Free hospitality? It’s an odd inference to think of hospitality in any way other than… well, free. The mere act of offering hospitality – the generous and friendly treatment of friends and guests – is just that: action.

Yet, as I think of the countless hospitality experiences I’ve had over my many years of dining, wine tasting, vacationing and business conferences, I’m struck by how undefined – and rare – true hospitality is.

Certain standardized elements of hospitality – the initial greeting, pleasant chit-chat while being seated, bits of information on the day’s specials – while expected, do in no way differentiate a restaurant’s service from any other dining choice that guest may have made.

What are the differentiators? In your own dining experience, how often have you experienced:

  • A host immediately recognizing you as having dined previously and possessing the presence and conviviality to ask what you most enjoyed about it, what brings you back, then welcoming you as a friend.
  • A front-of-house staff member giving you some “behind the scenes” info on a new dish the staff loved or specific changes to flavor profiles in the dessert menu she thinks you’ll enjoy trying.
  • A server’s relational approach into inquiring how he can help improve your experience – before offering drinks or taking an app order. That same server offering a small taste of a fruit or herbed shrub while you peruse the menu for drinks.
  • A sous chef or GM who visits with a taste of a dish they’re working on for future menus or events.
  • A restaurant that has “office hours“… perhaps an hour in the morning and an hour pre-service in the afternoon… where diners can call to ask questions about specifics they can’t find online.

Have you noticed the common thread? These service touches distinguish a culture of genuine hospitality from the rote, obligatory – even friendly – performances we often experience.

Essential-Insight Advisors loves offering leading-edge, relational guidance to restaurateurs, operations managers and chef-owners.  A checklist of outstanding service culture practices is here.

Like a quick snapshot of our seasonal restaurant dessert offerings created exclusively to maintain reliable, predictable dessert product profit centers?

Essential Chocolate Amaretto Cheesecake MiniIn+Dulge™ Salted Choc Cookie Dough
Essential Tiramisu
Essential Crème Fraiche CheesecakeEssential Pear-Almond Tart
Essential Oregon Hazelnut Cheesecake
Essential Flourless Chocolate TorteEssential Roasted Apple Tart

What’s said about the best things in life? Free hospitality is that set of relational practices – free to management, staff and guests – that create restauarnt community. When diners truly feel they are valued as restaurant guests, they extend the restaurant’s community, one (or more) guest at a time. Hospitality is all about creating a culture of relationship.

We’re here to here to help.

Essential-Insight Advisors |

#essentialinsight #hospitality #freehospitality #cultureofrelationship


Share This