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  • Writer's pictureStephan Busch

Experience or service ?

Experience instead of service?

Marketing & PR will try to camouflage with new, now frequently used words like “Experience”. The “Experience” is what they offer. This experience also includes the Palm trees, white beach, sunshine, fresh air, the marble lobby. It includes the additional apps, which were either always there or are just innovation of our time that will be a guest demand anyhow. Should this “Experience” distract from the lack of service in the restaurant, housekeeping, Front Desk and in other areas? The “Experience” will do. Yes the overall experience should be great but not be used as an excuse for shortfalls in other areas that should offer excellent service to guest.

Excellent service should be part of the experience in great hotels. But experience in a hotel or restaurant does not always have to include techniqual excellent service to make the guest happy. Just honest, friendly service from the heart will do. In simple environments guest will not expect or notice the lack of techniques. Techniques are for us working in hospitality to be more efficient and cost conscious. That doesn’t mean that simpler places wouldn’t also profit tremendously on mastering techniques though.

A wonderful dinner

I was once in Venice in the Winter. Many restaurants are closed for the season , the weather is cold and rainy , not many guests visiting the city. To find a place took some time but we were successful. Entering a nice, simple but very cozy restaurant full of people we were greeted by a very chubby, friendly smiling Italian”Mama”. The first impression was superb. We were shown a table, clean simply set up with all that is necessary. Knife & Fork, a napkin a nice tablecloth ,some olive oil and salt & pepper. Our expectations were met up to this point.

We observed Mama and two younger girls serving the tables, chatting with guest ,smiling and sometimes laughing. The atmosphere was good. Mama took our order of wine and food and continued to serve her guest.

Mama and the girls served fast and tremendously friendly. The only surprise for us was that we were served beer instead of wine. With a look around the restaurant we noticed that we were not the only ones having this issue. We saw people exchanging white and red wines, guest asking if someone ordered this espresso and someone inquiring if somebody received beer. That was us! Our turn. We brought the beer over and checked with the other guest if anybody had red wine that he didn’t order. We found it. The food was the same mix up. Mama sometimes raising her hands to the head and apologizing, guest exchanging plates. People started talking to each other. It was great fun. At the end the conversation in the restaurant was going on between all tables and Mama and the girls. It was a wonderful evening and a great experience. I am sure all the guest enjoyed and – like me – will still remember this evening after all this years.

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