Hospitality is a word sometimes reserved for southerners and people working in hotels. However, the act of being hospitable is something all customers hope to experience when dining out. So, what is hospitality and how can you make sure its present in your restaurant?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines hospitality as treatment including the “generous and cordial reception of guests.” Hospitality means offering a friendly, pleasant, welcoming environment for guests. This is what hospitality means, but what does it look like?
From a customer’s perspective they are not only looking to eat a delicious meal, but are also paying to be taken care of while they relax and enjoy. The top ways your staff can show hospitality include:
- Enjoy meeting and conversing with new people. Customers hope to feel like the people serving them sincerely want to give them a good experience.
- Communicate in a clear, effective, and kind manner. Part of your job is to make the customer’s experience easy. Make sure to mention things from the menu you are out of or let guest know what substitutions are and are not possible. This will save them frustration if something doesn’t go as they’d hoped.
- Be flexible in terms of dish changes. While guests shouldn’t expect you to create a new dish just for them, you should take into considerations options for people with food allergies or other issues outside their control. Everyone deserves the chance to have a fun dining experience.
- Respect their time. If a table wants to take a lot of time talking and eating, don’t make them feel rushed. If a customer is in a hurry do everything you can, within reason, to help them out.
- Keep things neat and clean so guests feel safe and comfortable in the environment.
- Get to know the regulars. When you invest in customer relationships those customers feel invested in you.
Every restaurant and every customer is different, so there isn’t only one way to show hospitality to guests. Overall, the idea is to engage in genuine and kin interactions that contribute to the guests experiences. Whether you’re wearing a server’s apron or a chef coat, hospitality is part of the job.