"Stop and think about being more customer focused and on making others feel good when they walk in to our venues"
Hospitable Hospitality, what does it really mean? I spend the majority of my time analysing Hospitality and Tourism businesses from an outsider’s perspective; looking at the business as a whole including financially, from a customer’s perspective, and in terms of how they market the venue. I even do it when I’m not working, when I’m out to dinner with my partner or friends. It’s a part of my brain that doesn’t turn off.
What often strikes me though is how many people whilst in the throes of running a business and trying to engage with customers, make money, and manage staff, forget why they started and what Hospitality really means. There is a great quote that states;
“I’m surprised at how often we in the Hospitality industry forget that our first job is to be hospitable”
And there could not be a truer word spoken when it comes to our industry. Hospitality and Tourism venues that do really well, do so because they open their doors and their hearts to their customers. Not only do they have a great product at a reasonable price point, but they go the extra mile to ensure that their customers needs are met, and that they feel as welcome as if they were in their own living room sharing a meal. Great Hospitality venues care if you don’t finish your meal, or if you’ve waited too long for your meals to get to the table, and they do so because you are their valued guest.
On many occasions we leave a dining experience feeling less than happy with the outcome. We are disappointed with the lack of engaging service, the lack of knowledge provided, or the fact that you just don’t seem to be welcome in their restaurant.
Recently I dined at a restaurant. At 9pm, the servers started stacking the chairs (loudly) up on to tables and mopping floors whilst we were still finishing our meals and our bottle of wine. It didn’t make us feel good, it made us feel alienated. When it came to paying to bill, I felt somewhat cheated of the experience I should have gotten in the first place.
I have for a long time been of the belief that people spend more time with those who make them feel good about themselves. This goes for business and pleasure, and can be as simple as a heartfelt conversation, a delicious meal, or feeling like you belong to something.
So in terms of looking at your venues performance, we often look at the key areas of business such as judging the bottom line profits and scrutinizing staff percentage costs (which might I add are all a very important aspect of business), but do we ever stop and think about being more customer focused and on making others feel good when they walk in to our venues?
I guarantee if you start seeing your venue more from your customer’s perspective, you will better understand your customers and in turn have a better business.
What do you think.
Love to hear your thoughts.
Kate Bickford MD & Owner - BK AGENCY: