Imagine you are planning a trip somewhere and you are trying to decide where you want to stay or spend time. Where do you start? Most of the time, we turn to the search bar and if you are like me, you go straight to the reviews and those little symbols that seem to make up the hospitality industry, Stars and Diamonds. Ratings do serve a purpose however there is a bigger picture to consider...
We need to recognize the reason, the purpose, and the motivation behind why we do what we do in hospitality – to provide an exceptional service experience. If you succeed at this goal, you will get rave reviews and gain loyalty from your guests. Being the best and winning awards is what you strive for and what will hopefully come later-on, after all, no one goes into this industry being the best.
The sign that you have succeeded at your job is by how many satisfied and loyal the guests have become. The hospitality industry is fueled by satisfied guests and no matter what your job is, the focus will always be the guests and their experience. This is not specific to any staff member; you can spread passion no matter what you do. Whether if you are a Bellman or even the Maitre d’, you can give someone a memorable experience. When we satisfy a guest, we want their time spent to be the best that it could have ever been!
Consider the following example. Fine dining restaurants have the ability to create spectacular moments that keep their guests loyal and coming back for more. Even if they weren’t always a Five-Star rated establishment.
Take Victoria & Albert’s at the Walt Disney World Resort. They didn’t always have those five stars, in fact, they just earned the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award in 2018. Before this, yes, they did have amazing status holding the AAA Five-Diamond Award from 2000-2018. However, this restaurant was established in 1988. So, this begs the question, how did they manage to become so popular and well known?
Well, it has to do with the story behind the name. Named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the restaurant takes their love story and combines it with exquisite luxury, passion for food, and their staff commitment to delivering an unforgettable evening! They have always been known for their attention to detail and take the time to learn about each and every guest that enters their doors.
Although their food, ambiance, and every detail are thought about and perfected (because they are truly perfected), this restaurant’s most known attribute has to be their staff. There is a sort of “guest mystique” when coming to Victoria & Albert's; you never know what will happen and what interactions you will have with the staff. At the end of the day, it will not matter how perfect the food is or how beautiful the room is, the things you will remember most, is the experience you have with the staff taking care of you.
The staff is the 'make-or-break' point for many luxury establishments; if they bring warmth, and genuine love to your table, that is what you will remember the most. This goes for any restaurant whether it be a locally owned pub to a tremendously respected and loved Five-Star destination.
The best companies and brands know how to give the guest a personalized and luxury feeling without the guest necessarily having to paying for it. I’m sure if you thought back to a time when the staff at a restaurant really impressed you and made you enjoy every minute of your meal, it won’t necessarily be at an award-winning establishment.
When it is all said and done the Stars and Diamonds are just praise and recognition for all of the hard work in creating exceptional experiences. What keeps people coming back and what keeps them loyal to your services isn’t about the tangible items but the intangible ones. Those worth-while experiences that you get from interacting with staff and what the staff does for you.