Genuine hospitality and servant leadership are not just buzz words.

Today I met a young hospitality student that reminded me of my self more than a decade ago. Passionate, full of energy, excited and thrilled about being apart of the hospitality industry. I still am all of those things, if not, more passionate than ever. As we were talking about the industry, my background from starting as a Server Assistant and working my way up to a Director of Operations I was reminding my self how special the hospitality industry is. With every story from my past I too was exciting my self and energizing my spirit.

We truly are blessed to do what we do. We are part of people’s lives on a daily basis. Creating experiences and memories. Celebrating, anniversaries, birthdays, engagements, signing that big deal for the first time. It is a very rewarding profession.

This young student asked me why I do what I do. I simply responded, it is who I am. I am a genuine hospitable individual who believes in those words through and though. I believe in Servant Leadership, honesty, the Golden Rule. I believe in making people better around me. Rewards, and accolades will come and go over the years but the true mark of my career has been the people who I have had the opportunity to grow with. Some of the most rewarding times in my life have been when the people that I work with succeed and accomplish great things.

Genuine Hospitality is not rocket science. If you came to my home, I would take your coat, walk you personally to my living room and offer you a beverage. Yet, how many times have you been sat in a restaurant and the first thing your server says to you is; “Hi, are you ready to order”. Or the host walks a mile in front of you while “welcoming” you to the restaurant.

Running a restaurant is a challenging beast. There are thousands of variables to always consider and the margins are tighter than they have ever been. However, I have found when you truly drive home the benefits of Genuine Hospitality and Servant Leadership in your teams magic happens. It does not happen over night- it is slow burn. Slowly you find that your staff will start realizing opportunities for moments of truth and connecting on a different level with their guests.

I am not the first to write about these ideas, I am just someone that really believes in them and their value. Great operations of course, need standard operating procedures, systems, manuals, and goals. However, I think we sometimes forget about these two very important pieces of the puzzle.

I think there is something, special, sexy, infectious, and rewarding about the hospitality industry. I think sometimes we as operators need to sit back, remind ourselves what brought us to the table and be the best version of us possible in every moment.

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