Destination Niagara USA made attempts in the past to carry out a hospitality training program of large magnitude, but the classroom-style learning and seminars were not a well-received option. Employers weren’t willing to pay their employees to attend training outside of their scheduled work shifts.
In addition, Destination Niagara USA wanted to launch a new tourism brand to increase awareness of Niagara Falls and Niagara County as an international bucket-list destination. Officials wanted Niagara Falls to be more than just a place to see, but rather a place to do.
To accomplish these goals, Destination Niagara USA contacted Treat ‘em Right to assist with the development of a new hospitality training program for their frontline employees.
After conducting three Discovery Visits where President of Treat ‘em Right Phil Bruno met with board members, frontline workers and community residents as well as sampled the guest experience first-hand, he uncovered that the Niagara hospitality community was inconsistent in its attitude. In addition, the visits revealed that only 50 percent of locations welcomed or greeted guests while only 30 percent thanked guests for visiting.
Together with Destination Niagara USA, Bruno developed an online learning program that included six custom training videos that would aid frontline workers in providing a consistent message and develop a powerful, distinctive and authentic brand. The online learning courses provided hospitality skills along with education about the region, including historical attractions, arts and culture, shopping and dining, agriculture and outdoor activities.
Approximately 400 people graduated with the certification and it greatly improved the hospitality etiquette of the employees. The frontline workers are more knowledgeable of places to visit in Niagara and they are more welcoming to guests. The program was well received, and in 2017 Treat ‘em Right created two additional videos, stretching the program to two hours for the employees to complete on their own time.
Destination Niagara USA launched the new brand that evokes a sense of discovery and brings life to once-in-a-lifetime thrills that can only be found in Niagara Falls USA. The new brand inspires travelers to reconnect with nature through authentic experiences unique to the region.