Here is the Wikipedia definition of Hospitality: “The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers”. I’d agree – that pretty much nails it. And, they list these as synonyms: friendliness, welcome, warmth, kindness, courtesy, generosity, entertainment, and food.
Did you see the word “perfection”? … I didn’t either. In fact, I think if you want to ruin Hospitality, focus on perfection.
That’s because emphasizing perfection is not about emphasizing the atmosphere which is about friendliness, generosity, warmth, kindness, and courtesy.
Usually the focus on perfection is on the stuff and the timetable – not on the atmosphere.
If the host and/or hostess is uptight about the stuff and the timetable … the atmosphere will be ruined. Does that mean that I’m saying the stuff and timetable are irrelevant? Not at all. I’m just saying that they can’t be the focus.
We host a lot of golf events. While working with the hosts, I try to emphasize hospitality. Too often they think that more is more. No, less is more. Too much stuff and too much going on is annoying – not better.
Do you remember going to birthday parties as a kid that had way too much going on and weren’t fun? And yet, the host/hostess was running around with a fake smile saying “Aren’t we having fun?” That’s a pretty sure sign that no one is having fun.
One of our staff members told me about $10,000 high school graduation parties. Sounds to me more about keeping up (or surpassing) the Jones than about celebrating a graduation.
I’m not trying to be hostile … I’m just trying to clear up a fairly important subject. And, guests have a responsibility to be appreciative and grateful. But, the hosts need to be motivated by hospitality rather than getting kudos.
Making people feel welcome is the most important part of hospitality.
Hospitality is a very important part of our lives – business, friendships, family, neighbors, entertaining. Basically it’s following the Golden Rule. I often think that if people just followed the Golden Rule it would solve most of society’s problems. It’s the secret to being a good host … and being a good guest.
GM and Head Golf Professional