Welcome to the 8th edition of RTO7’s staff picks of the month as we share our experiences and recommendations of the courses offered on Typsy, the on-line training platform that is available free-of charge to those that work in tourism in BruceGreySimcoe.
The training is open to all levels of employers and employees – business owners, managers, full-time and part-time staff, and seasonal employees. After you’ve read about our choices below, try Typsy yourself and be sure to share this awesome training tool with your staff and co-workers.
Bill Sullivan, CEO, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Sales Techniques for Food & Beverage
Total Course Length: 40 minutes
I recommend approaching this course a little differently.
Firstly, it is a course that Owners, Managers, and all restaurant staff should complete. I recommend all for this very reason - for a restaurant to be successful the ‘back of the house’ needs to know how the ‘front of the house’ is selling their creations and what knowledge the service staff will need to be successful.
Secondly, I recommend that the Owners and Managers complete the course first and then break it down into bite size pieces. There is so much in this course that it can become overwhelming if you try to do everything in one go.
Thirdly, have each staff member complete the course and do the same thing, bite size pieces.
The only thing I would add to this course is to create a lesson plan for each service staff member so you can monitor and assist them in their journey to increasing sales, profits, and tips.
Be sure to download the ‘Sales Planning Sheet’ template that lays out the increase in sales by up-selling the addition of chicken to a Caesar salad – I would add to that template a column for tips, insert the average tip % so the servers can see the benefit of selling more. This is an easy and effective visual. Be sure to change this sheet up regularly.
More About Bill
Bill Sullivan is the CEO of Regional Tourism Organization 7, BruceGreySimcoe. Bill has over 40 years in senior management roles within the hospitality and tourism industry in rural Ontario. Bill’s operational experience during previous booms, recessions, emergencies, pandemics is assisting the industry on its road to recovery. Bill is responsible for strategic planning and operations of the organization. Prior to joining RTO7, Bill held progressive management positions over a 30-year career in resort operations. Bill received his education in the Hospitality and Tourism program at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).
Alex Hogan, Project & Administration Manager, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Great Customer Service with Kate Edwards
Total Blog Length: 5-minute read
This is a super quick read about restaurant service, although the principles really apply to any business that serves customers. Kate Edwards owns a hospitality consulting business, is an instructor at the Institute for Culinary Education, and has written a book on good service called Hello! And Every Little Thing That Matters.
One of the points she makes is about thoughtful timing and how it can help build consistency and trust (which ultimately results in greater sales). It resonated for me because recently my husband and I were out for a nice dinner, and it seemed that no sooner had we ordered than our food arrived – it really took us aback as what should have been a relaxing evening suddenly felt very rushed – were they trying to get us out of there asap? Was heaping food onto a plate in the kitchen all they had left to do to prep our meals? You wouldn’t think it, but that little miscue threw the rest of the evening off a bit, changing what could have been a great experience into just an okay one. We all have these types of experiences once in a while and it’s helpful to reflect on them when we’re in the customer role, to help avoid making them when we’re in the host role.
More About Alex
Alex Hogan is the Program & Administration Manager at RTO7 and has over 20 years’ experience managing a wide variety of projects. Alex brings strong communication and organizational skills to projects to meet the needs and objectives of partners and projects. She manages the Partnership Program, as well as contributing to sustainable tourism and workforce development projects. Prior to RTO7, Alex managed training projects for a Toronto based environmental consulting company specializing in waste management and climate change issues. She graduated from Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo.
Ginny Henry, Communication Coordinator, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Driving Your Own Growth
Total Mentor Session Length: 6 minutes
This short mentor session focuses on the career journey of pastry chef, Kay-Lene Tan, the principles of which can be applied to anyone’s career path. The most notable points are, first, that age doesn’t need to hold you back from your passions, which is why she switched up her career at the age of 25. Second, discipline is important as it helps to focus on goals and what you want to achieve, no matter what your profession. Third, research your possible new career path – Kay-Lene chose online resources like documentaries and advice from experts in her field. Lastly, pushing yourself is the major key to your own success. She emphasizes that the process, or the journey if you will, is a good way to learn about yourself and what you can achieve. And, that every new experience usually has a lesson to be learned and is another step toward reaching your career goals.
More About Ginny
Ginny Henry is the Communication Coordinator at Regional Tourism Organization 7 / BruceGreySimcoe. Her career in the tourism industry started from the “bottom up”, with a summer job cleaning toilets and rooms at a family-run motel in Port Elgin, Ontario just over 40 years ago. Many of her job choices were inspired by the words, “it’s something I’ve always wanted to do”, with a strong focus on customer service, tourism, event organization and small business support. Her role at RTO7 includes social media, overseeing the seasonal partnership/image campaigns, newsletters, website content and pretty much anything communication-related that crops up. Ginny has a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University in Ottawa.
Kim Clarke, Manager, Stakeholder Relations RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Front Desk Upselling
Total Course Length: 39 minutes
Is confidence the key to sales? Yes, but that’s not all. For front desk staff, upselling can make a significant increase in the hotel’s bottom line. Knowing the features, benefits, and advantages to upsells can help you with your upselling goals. Alejandro Francino walks you through all the key steps to upselling. Positive first impressions, communications, confidence, and welcoming body language are all things that help build rapport, a critical component in the process.
Francino introduces the Link Method to make upselling easier. This is all about reading the guest, having the right product at the right price. I sometimes feel that sales can be intimidating, but using these steps break things down and make it feels like I could set some achievable goals. This course also includes a terrific resource guide to get you started.
At the end of the day, even small upselling goals can add up to profits for your hotel and create a better stay for your guests.
More About Kim
Kim Clarke is the Manger, Stakeholder Relations at Regional Tourism Organization 7 / BruceGreySimcoe. Kim has spent over 15 years in the tourism industry working in destination development and management. She works closely with a variety of stakeholders to help them create amazing new experiences, managing visitation and works to find solutions to the workforce crisis. Kim is the lead for the experience and workforce development files at RTO7. She received her formal education, Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Allison Davies, Communication Assistant, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month:
Total Course Length:
Look for Allison’s Typsy Staff Pick in the May edition of this newsletter.
More About Allison
Allison Davies is a writer, photographer and content creator who has worked for Regional Tourism Organization 7 in the Communication Assistant role for 5 years. As a trained photojournalist, she worked for many local DMOs on both writing and photography projects before joining the RTO7 team full time. Today she uses those skills to help support tourism operators by marketing the region through social media and web content. She has an English Literature degree from McGill University and a Photojournalism Diploma from Loyalist College. In her free time, Allison loves to shoot sports and continues to write for several magazines on a freelance basis.
Amanda Pausner, Experience & Administration Coordinator, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Teamwork Fundamentals
Total Course Length: 40 minutes
If you work with other individuals, then this course is for you! I recommend it for all staff, front and back of the house and especially for Managers. There is so much to learn from Teamwork Fundamentals with Ritchie Gibson. As the presenter says, “Collaborative teamwork is the sustainable point of difference in an organization.” A strong team that works together empowers and encourages one another, they all learn and grow, develop professionally and less stress is felt within the workplace, plus customers notice the positive environment.
It was quoted that employees that felt like they belonged or had a good core team at work increased productivity by 56%.
The course provides worksheets, resources, asks for the viewers opinions and provides video role play to demonstrate teamwork examples, so the courses presentation style is very interactive.
Upon completion, I was empowered to become a better team member and have already started putting some of what I have learned into action. Do yourself and your team a favour and watch this course, positive workplace growth is coming your way!!
More About Amanda
Amanda has worked in the tourism industry for over 23 years. She joined the RTO7 team in 2018 in her current position as Experience & Administration Coordinator. She assists with administration duties, programs offered by RTO7 and, over the last two years, has led the T3 Accelerator Coaching Program, which supports small businesses in Bruce, Grey and Simcoe Counties. Previously, she worked with Grey County Tourism for 16 years, managing operator relations and working as a media relations specialist, showcasing what the area had to offer. While taking the Tourism Management course at Georgian College, Barrie she spent her summers with the Owen Sound Transportation Company (MS Chi-Cheemaun Ferry). In her spare time, Amanda enjoys travelling with her family of four and working in her many veggie gardens.
Robyn Hewitt, Program Coordinator, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Customer (Experiential) Service
Total Course Length: 13 - 1/2 minutes
This short course provides some excellent examples of how to personalize a service experience with your customers and build trust. These touchpoints with your customers will ensure that they stay longer and spend more, return to your business, and tell their friends about their positive experience. The skills and techniques discussed are applicable to all customer facing employees and a simple yet very effective. Another key piece in this course is identifying and satisfying unhappy customers by following a few simple steps. If you haven’t introduced your team to Typsy, this course would be a great start!
More About Robyn
Robyn joined RTO7 as the Program Coordinator in August 2021 and brings a diverse background with almost 20 years of experience in various capacities of sales, marketing, and partnership development in the hospitality and tourism industry. Much of her experience is within the hotel sector where she specialized in the leisure travel trade, selling multiple properties within the Marriott family of brands. She has experience in creating integrated sales and marketing strategies and has managed the digital marketing for a large urban hotel. Robyn oversees the RTO7 Implementation Programs (OIP, SIP, RIP), as well as the administration of the Typsy training platform. She received a Business Commerce Degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) and completed a Certificate of Digital Marketing Management through the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto.