Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Wowing your guests

Great article by way of Brand Autopsy from Jeffrey Summers at Building Better Restaurants about removing Host stands at restaurants. Makes a good case against them. But what takes it's place? How do you meet and greet your guests?

This of course applies to many tourist venues, not just restaurants. My best meet and greet experience happened in Baltimore, Maryland years ago. I went to a restaurant in "Little Italy" and could not believe how they handled me. I was warmly greeted at the door which was held open so I could see the next greeter at the bottom of the stairs who led us up to the next greeter at the top of the stairs who introduced us to our waiter who then sat us at our special table! Each of them was introduced by name and all the while they chatted with us and made us feel like family. Big smiles, great eye contact and what I call the "Verbal Embrace".

Nothing annoys me more than being greeted by someone who wishes they were someplace else. No enthusiasm, no interest. They just don't seem to care. By the time I reached my table in Baltimore they could have served me anything and I would have enjoyed it!

That's the power of good first impressions and sincere human connections. Of course, many tourism businesses rely on quality interactions with their guests. Is it time to spruce up your daily guest contacts? These moments should be like a dog wagging it's tail with joy when it sees you. Otherwise, I could just stay home.

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