Word-Of-the-Week #991: Hospitality

August 3, 2023 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #991: Hospitality 

Hospitalitykindness in welcoming strangers or guests.

Bill Marvin, the Restaurant Doctor, featured this in his weekly journal.

#22: Small Gestures, Big Payback

[by Rick Phillips, taken from Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work, Copyright 1996 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Martin Rutte, Maida Rogerson & Tim Clauss]

I do a lot of management training each year for a national chain of convenience stores. Among the topics we address in our seminars is the retention of quality employees — a real challenge to managers when you consider the pay scale in the service industry. 

During these discussions, I ask the participants, “What has caused you to stay long enough to become a manager?” Some time back a new manager took the question and slowly, with her voice almost breaking, said, “It was a $19 baseball glove.” 

Cynthia told the group she originally took a Circle K clerk job as an interim position while she looked for something better. On her second or third day behind the counter, she received a phone call from her nine-year old son, Jessie. 

He needed a baseball glove for Little League. She explained money was very tight for a single mother and her first check would have to go toward paying bills. Perhaps she could buy his baseball glove with her second or third check. 

When Cynthia arrived for work the next morning, Patricia, the store manager, asked her to come to the small office in back of the store. Cynthia wondered if she had done something wrong or left some part of her job incomplete from the day before. She was concerned and confused. 

Patricia handed her a box. “I overheard you talking to your son yesterday,” she said, “and I know it’s often hard to explain things to kids. This is a baseball glove for Jessie because he may not understand how important he is to you, even though you have to pay bills before you can buy gloves.” 

“You know we can’t pay good people like you as much as we’d like to, but we do care, and I want you to know you are important to us.” 

The thoughtfulness, empathy and love shown by this convenience store manager demonstrates vividly why people remember more how much an employer cares than how much the employer pays. An important lesson for the price of a Little League baseball glove.

 A Note From the Doc:

Hospitality is about how you are in the world. It’s not limited to the way you deal with patrons nor is it an exclusive quality of restaurateurs and innkeepers.

This week is all about hospitality. How are you seen in your world? Would your friends, family, customers or clients say that you welcome people with kindness?

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Word Of the Week #33: Hospitality

April 21, 2009 by · Comments Off on Word Of the Week #33: Hospitality 

Hospitality:  the cordial and generous reception and entertainment of guests or strangers; either socially or commercially.

Welcome Back Hospitality

Welcome Back Hospitality

What’s the first thing you do when you have company coming? Clean your house, right? Your house has never been cleaner! And I figured out that the farther that your company travels to see you, the cleaner your house gets. My friend Chrissy was coming from England and I had to recover my couch!

What’s interesting about the word hospitality, is that it applies to both work and home. Let’s take the definition and break it down. Cordial means a warm and often hardy friendliness. Generous reception means to receive with open arms. Entertainment is providing for the needs of someone, and a guest is a recipient of hospitality.

Are your customers, guests, and members received with a warm and hardy friendliness? One of the most effective training tips I use when working with staff, is to tell them to think of their customers, guests, and members as guests in their own home.

When I ask them, “What’s the first thing you do when you have company coming?” They will fill in the blank with numerous answers. Why not ask your staff to fill in the blank. When I was a waitress, I used to think of the dining room as an extension of my home and all the people were my personal friends or friends of my friends!

Can you picture what your operation would look like and feel like if all of your staff were exhibiting real hospitality? This week focus on the warm and hardy friendliness. Notice how it makes you feel and how your customers, guests and members respond.

Reader Responses

“I really enjoy receiving your “WOW” Words of the week. It is like having a friend out there who understands our business. The thoughts you share are a continual reminder of the way service and hospitality really should be. We both know that when things get tough and customers / members get irate (for no reason at all) it is difficult to deliver the finest/friendliest level of service with the best attitude. However, when those moments pass, one begins to reflect on the evening or situation and soon realizes that most people are really appreciative of what we do. It is only a small portion of members / guests / customers that act like an ass. So don’t change your attitude or don’t let those people change your attitude, because what we do in the service industry is something to be proud of. “We are Ladies and Gentlemen, Serving Ladies and Gentlemen” and regardless if you are a doctor, attorney,etc., we are all serving one another.” — Don Vance

“To me, hospitality means warmth, camaraderie, friendship, and a willingness to make your “guest” feel comfortable and at home. That is something that I try to incorporate in both my personal and professional lives. One of the things that is important to me when establishing a new client/VA relationship, is the ability to be comfortable with each other and develop a friendship. That old saying about not mixing business with pleasure doesn’t fit in my life. If I can’t feel hospitable to my clients, and work with them on a level that includes warmth, camaraderie and friendship, then it doesn’t really feel like a good fit for me. Much of what keeps that passion alive in my business is due to the relationships I have with clients, prospective clients, other VAs, etc., and those relationships are built by being hospitable.” — Terry L. Green

“Thanks Susan, I have family coming over and guess what I don’t have the hospitality thing going on. I never thought about this, I usually have guest entertain themselves when they come over to stay, I am not really good in this area but it doesn’t mean I can not start today working on this. I will get on it, as I have family coming over first week of June. Thanks I continue to look forward to these, keep them coming!” — Brenda Moreno