Hospitality: Cordial and generous reception of or disposition toward guests.
An instance of cordial and generous treatment of guests.
An instance of cordial and generous treatment of guests.
Disposition: One's usual mood; temperament:
Working in the restaurant business, I am more than aware of the importance of hospitality. Hospitality is the need to make the customer feel as if they stepped into my own dining room and are about to encounter a dining experience like they have never had before. I have exactly 30-60 seconds to win my guests over, and convince them that I am here for them. I want them to be able to ask me for things they need, however, I want to anticipate what it is they may need before they have to ask me for it. This is part of the “service” included in their experience.
Hospitality is a “cordial and generous reception of (and) or disposition towards guests.” I stress the “and” because I may be at the job, I may say hello, I may give them all the things they ask for, but I may have the worst disposition in the world. Therefore, hospitality includes disposition, it also includes awareness of one’s job. The smallest details can make or break an experience for a guest. Wrappers on the table, a glass not staying full, the empty plates not being pre-bussed, the server not knowing the specials, the server’s knowledge of the food preparation, what options are available for the guest to purchase, and the timeliness of whole dining experience.
My friend’s mother will not come back into a particular restaurant, because the hostess “huffed” at her when she asked to not sit in the bar area, but instead wanted the main dining room. This started the whole experience off for the woman on a bad note. I understand there are personalities out there that can not be satisfied, even with the best of disposition. But it is my job to make sure I have gone above and beyond the call of duty, to have tried to satisfy every person who walks through the restaurant doors.
I repeat the importance of disposition. An attitude of whether you are at your job to make money, get the job done, or you are a body taking up space makes a difference. Not only to how the day will be for you, but how your customers will treat you, how your coworkers think of you, and what your management will think of you. You are not in the hospitality business to be a slave; however, you are there to work, to make money, to satisfy the needs of the people who have come into the business you have selected to work for. If this is not why you are there, and the space or energy you are exerting to complain, whine and be a pain in every one’s butt is your purpose; then perhaps you should find something that better works into your own personal disposition.
This being said, it is amazing that in giving the ten percent extra that all of us could try to give in being just a little more hospitable, might also make it into our pocket book. The amount of information that we actually retain in our minds, may come in handy when discussing food and drink in a social situation outside of work. The pride that you have, because you did go about and make a true effort will reflect in your pocketbook as well as perhaps just in your own consciousness of being a good person. I find this to be the reward in kindness to others, making other people happy, makes me happy.
I stress the awareness of the fact that the same percentage of people who can’t be satisfied, are usually the same people who forgot that they are supposed to tip. In the whole big picture, if you are treating everyone equally, and doing your best, you will end up off setting those people. You will make more money, which if this is your only goal, will make you happy. If you insist that you have done everything in your power and have had the best attitude, then you will have to write those few people off. Usually if we look at how our whole “performance” came about, we will find we could have probably done a few things different to make the experience better for everyone. No one is perfect, no matter if you are the server, bartender, busser, host, manager or guest. We can only strive to do our best, and if we don’t feel like the best, we will not obtain the best experience.
Attitude counts. Attitude can make or break a situation in life wherever you may be. Work, school, home, relationships, and friendships are part of life, and attitude, whether good or bad, affects life. All of us have choices. We have choices to let work be work, or to challenge ourselves to take ourselves out of it, and enjoy the experience. We have a choice to be lazy or ambitious, happy or sad, mad or glad, negative or positive, giving or taking and all of these things start inside with the attitude we portray. The attitude or disposition in the hospitality industry counts as much as knowing the product, having a clean table, and finally our appearance to other people.
Not only does hospitality include these things, it includes your presentation of yourself to other people. If you are smiling, your body and uniform are cleaned and tailored, you hair and personal effects are in order, people will take notice and make their opinion based upon not only your disposition in that 30-60 second welcome, but your presentation of your being to them. If you do not believe me, consider in your own mind your experiences on the other end as a guest, how much you pick the server apart from their ability to do their job, to their overall appearance. Most people will admit they judge people first by the cover of their book. First impressions do matter, and the first impression you make to another person can be the decision between a good experience and a bad one.
Thus giving food for thought, about an industry that stresses “generous treatment of guests” as the forefront to success.