How the practice of Emotional Intelligence enhances positively, delivering high-quality standards in Food Services at all stages



Advanced School in Tourism Education of Crete, Ministry of Tourism





As competition in Tourism market increasing rapidly, the  need for qualitative services become a reality . Tourists and travelers in general , are more experienced , and demanding . Quality in every part of the service operation is a fact .  Sciences of Total Quality management , or Service marketing giving a lot of  information about how can make a well organized operation .  Besides these , an important issue is the method of Emotional Intelligence . How people in the certain industry reacts using the proper behavior controlling emotions without causing pressure  first to themselves, and then to the others. It is an every day effort for any individual . A very useful practice which build good reaction and communication with other people. That works wisely in Tourism market , where are a lot of different nationalities , who need to communicate properly .

Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, wrote in “Ethica Nikomachea” :  Everyone can get angry, it's easy. But getting  angry with the right person, to the right degree, for the right reason at the right time and in the right way, this is not easy at all .
This philosophy, has been the basis for practicing the technique of emotional intelligence in human resource management. 

.Working with a team, in food and beverage industry, takes a lot of effort and positive energy .  Dealing every day with different personalities who carrying a variety of ethics , culture, education, character, needs to build up certain communication skills, in order to proceed this professional attitude should work a lot on personal Emotional Intelligence .  

Key words: Intelligence, empathy, service, qualititative




Within a continuously changing work environment which imposes socio-economic changes , demands for quality services are increasing. Its work and organization, as well as experience as it is, are issues to be investigated so that the work environment can function properly depending on the location and the sector. The service sector and, in particular, tourism services are more vulnerable to change. It is important  the identification of the human-central element. As a social science, tourism has a different approach and parameters to be studied in order to produce a result that will contribute to quality upgrade. 
1.     The definition of quality

Quality is understood as the customer's perception, which is created after the provided service. Counting Customer Satisfaction, a food company can assess its development, possibly  In new services, in order to keep the customer happy, in case it has not been able to provide it to him so far. Satisfaction can be determined: by events occurring during consumption, and by the final achievement that results from the customer's overall experience.


1.1    Quality Measurement Models 
● SERVQUAL: (the quality as perceived by the customer)
● SERVPERF: (the quality as perceived by the customer after using the service)
● INDESERV: (it finds application in industrial services, which are difficult to evaluate)
There is a gap that create problems to the customers, as far as concern promised firm services never deal with.  There are not many times where a service provider promises consumer services,
which he can not actually observe. (Gounaris, 2003: 88)
The concept of an internal client as it is formed through its environment internal marketing, gives a different dimension to the provision of services by personal contact. A balanced inner state is always transferred to the final recipient, which is the customer.
1.2    The concept of service
Serving means helping / providing service. This is the feeling that emerges from the way to meet the needs of the customers used by professionals of the industry. The identifying information is as follows:
- Material supply services (serving)
- Interaction of employees and clients (courtesy, willingness, good position, human approach)
- Hygiene and appearance of employees/ers
·      The quality of the serving. 
The elements just mentioned occur service as a practice. There is also another definition of service which has to do with the general experience of enjoying vacations or staying in a hotel. Also has to do a lot with the managers who operates these vacancies. One of their managerial aim is to coordinate the personel in a way that they collaborate and communicate in a balanced and professional way.
Quality service is characterized by speed and accuracy in response, characteristics that require fast working people, with good knowledge in art restaurant and with good memory.
The delay between dishes (eg between the first and second dishes) creates a sense of frustration to customers, which would stop their meal or continue in bad mood. The search for a waiter as well, is another important issue in the process of serving.
·      The quality of personel - client interaction. 
Willingness, courtesy and good inter-Position of employees in the F & B departments are important elements of a qualitative product.
Beside the professional attitude of the waiters, there is also being created a beginning of their human interaction. Often customers are looking for contact with waiters , asking questions about menu items or the area's attractions, often, even ask about personal data such as origin and family. They describe their experiences or even their own professional,Family or psychological condition. All this proves the necessity of human communication and approach in a different way as appropriate. This customer mood contains risk factors, mainly due to misunderstandings. For this reason, employees are obliged to be cautious but not negative about the human part of communicating with the customer. Of course, quality in communication of this type depends on business culture , where its lack is replaced by the employee's culture.
·      Hygiene and appearance of waiters.
 The cleanliness, and the tidy appearance in food and service industry is critical. Keeping personal Hygiene is mandatory, as well as keeping their outfit in good condition. It is a must to avoid heavy perfumes, as well as to avoid eating foods which contains  garlic or onion, before the personnel begin their shift, because the result is unpleasant.
The fabric of the outfit should be made of good quality, in cotton preferably, so that sweat is absorbed. 
A basic requirement is  personal hygiene on a daily basis, and regular change of work shirt.
Service is a non-material, and non-storable good. This element defines its relativity.
The elements that determine relevancy in the concept of serving in restaurants are the following:
A. The human factor
B. Ethnological and Cultural Differences
·      The human factor. Human substance is a complex condition of psycho-
mental and intellectual processes. These processes combined with the experiences of each human life, as well as how sees life, has the result of  own uniqueness.
·      Ethnic and cultural differences. Every nation has its own habits, and behavior codes . They give different interpretations of body language, and communicate with their own way. Quality must be respected in order to provide professional services  to these variations, and adopt such behavior. It is difficult for all customers to enjoy good service at the same time. 
However, what is important is the effort to maintain a high level of service, which is interrelated with the quality that exists  between personal relationships as well. Either way it is not possible to provide quality if is not part of living and every day behavior.


1.3    Quality service techniques
The basic techniques used to have quality service are:
-- The smile and Confidence
-- Respect
- To know how to listen
- Commitment
- Good memory
·      The smile. At this point, we are particularly privileged since it is in our idiosyncrasy easily smile, and therefore treat our customers with Smile, carrying positive energy and well-being.
·      Confidence . When we talk, we need to show the emotion, the confidence that we know very well what we say and what we do, but also that we feel ourselves peaceful and available to offer our services.
·      Respect. It is essential partners respectancy. In this way the behavior towards the customer will be proportional. A very good technique is to listen to his words without doubt. The customer needs to complete what he wants to say. By listening to him the personnel can be more effective and persuasive.
·      Attentiveness. There is an important theory based on body language of different nations , which define the necessity of avoiding staring at customers eyes while the personnel provides service . According to this theory this would be easily misunderstand.  Scientists of human behavior concluded that it is good to focus on the area between the eyes, and over the nose. That gives a neutral look.  
·      Good memory. When it comes to the customer, it is good to use his name. It makes him feel special and at the same time creates an intimacy that is in personnel discretion to handle it properly, in order to have the desired result. Still is not always useful using names .
Also remembering his preferences in eating and drinking, or even putting him in his preferable sit,  is important element which is also under circumstances useful.
2. Requirements for quality service.
Working in Food and Service Industry requires anthropocentric elements who define the qualitative working condition .
These elements are the following:
- Improving communication skills
-- Self knowledge
- "winner" mentality
-- Positive Energy
·      Improving communication skills. This can be done through the training of personnel in communication issues and techniques. You need to become a self-assesment, to identify the weaknesses of the individual worker and trying to improve.
·      Self knowledge. It is very important for the employee to know the positive and negative points of his character so that he tries to improve himself.
·      "Winner" mentality. To believe in himself and not give in to the difficulties.
·      Positive Energy. It is important to be optimistic. To focus on the positive side of things, because the positive energy as well as the negative create corresponding feelings  which are also transmitted.
A person who collects these elements is able to provide good service
since he will consider this an extension of his everyday life.
Continuous training definitely helps those who are involved in the service sector to improve their technique and make them more effective.
It is a fact , that service field , creates stress and crisis management is an every day issue either for basic line of employees and managers . So stress management is on top of the list , helping communication.  
There are people who work much better under pressure, and others who cannot control their impulses and are getting nervous and causing a discomfort situation in job. They have no patience with the colleagues or guests, or even worse if this happens to the manager , will transmit to all the other members of his team negativity and unhappiness.  It is finally a way of life being and acting qualitative , with respect and a stable emotional attitude to each difficult situation . In addition is critical for an individual to find out soon what type of personality it has , and make job preference accordingly. An introverted personality is less flexible to communication skills with collegues and guests. At the contrary extroverted people are flexible , usually good communicators , and curious to learn about other people behavior and habbits .   
3. The role of Emotional Intelligence in quality service
3.1  Definition of Emotional Intelligence
It is considered to be more important than the IQ , regarding how successful can a professional be in every aspect. The elements that they identify are:
- Self-awareness. The ability of an individual to recognize his feelings as they are . Also the knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the character so can accept constructive criticism. It is through self - awareness that confidence is the certainty of the value and potential of a person
- self-regulation. The way I control and adjust feelings like stress,
fear, or anger so that they do not interfere with the prossiding of the duties and generally with everyday behavior of the individual.
- the mobilization, the ability of one to remain optimistic and to continue effort despite any obstacles or difficulties.
- empathy, or in other words the ability to recognize the feelings of the people. They may also have a position that allows them to help develop others by enhancing their abilities and exploit diversity of others recognizing the principles and dynamics of their group. Emotions are often manifested through other signals.
To understand someone's feelings, we need to have the ability to  read the non-verbal elements of communication. To interpret the tone of the voice, the gestures, facial expression, and more. Social skills, help to establish and maintain positive relationships. Society skills are for example the ability to influence, effective communication,leadership that inspires, crisis management, effective collaboration and teamwork.
(Goleman, 2011: 23)
Adopting Emotional Intelligence , a manager , or any food service industry employees\ers , helping at first himself and secondly the rest of the organization . It is an everyday effort and takes hard work to achieve, learning how to control feelings , reactions , behavior . And all this without pressing yourself , and turn to a creativity and productive attitude .
3.2 Ways of enhancing emotional intelligence
Enhancing emotional intelligence first comes from cultivating 
awareness of emotions. It is not useful to criticize or stop the feeling before it started. Non-stress control is another important 
factor that affects : the person does not think clearly and therefore take wrong decisions. The difficulty approach with humorous mood is another indicator.
According to Professor Mr. Michail Gjadjädmichali, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, "the word" flow "describes the charismatic state in which perfection has come effortlessly. The person's ability to flow is the best moment of emotional mental intelligence.
Streaming probably represents the zenith of manipulation of emotions, subduing in the service of performance and learning. In the flow, feelings are neither contained and channeled.
 They are positive, activated and aligned with this particular duty. When you are trapped in the bouts of depression or anxiety, this is blocked. People who are in the flow show a skillful control on what they are doing and their reactions are perfectly in harmony with the alternatives.
There is enough difficulties for food industry employees to provide this flow for different reasons. For many workers whose basic occupation based on survival reasons is difficult to adopt the model, as it has so far been described. This results in several times creating crises during work that are difficult to manage.
Such examples are the solutions to disputes in a negative way as it becomes particularly important, through the lack of emotional intelligence, to perceive those involved.
The proper manager should not get involved with disagreements and not give dimensions to pointless issues .  
A proposal that helps and solve the problem is training the team to be cultivate of their intelligence. In this way they will improve communication skills, conduct, command, control and motivation of their associates. 
Emotional intelligence gives the greatest results in how to manage customer intercourse. With this  better communication between employees is achieved.  At this level the team is trained to listen better the needs of its members, better manage stress in general, and balance between personal and professional life without allowing one sector to get involved to the other. (Goleman, 2011: 58)
Mr Albert Buntur, says: "People's beliefs about abilities have a profound effect on these abilities.  There is a huge variety in the way you act. People who have the feeling of 
Self-efficiency are met by failures. They approach things with purpose to confront them, not to worry about what can go wrong. "
Simonov (1970) discusses the relationship of emotions with creation and learning.
He believes positive feelings are far more productive than negative ones. The development Creativity in this respect, presupposes more than just the simple blowing unwanted feelings ".
Education has a very important place in the application of theories. It is possible to create specific fields of emotional intelligence culture in every different level of food and beverage management. A change of mentality is needed in order to support new practices.
This will reduce the real labor cost. Despite the personnel’s reduction. Quality service can be provided from the existing, working people in the team. The real investment is on the human resource.
3.2  Territory of the family
Many studies have shown that the way parents behave in children has
 a profound and lasting effect on their emotional life. Although some
sentimental skills are practiced through friendly relationships as the years go by, emotionally sufficient parents can help their children in their core elements of their Emotional intelligence:
The practice of emotional intelligence enhances the provision of food services
- like, learn to recognize it
- to handle
- to curb their feelings
- and handle the feelings they make in their relationships
Through the emotional sufficiency of parents, the same is created for children.
It is expected, a person with the above qualitative characteristics , when is  professionally involved in Food Service sector to offer quality service and high service Level in general.


In the future, it will be necessary to combine both the emotional intelligence and the artificial intelligence , which refers to the intelligence of computers and systems, since development in this field increased rapidly.
As far as the food and beverage management sector is concerned whether it operates within a hotel unit or outside of it. The quality difference in the provision of services will depend on a large extent on this ability. Both for executives and  personnel as well as owners.
The  environment in workplace  has changed very much. There is a constant rotation of people in important positions in the Food industry. People who have never had anything to do with the subject are also entering the field by starting relevant business.
A solution to this situation is education. Through specific seminars, so the people of this  industry can acquire this skill. By having psychological thinking its easier for an executive or other employee/ er , to adopte this attitude  in life in general .
 If he  has the physical capacity of empathy and recognition of  his emotions, will be easier to see and manage them creatively. Also will be able to  recognize the feelings of the other team members , creating calm atmosphere and positive feelings  at a time of crisis management. This will have the effect of keeping his team cool , while emotions being transmitted. In other case the effort is bigger, but it is really worth it.
It is no coincidence that the most successful food and beverage professionals in the world are those who, in addition to high intelligence, and managerial skills, have a high level of emotional intelligence.



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