job description for a hotel’s front desk clerk.

As a Front Desk Clerk at [Hotel Name], you will be the first point of contact for our guests, providing exceptional customer service and ensuring a smooth check-in and check-out process. You will play a crucial role in creating a welcoming and positive experience and setting the overall tone for their stay at our hotel.

Responsibilities include 1) greeting guests warmly and professionally, assisting them with check-in, check-out, and any inquiries or requests, and 2) providing accurate and up-to-date information about hotel services, amenities, and local attractions.

  1. Classroom activities – For those trainers who are seeking fresh ideas for the classes they facilitate, ChatGPT can deliver an abundance of team-building exercises, role-playing scenarios, case studies, and interactive simulations. Here are two examples it came up with for icebreakers for a training session on budgeting.

Desert Island Scenario: Pose a hypothetical situation where each manager must choose three items to bring to a deserted island. Ask them to explain their choices and the reasoning behind them. This activity promotes creative thinking and encourages individuals to discuss their priorities and decision-making process.

Human Bingo: Create a bingo-style grid with different statements related to budgeting or managerial experiences. Each manager mingles with others to find someone who matches each statement and fills in their name on the grid. The first person to complete a row or column calls out "Bingo!" and shares some insights related to the statements. This activity encourages networking and facilitates discussions on relevant topics.

  1. Communication – Well-crafted forms of communication, such as emails, are essential to maintaining relationships with guests, team members, co-workers, and outside stakeholders, but isn’t always easy to write them when facing unfamiliar situations or you are pressed for time. ChatGPT to the rescue! I cannot even tell you how many times in the last few months I have called on it to help me find the words I want to say without sacrificing any clarity or professionalism in my correspondence. If you need a polite way to tell a vendor that you have decided not to sign with them, for example, here is what ChatGPT proposed (which, of course, you could tailor to your specific situation):

Thank you for your proposal and the opportunity to consider your services. After careful evaluation of the options presented to us, we have decided to proceed with another vendor that aligns more closely with our specific needs. We appreciate the time and effort you invested in presenting your offering, and we wish you continued success in your business endeavors.

  1. Information summaries – Another time-consuming task for hotel and restaurant trainers is sifting through vast amounts of information to extract key insights and relevant details, but by engaging with ChatGPT, trainers can obtain condensed summaries that capture the essence of what they are seeking. Let’s say you are new to the training game, for instance, and you’d like to learn more about the adult learning principles of Malcolm Knowles. You could ask ChatGPT to give you the highlights of his work (an excerpt is presented below) and review the findings in a fraction of the time it would take you to read one of his books on the topic.

Malcolm Knowles, a prominent figure in the field of adult education, made significant contributions to our understanding of adult learning principles. His work emphasized the importance of recognizing adults as self-directed learners with unique needs and characteristics, and he proposed a set of principles that highlight how adults learn best, including the concepts of self-concept, experience, readiness to learn, and relevance.

  1. Industry best practices – Staying up to date with evolving standards is essential for hospitality trainers aiming to deliver top-notch training experiences, which is why CHART offers the very popular Ask My Peers feature on its website for association members. But you may have a question that others in CHART cannot help you with, and ChatGPT can be a secondary option to serve this need. If you are writing a new resource on candidate interviewing for your unit managers and asked ChatGPT for suggestions to make the guide better, here are a couple of examples it provided.

Cultural Fit Assessment: Evaluate a candidate's alignment with the company's values, culture, and service standards. Consider asking questions that delve into their interpersonal skills, teamwork abilities, and their approach to delivering exceptional guest experiences.

Technology Proficiency: Assess a candidate's proficiency with relevant technologies commonly used in the hospitality industry, such as property management systems (PMS), reservation software, or point-of-sale (POS) systems. This is particularly important for positions that require computer skills.

  1. Industry articles – Yes, ChatGPT can assist hospitality trainers with writing articles (for your company newsletter or for hospitality associations) about a variety of topics, and I don’t really need to give you an example because this entire blog post has been one. That’s right! ChatGPT created much of the content and all the examples listed, and then I added my personal touches and shaped the article into its final form. And giving credit where it’s due, ChatGPT even came up with the title for this post.

The power of AI, as exemplified by ChatGPT, holds immense potential in empowering hospitality trainers…and not just in the distant future, but right here and now. By embracing this technology, you can unleash new possibilities for enhancing your training programs, streamlining administrative tasks, and accessing and sharing valuable knowledge. The examples provided are just the tip of the iceberg, so I urge you to log in to the site today and witness firsthand the remarkable impact it can have on your hospitality training journey.

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