Seamless Hospitality… what is it?
I have been trying to teach my Hotel School Students how to do, what I call “Seamless Hospitality”.
A guest who has been with us for three nights, has had coffee every morning and has ordered the same breakfast each time. Now on breakfast number three, I instruct my student to pour him some coffee. He takes the filter coffee to the guest and asks: “would you like some coffee?”. The guest says “yes”, and the coffee is poured. By asking the question, the student, declared his wish to be hospitable, rather than demonstrated it.
It became an interesting teaching point, where I could relate a story of my youth. One Sunday lunch, we had a lovely roast. When my father saw that I had taken a bread roll, he asked my sister to pass me the butter. His words were “always pass the butter, before someone has to ask for it”.
The pass-the-butter lesson has stuck with me, and gets practically lived each day at Westville B&B. Linking back to a previous blog post on hospitality: pre-empt your guest’s needs. If someone sneezes, pass them the tissues, if someone is coughing, or arrives at the breakfast table with a handful of vitamins, pour them a glass of water. If a guest arrives with a suitcase security wrapped, go and get them a pair of scissors to cut it open. Just do it…seamlessly.
The same guest wasn’t asked what he would like for breakfast, but rather “would you like your usual?” I saw a pattern, and confirmed it. Not only does this show the guest that I have paid attention, but it makes him feel like he belongs, that he is now a regular and we know him, and what he likes. It also shows others at the table, that we are hospitable.
That is the key to Seamless Hospitality. Show that you have seen, and that you care. By asking, you announce that you are now being hospitable. By doing, you show that you are being hospitable.