ABOVE PHOTO: The Little Nell Hotel in winter. Photo by Aspen Snowmass.
Strolling into a five-star location can make anyone feel like a celebrity. The attention immediately falls on them – the guest – the center of the hospitality universe.
Guests may not realize it, but there are dozens of employees at any given time, working to make their luxury experience possible. And this spring semester, students at University of Wisconsin-Stout will learn what it takes to deliver five-star service.
Faculty and staff in UW-Stout’s School of Management, led by Professor Eric Brey, are offering a new Service Excellence course with the support of Forbes Travel Guide (FTG), which is known for its independent annual ratings of luxury hotels, restaurants and spas in more than 74 countries.
“UW-Stout is the first university in the world with this FTG collaboration. It will set our program and students apart from any other program,” Brey said. “Our relationship with FTG provides a unique opportunity to integrate a service excellence mindset throughout our program and curriculum.”
The course was built through various faculty and alumni relationships with FTG and was encouraged by Chancellor Katherine Frank.
Faculty met to learn and discuss the material, including the core service excellence content provided by FTG, before the semester began on Jan. 23, with a focus on integrating the philosophies and key foundations throughout hospitality-related courses.
“Service excellence is defined by a service mindset, along with a destination’s setting and atmosphere, that is emphasized by employee training, resources and service outcomes. Making sure everything exceeds the expectations of guests,” Brey explained. “It is really knowing what they want before they know they want it and being prepared to fulfill those wants.”
“Now more than ever before, people are emphasizing the experience and purpose behind where they choose to spend their time,” said Hermann Elger, Forbes Travel Guide CEO. “Our collaboration with UW-Stout is a testament to the school’s commitment to preparing their students for success in an increasingly service-driven culture.”