• Heather Sasaki

What is Hospitality? What Are We Serving to Your Customers?

Definition of Hospitality in dictionary is this: the act of being friendly and welcoming to guests and visitors with food, drink, entertainment, etc. that an organization provides for guests. Is that it?Is being extremely friendly and welcoming to our guests serving delicious food and drink, providing them fun entertainment enough as what we do in hospitality business?

Hospitality = Experience = Life

I don't mean to be too philosophical here but the answer for "What does Hospitality?" seems to be hiding beneath of the other big question, "What is Life?"

What is life? Life is a sequence of multi-dimensional, multi-layered experiences. In each experience in our lives, there is an opportunity to learn, enjoy, and grow. Some experiences come into our lives uninvited because they are necessary for us to learn and grow at a certain time. We sometimes generate ideas and manifest particular experiences to happen in our lives, and we get fascinated when our dreams come true. Some experiences would just drop by like surprise birthday gifts. We create our lives with each decision we make, each thought we manifest, each action we take, and each growth milestone we reach through each experience we encounter in our lives. The Hospitality is just like our life, it's all about the experience.

In the hospitality industry, whether you are hoteliers, restauranteurs, or working nightlife and entertainment venues, what we sell is not the new dish on the menu or beautifully renovated hotel rooms, nor suprisingly, not even the service you provide, but the physical and emotional "experience" your guests encounter. I always write this on a post-it and hand it to my clients: "My hospitality definition: The thought and act of being the experienced designers and creators, welcoming guests and customers with meticulously and thoughtfully designed experiences for your guests/visitors to feel and experience." The emotional connectivity and experience is what we are creating, designing, and selling in the hospitality industry. This raises two crucial questions: 1) if your company is wired and structured to be able to create, design, and sell the experience of your brand continuously and consistently, and 2) if you know exactly what you'd like your customers and guests to experience and feel through your brand.

I get this question often: "Should we create the experience of our brand based on what we think our customers want or what we want for our customers?" I will touch on that in the next blog, "Is Your Brand Next Generation Ready?" Stay tuned.

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