Hotel Online Special Report
Remaining Hospitable in an 
Inhospitable World
E-mail:  [email protected]
by Harry Nobles, August 1999 

Has our concept of hospitality changed?  Are we too busy to observe the basics of civility and hospitality on a personal level?  If  the level of hospitality in our personal lives has decreased, has this affected our professional actions?   Have guests’ increasing demands and sometimes aggressive behavior caused you or your employees to become stressed, disenchanted, or even angry?

If your answer to any of these questions is “Yes”,  I have another question.    How do we train employees to overcome this hospitality deficit and provide the level of service we want and our guests expect?  What special training is needed to ensure that employees always deal professionally with guests who may occasionally  step over the line?

I suggest we go back to the basics.  I suggest that every new employee orientation, every initial training session, and every subsequent session begin with a brief  review of your operation’s standards for hospitality.  This might include:

Greeting every guest and every coworker  cordially
Looking at the person you are talking to
Using guests’ and coworkers’ names
Offering assistance
Using proper and professional language instead of slang
Saying “Thank You” and  “Have a Nice Day” like they really mean it
Expressing genuine concern for guests and their problems
Exploring creative ways to solve guests’ problems and giving the guest an option
Constantly reminding employees to be alert for situations that could get out of hand  with a particularly demanding or angry guest and to get help before that happens
Reminding employees that guests’ complaints are not personal attacks, but an attempt to get satisfaction from the organization
Reminding employees that problems are solved by intellect and training not by emotion
Stressing the true meaning of hospitality professional: “remaining hospitable and professional regardless of the situation.”  

Our guests deserve it, our industry demands it, and dedicated employees will not be personally satisfied with less.

Will this work with all employees?  No!  Some will resent it.  Some will rebel.  Some will quit.  They were not an asset to your operation anyway. 

Will this approach improve hospitality at your property?  YES, but only if you keep the pressure on through constant monitoring and reinforcement.  Please remember one definition of training: “Gentle pressure relentlessly applied”

Finally, lead by example.  Don’t just tell your employees what true hospitality is-show them! 

Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting
POC:  Harry Nobles
E-mail:  [email protected]
Phone:  757-564-3761
Fax:        757-564-0076
Pager:  800-577-7468  PIN# 303-9130
  • Former head of AAA Lodging/Dining Ratings Program. 
  • An independent consultant serving the hospitality industry. 
  • A Special Training Consultant to the Educational Institute, American Hotel/Motel Association
Also See: Can Outstanding Service Offset Hotel Physical Deficiencies in the Rating Systems? / Harry Nobles / June 1999 
Mobil Travel Guide Announces 1998 Mobil Four-and Five-Star Award Winners / Jan 1998 
Are Your Employees Checking Out As Fast As Your Guests / Setting Up an Effective Training Program / Harry Nobles / May 1999 
"AAA" - Hotel Online Viewpoint Forum
The Legend of the Pineapple / Harry Nobles / Feb 1999 

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