There is something exciting about living in one of the top food destination cities in the world. In August 2017, Bon Appetit Magazine named Chicago the “Restaurant City of the Year”. I am spoiled. I live in the heart of the hottest dining neighborhood in Chicago. It’s wonderful to know you can walk out your door and have the opportunity to dine at a hot restaurant every day of the week if you like.
However, there is something fabulous about going to the same old place. Having that bartender know you like your martini shaken, not stirred. Ordering from the waiter who knows you like your steak cooked rare and you hate mushrooms. Chatting with the owner when she stops by the table to say hello and to see what’s new in your life. These are the places that keep bringing you back because they always welcome you back home.
It is so important for your team to remember that we are in the hospitality business. The definition of hospitality is:
“The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers”.
Customers have so many options today that you must make every experience memorable for a return visit. Food and Service are two essential items we provide that make memorable experiences for guests if we hire the best people. Your team needs to understand that hospitality is the fundamental element of our culture.
I have been going to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for the past fifteen years. I usually visit at least once a year for a two-week vacation. About ten years ago, my great friends, David and John, introduced me to a beach club called La Carreta. La Carreta looks like a typical club on Los Muertos beach; an open-air restaurant set in the back with rows and rows of umbrella tables leading to the Bay of Banderas. What is not typical is the level of service I receive every time I return.
It may be an entire year between my visits. But upon my return, the owner Romy welcomes me with a hug. He remembers me. I then say hello and get hugs from Enrique, Ricardo and Carlos because it has been a year since I have seen them too. They grab me a Pacifico Light with limón because they remember my beach drink. They also know I prefer the second row, like two tables rather than one and I am still an early riser and will be there each day by 9am. They have everything ready for me each day before I even arrive, with the reserved sign holding my spot.
Since David and John first introduced me, I have now brought numerous friends and family members to La Carreta. Why on earth would I go anywhere else? Romy and his team make me feel so special. They have made Puerto Vallarta and their beach club a second home for me. Gracias amigos. I will see you again soon.