How to Leverage Restaurant Hospitality and Inspire People with Screen Fatigue

When people eat at home while staring vacantly at their phone, tablet, or screen – or even when they eat at the restaurant across the street – they miss the human hospitality factor that that you are capable of providing.

Hospitality is what sets you apart.

So focus on it. 

We’re All in This Together

I write this from the Texas Restaurant Show, where I spoke on how we develop people now to grow their value and stay in the industry.

But let’s face it: The number of attendees at trade shows or conventions is not nearly as high as it was pre-internet or pre-COVID.

That reflects the same kind of separation we’re seeing between customers and restaurants.

While business may have grown in recent years because of to-go, delivery, and curbside customers, the essence of a restaurant experience includes being in a room with people – creating a shared experience.

And there are fewer and fewer of those types of experiences these days.

I can feel it, too. Even though I’m usually fine scheduled for multiple Zoom calls on most days, it’s a lot of fun seeing people I know, meeting people I don’t, and feeling we are all in this together in person, and not only as two-dimensional characters on a screen.

The experience I get at the Texas Restaurant Show.

The same applies to your restaurants. 


Hospitality, Service, and the Human Connection

The best restaurant owners constantly work on providing great hospitality every day.

How many of your systems (and how much of your time) focuses on hospitality and service?

On stage at the show I talked about one of many systems I use with clients to build hospitality skills daily: adding micro-steps of hospitality to the calendar and stressing one of them every day pre-shift, during the shift, and when we say goodbye to employees who have finished their day of service.

Because, when hospitality increases, revenue increases.


Exemplary or Aspirational?

Hospitality works for your restaurants all the time.

That’s why smart owners spend time every day on hospitality and have systems in their organizations that do the heavy lifting of reinforcing hospitality, so servers know that:

  • Auctioning food equates to a breakdown in standards.
  • A guest pouring their own drink into a glass from a bottle feels like a tragedy.
  • A welcome before a meal and a goodbye after a meal can be either perfunctory or heartfelt.

Everyone in service every day should have at least one outstanding story (and truthfully lots more) of something amazing they did for a guest that day.

Do people point to your restaurants when they define the words “service” and “hospitality”?

Or do you view some other restaurant as the benchmark and aspire to equal them one day?

How many more days will you wait to arrive there?

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