— n , pl -ties
1. kindness in welcoming strangers or guests
Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
The word hospitality has been around since its documented inception of use in 1325 and, as defined by the Collins English Dictionary, refers to kindness in welcoming strangers or guests and receptiveness, with synonyms such as warmth, cordiality and friendliness. Simple, easy and yet so many times forgotten.
As we continue to create, innovate and implement all the new trends in menus, food and beverages and the technology to meet consumer needs, are we losing the foundation of what our industry is built to provide? We are in the hospitality business, creating and providing warmth and kindness to strangers or guests. Have we created our own dichotomy?
The simplicity/complexity of our industry truly hit me at a recent conference where many leaders of the foodservice industry gathered to talk about consumers’ eating and dining decisions, the latest and greatest in food preparation, tastes and flavors, leadership best practices and how brands compare to consumer needs. Being a geek about data, I was “all in” and starting to diagnose how we can use our data better, how we can influence consumers, create better user experiences, get them in faster, get them to tell us about their experience, create feedback loops for our clients, invent the next best app, get more use on mobile and create more dynamic searches…. this is all “good stuff” and yet, I think the simple truth of the matter is this: we (people/customers) just want to be welcomed into your space.
Consumers of all generations appreciate the value of being accepted (receptiveness) and welcomed with kindness. Behind every device is a person, a customer wanting, in plain simple English…Hospitality.
I know since the conference I’ve tried to remember that I’m in the hospitality business, it is in my DNA to show hospitality to my clients, customers and colleagues; for me, that feels right. Maybe the new thing for restaurants isn’t new at all but our foundation….Hospitality.