Service training is not just about service, it’s about culture

Last September – one month after we opened the doors to the Hazyview Digital Learning Centre – 63 new students enrolled in our internationally accredited hospitality course which we deliver via “Lobster Ink”, an online training platform.

The content is delivered in a structured, curriculum-based format, allowing learners to progress systematically, and the majority of tests are written and marked online.

Many of our hospitality students are concurrently enrolled in the International Computer Drivers License programme, also offered at the Hazyview Digital Learning Centre.

23 of those students have now completed the Lobster Ink service module and were recently invited to Londolozi Private Game Reserve in the Sabie Sands for practical training.

“The focus was dinner service” says Mercyful Mathebula who is the Hospitality Academy Programme Facilitator at Hazyview Digital Learning Centre.

“From the science and etiquette of table setting, to welcoming and seating guests, each student was put through their paces. Remember also that in an internationally-celebrated destination like Londolozi, a host interacts with guests from all kinds of different cultures. You would think that challenge enough, but by far the most formidable cultural test was the wine. Mpumalanga is not ‘wine country’ and many of our students have never been exposed to wine tasting, wine cultivars, wine history and wine jargon, like cigar-box scents and red berry on the palate.”

The point is that service training is not just about service, it is about culture. And those of you who are interested will know that wine has its own culture, rich in language, history, and varieties. If we think about it, that is what practicals are all about. Yes, the side from which a guest is served is important, but more important, more interesting, is adapting to be able to learn and interact with different cultures – human or vine.

Final assessments are now coming up for many of the students. We wish them all the very best of luck.

We would like to once again say thank you to ABSA for sponsoring many of our students through the year-long course. We would also like to thank the team at Londolozi for hosting our students and allowing them to use Londolozi camps and bomas as a “safe” space for learning and development.

Have a look at some of our photos in the gallery below.