Service in North American hotels and restaurants seems to be getting worse with every passing year.
Financial considerations and scarcity of young individuals willing to perform service jobs are the main reasons for the decline. Another contribution factor is the mentality of the population. Young individuals equate service with servility, and shun such professions.
Most hotel and restaurant owners/managers claim to spend a lot of effort on adequate orientation yet investments in training suitable requirements lack completely.
Training, orientation, and supervision, are entirely different factors and must not be confused.
Another contributing factor is the lack of apprenticeship programmes. In Central European countries (Germany, Austria, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and many others) waiter service apprenticeship programmes are detailed, well thought out, and popular amongst young people.
Service is considered to be a profession, whereas in North America servers are generally students trying to make ends meet, or actors between jobs.
In Far eastern countries, service standards are still very high, and continue to improve for many reasons. Young people want to enter the lucrative tourism industry and willingly follow instructions and directions of their supervisors. They genuinely want to please patrons.
In China, tourism plays an important role in the economy. Many western hotel chains regard the Chinese market crucial for their expansion plans and profitability. There, North American prices are charged, but only local wages are paid.
If you book a rooms at the Westin in Shanghai, you will be met at the airport by a polite hotel representative, then whisked to a private limousine within minutes, and you are on your way to the hotel.
The driver will call the hotel shortly before arrival to ensure you are appropriately greeted.
Young, pleasant, at least bilingual front desk employees will check you in promptly, and if you are a frequent guest everything will be ready for you to sign and proceed to your room by a polite young employee to explain all the amenities in the room.
Rooms at the Westin Shanghai are relatively large, well designed, and luxuriously appointed. Above all, service is exemplary. The room is impeccably cleaned daily, including fresh linen.
Turn down service at night is performed by chambermaids who also ask whether you wish to have extra amenities and offer good night chocolates.
Laundry deposited with the concierge is returned the same day at 5
More importantly restaurant service in Westin Shanghai is more an art than simply taking an order and delivering both food and beverage.
This property has a seafood restaurant, serving Chinese, Japanese, and Thai specialties, a pizza and Italian restaurant managed by an Italian maitre d’hotel, and a cafe with western foods for business people who want to stick with American or western food.
In the seafood restaurant captains take your order and will guide you to dishes that are considered to be exceptional and advise you (should you be unfamiliar with portion sizes) if you order too much food.
All servers are attentive, and bring your order fast enough to guarantee a good progression of your meal without any long gaps.
The Italian restaurant on the second floor, managed by a Neapolitan, and a chef from Liguria, is the flagship featuring an authentic wood-fired pizza oven. Flour is imported from Italy via Hong Kong for the pizza dough, peeled plum tomatoes from San Marzano, proscuitto ham from Parma, and extra virgin olive oil from Tuscany. The food tastes authentic, the service friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive serving you as quick as you want, or as leisurely as you wish.
The lobby restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The abundant lunch buffet offerings are delicious, alternating between Shanghai specialties and western dishes.
Brunch at Westin Shanghai is an experience you wont’ soon forget, and attracts hundreds of expatriates who like to indulge once a week and treat their friends and families to a spectacle. The food buffet in the lobby is rich. Still there are several food stations for crepes, Chinese specialties (soups and wok-fried beef), and desserts make it special. But there is more. If you want to experience Italian food, just go to the second floor and visit the Italian restaurant where you can choose between an assortment of fine, in-house baked breads, lamb chops, filet of snapper, pizza, proscuitto, marinated vegetables, artichokes, and veal scallopini in cream sauce.
The moment you sit down in the beautifully designed lobby restaurant complete with palm trees and skylight extending the entire roof, a gracious server comes with a bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne and pours some into proper champagne flute. From that moment on, as soon as you finish the contents of the glass more is poured in.
There is no shortage of entertainment while you enjoy the food. The entertainment ranges from Chinese acrobats, mimes, a belly dancer from western China, a seven-piece band, just to name a few.
If you want to experience unsurpassed hospitality and luxurious surroundings without breaking the bank, Westin Shanghai is the hotel.