The Meaning of H.O.S.P.I.T.A.L.I.T.Y

August 31st, 2016 | hereschicago
Jim Grillo, CMP President of Here's Chicago & Hospitality Fest

Jim Grillo, CMP President of Here’s Chicago & Hospitality Fest

The meaning of H.O.S.P.I.T.A.L.I.T.Y by Jim Grillo, CMP

Here’s my philosophy on the meaning of “hospitality” which transcends all industries. 

I really believe for us in the hospitality industry, the following should be our daily way of thinking.  Whether you are a restaurant owner, server, host, hotel bellman, front desk personnel, A/V provider, tour guide or receptionist, I truly believe just having some of the following thought processes will help you in good, great or challenging situations.

I have been using the following thought process for over 20 years and it has helped me, therefore I wanted to share my philosophy with you.

Each letter of the word hospitality has meaning and I have broken each letter down for you.  You may agree or disagree, however, one you may have one take away resonates with you.

Being hospitality professional is not easy and multiple challenges are presented to each one of us on a daily basis both personally and professionally. I get it and I am with you on that!  However, I hope all or one part of the following helps you in your daily life as hospitality professional. Here we go…

Help others have the most enjoyable experience.  Turn the tables on your thought process as if you were on the opposite side of the table.  This reverse thought process places you in in the seat instead of them.  How would you want to be treated?

Offer suggestions and please never deny others of the opportunity to enjoy their time with you

Satisfaction and service are the foundation of hospitality.  The customer must feel that they are your only customer at that moment in time.

Put customer first in everything you do.

I don’t matter”, YOU the customer do.  This is a mindset that you must have in order keep a customer happy.

Treat customers with respect.  Sometimes it can be challenging to NOT let a customer “get to you”.  You had a bad day or the customer is being difficult.  Most of the time customers are not this way so don’t let the bad apples ruin your day.  Respecting a customer as an individual is key.  Notice I didn’t say “customers”.  Take them one at a time.  The bad customer is small percentage of all customers.  If not, there is a bigger problem that needs to be addressed.

Accept a customer as a gift.  They are there with you as a choice of their own and they hold the keys.  Do not assume that it’s YOUR right to have a customer.  Do not take a customer for granted.

Love what you do.  If you love what you do, a customer will love you back.  Believe me; a customer can see right through you if don’t love what you do.  Show them that you care and understand how important they are with your passion and love for your job.

I – is not in my vocabulary.  The philosophy of “It’s all about YOU” (the customer) is a key ingredient in keeping customers happy.

Tell the customer how much you appreciate them and reward them for choosing you, your venue or your service.

YES is what the customer loves to hear!  Try to strike the word “no from your vocabulary. Remember to never say “I can’t do that”.  Instead say, yes I appreciate that question.. Tell them you love what you do and make a suggestion.

I used to work as a busboy, server, dishwasher, host, group sales person in various restaurants.  I loved what I did. It was actually therapeutic for me and provided me the opportunity to “get me away from reality”. I accepted my customer as a “gift” and my only goal was for them to have a great experience and enjoy their dinner. It was never about me. I never thought about me (“I”) or making tips.  All I cared about was helping the customer have a great experience.  I knew that if I could provide the best service and experience, my tip would come in. However, you may be surprised that for me the tip was not first; the customer was first. I accepted the customer as a gift, told them how much I appreciated them, and said “yes” a lot, offering suggestions on the menu and treated them with respect.  The end result was customer satisfaction.  This is what the meaning of hospitality is to me.  What say you?

Jim Grillo, CMP is the President of Here’s Chicago, Chicago’s online resource of the Planner Preferred unique event venues, private dining spaces, event services, corporate activity providers and team building companies.

Contact Jim here with your comments or check out Hospitality Fest on facebook at #hospitalityfest2016

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