Let’s start with the definition of Hospitality:
Noun – the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.
We all know that the pandemic turned hospitality upside down from 2020, and is gradually returning to the above definition, however for guest safety, security and wellbeing, it’s a bit of a task to provide the human feel-good from host to guests. Change has been impactful for all.
Next, let’s examine why it’s a bit of a challenge to return to normal.
What does “normal” really mean, anyway? Hoteliers are scrambling to engage with guests, positively impact their stay and have the double whammy of not only pleasing guests; add to that, improving our environment simultaneously.
Thus, today, the warm and fuzzy welcome and treatment of guests is ‘different’— no explanation required. Connections are conflicted.
e are conditioned to accept standards in the industry, but standards have changed. So, in truth, your norm may not be mine. There is no such thing. This begs the question, why would one use the word “normal” at all?
As an interesting aside, think about suppliers to hotels. Perhaps a half dozen suppliers weekly tell me, “My close personal relationships with my hotel clients are gone”. Suddenly it’s all about the numbers. I’m just a number and I no longer relish what I do”.
Why? Partially because the losses hoteliers endured during the height of the pandemic must be recouped. Now, they seek the lowest bid, try alternative suppliers who also suffered and are entering markets they know little about. The end result is failure.
I watched TedTalks guest, Harvard University’s Head of Adult Psychology, Dr. Robert Waldinger speak about HAPPINESS. I asked him to sum it up and Dr. W. told me…the secret is in having good RELATIONSHIPS.
Robin Dunbar, emeritus professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University says, “Physical contact is part of the mechanism we use to set up our relationships, friendships and family memberships”. It harkens back to our history as primates, when stroking of hairy skin triggers the endorphin system in our brain, which makes us feel warm and positive.
HOLD ON TIGHT TO YOUR RELATIONSHIPS – especially in hospitality with co-workers, supplier and guests. Remember the definition of hospitality: the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests.
LOYALTY is waning…and becoming less about the transaction and more about the experience. Many hoteliers are prioritizing transaction over guest satisfaction as they scramble to increase revenues lost during the past three years.
Put yourself in your guest’s shoes…and solutions will come to you. Once realized, your future guests will regain loyalty.