What is the cost benefit or detriment associated with hospitality? Does it really matter that much if we aren’t inspiring and equipping our staff in the art of hospitality?

When people think about hospitality it’s often just associated with a hotel stay or going to someone’s home. If you’re a business owner, don’t make that mistake. It’s a very narrow view of hospitality.

Hospitality is the embodiment of making someone feel welcomed whether in your home or in your business. If you have employees who interface with customers, you’re in the “hospitality” business.

Hospitality mentality is vital when growing a business using the power of the customer.

What is the cost of poor hospitality? What happens when a customer does not feel welcomed or valued by one of your staff members?

Life Examples – Spoons vs. Forks

Let’s play with some real/hypothetical numbers and situations.

We go out to dinner regularly and have a budget for dining at your place, Forks (made this name up!)

$250 /month

$3000 /year

We usually dine with another couple or two. We like Forks and enjoy introducing others to it!

Together we spend $9,000 /year

Great customer experiences create memories with your business.

One time we had a really poor experience with the wait staff. We felt ignored. The order for our friend was wrong, our waiter forgot to bring an appetizer, and we would have ordered a second cocktail if only we’d been asked. We all six felt like we were an inconvenience.

Our friends were also not impressed so recommended we try a different place. We did. We loved it. Spoons is the new restaurant.

People try different restaurants all the time, right? It’s not a big deal for a few folks to jump ship and go elsewhere: that’s part of business. It IS part of business. It’s the part of business that, as owners, we work really hard to avoid.

It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.

Office of Consumer Affairs

Now we three couples spend at your competition – Spoons:

$9,000 a year

But that’s not it. We spread the word on social media and invite other people to Spoons. Each of us has brought five other couples to the new space. These numbers are starting to hurt.

Now Forks has lost AT LEAST

$45,000 a year

And it’s continuing as more people share with their friends and bring their friends to the competitor.

70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.


All of this lost revenue because one time we had a poor experience with a new wait staff.

Customers want to feel welcomed and valued.

Does Hospitality Matter?

Does hospitality matter? You bet it does!

Imagine YOUR business is Spoons. And you have inspired, motivated, and trained your staff in the art of hospitality. All of these new customers are flocking in as a result! Spoons is growing and people are happy to spend more and more.

Which side of the hospitality coin do you want your business to be on? Forks or Spoons? Forks is metaphorically stabbing itself in the proverbial leg while Spoons is scooping customers up right and left.

It’s important to train and inspire your staff with knowledge about their actions (like the illustration above), and equip them to be stellar at hospitality because it attracts business.

You see, if our server was new, got our order wrong, forgot an appetizer, and didn’t offer us a second cocktail all would have been peachy IF that server was trained in hospitality.

Mistakes Will Happen

IF we had felt welcomed and valued, then it’s pretty easy to forgive errors (even to tip generously).

Mistakes will happen. Training someone to make guests feel welcomed, whether or not mistakes are made, just takes some training in the fine art of hospitality.

Must Read

Whether you’re a restaurateur or not, I highly recommend this book: Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business by Danny Meyer.

The successes, failures, and lessons in the book are entertaining, sometimes painful, and inspiring no matter what your business.

A great book study for leaders and staff alike! Inspire and motivate. Make hospitality work for you!

Book links are through Amazon Affiliates. Commissions Earned. Thank you for clicking through!

What is your favorite read regarding Customer Experience or hospitality?

Email me your recommendation. I’d LOVE it!