Hospitality vs Service!
Addressed in last weeks post titled 'Success, Perspective or Changing Application?', Dylan spoke about the core of any hospitality establishment being the delivery of service. So much so that for a business, its delivery of service can make or break the success of an establishment. Ultimately, success in business is dependent on the effectiveness and internal success of their service. However, can service and hospitality be classed as one? Can we speak of service and naturally expect hospitality to be present or can we be hospitable without providing a service?
Danny Meyer suggests that anyone who thinks hospitality is simply for restaurants, are, “completely missing the point”. If hospitality is simply practised when serving a guest, then the true power of hospitality is being miss understood. In fact, Danny Meyer identifies hospitality as the single most powerful strategy for business owners that is simply not being taught enough. So, by classifying hospitality as its own strategy, we open up a whole new realm of corporate management.
Being hospitable is exhibited in the interactions we have with people and it is extremely important to understand that service and hospitality are two completely different actions practised within the same movement. Hospitality is a dialogue and is present when a guest is made to feel a certain way. Anna Dolce explains that service in the hospitality industry has come to be expected by our guests, while hospitality is the fundamental aspect that makes all the difference. “Service without hospitality is just a transaction which cannot be sustainable”. Service is methodical, while hospitality is dynamic. However, we as a culture have become predominantly focused on achieving results. So much so, that we are placing more care on the process of service rather than on the guests we are serving. To be able to make the conscious decision of focusing on the guests, we are required to access our emotional intelligence and inevitably utilize the emotional skills that we possess but often overlook. All too often, we neglect the importance of empathy and integrity when interacting with guests, failing to remove the barriers of effective communication and causing the conversation to remain one dimensional and insincere.
In today’s world, many things are made to feel uniform. Hotel chains and brand standards have influenced the hospitality industry in such a way that a hotel in one country will be exactly the same in another country. In many cases, this is demanded by guests who seek familiarity and engage in brand loyalty as they expect to receive the same service wherever they are travelling. However, the way guests are treated and made to feel (hospitality) is what makes their stay memorable and different. A guest simply wouldn’t remember good service because they expect the service to be good. Meeting expectations doesn’t allow an establishment to stand out.
With that, hospitality transcends service. It can be seen as taking service to the next level. Turning the dull and mundane practice of meeting expectations into a dynamic, engaging and personalised interaction with a guest that takes the expected to the unexpected. It is the difference between offering your guest water, and knowing they always order sparkling – so you bring them sparkling without asking.
However, without service, hospitality will be ineffective. Without hospitality, service will be an act of simply carrying out a process. The two, if effectively executed, will provide a winning formula for any establishment.
Bradley Barrett | LinkedIn