Designing A Custom Guest Service Program

Cypress Bayou Casino - Louisiana


The State of Louisiana hosts 15 riverboat casinos, pari-mutuel facilities and one land based commercial casino in New Orleans.

Cypress Bayou Casino — Shorty's is one of three land based tribal casinos in the state and is located about an hour in either direction from their nearest competitor.

They have 1,375 slots, 50 table games, live action poker room, simulcast racing, an event center, nightclub and six restaurants.


Cypress Bayou Casino/Shorty’s already had in place a successful comprehensive training program befitting their distinctive company culture that combines their unique geographical location as well as the goals of their tribe. Training for all team members is a priority at Cypress Bayou Casino/Shorty’s and a key element to their training has always been significant emphasis on employee recognition and rewards.

Being highly in tune with all employees, Joy Reaux, Human Resources Manager, shared that it was time to append and reenergize their existing training to be able to:

  • Take their guest service to a higher level.
  • Increase loyalty of guests.
  • Create a comprehensive measurement tool to evaluate their service and to utilize this tool to develop more extensive employee performance incentives.


To achieve the Cypress Bayou Casino/Shorty’s goals, Raving worked hand in hand with frontline and senior management to create a customized guest service program that would invigorate their many loyal long-term employees and inspire new employees. The newly built guest service program at Cypress Bayou Casino/Shorty’s includes branding, custom service standards, training modules and a quarterly evaluation method. This evaluation tool is designed around the new standards created by Cypress Bayou Casino/Shorty’s and is based on a mathematical system that allows for clear, numeric scoring.

The Win

Joy admitted that at first she was concerned about the intensive training, scheduling and interaction that would need to be coordinated in such a short period of time for the implementation of the program.

Steve Browne, President of Raving Service, works with supervisors first, then a design team, then the trainers and then finishes the program with every member of the frontline and the entire property.

However, after seeing the program unfold, Joy told us that the intensive schedule worked really well because “her supervisors were totally immersed in the content, the rigorous schedule drove momentum and it also gave the entire team the sense of how important this new program was.”

Since the creation, install and launch of the new, custom built service program, Joy told us that some immediate effects are already showing:

  • An increase in employee camaraderie and rejuvenation.
  • Guests and managers have noticeably seen more smiles, guest interaction and excitement.
  • There has been a visible increase of input from team members through the committees that were formed.
  • The entire team, frontline and management, are encouraging each other and talking about the program amongst themselves and with guests.
  • Departments have seen an increase in tips; most notably valet and F&B.
  • Through their measurement tool, they definitely expect to see improvement from their initial benchmark scores. They like this evaluation method as it is based on their own standards and a specific scoring method, nothing subjective. The mathematical scoring will be important in allowing Cypress Bayou Casino/Shorty’s to create more performance incentives and evaluate employees.

Thank you to Joy and the team at Cypress Bayou Casino/Shorty’s for sharing their results with our readers.

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