How hospitality aware are you? by Shane Kenny
Once we are made “Aware”, then there is no going back! I was told this by someone who has been in recovery and attending AA meetings for the past 20 plus years. Its true, once you come to terms with the importance of attempting to live your life more consciously everyday, then there really is no going back. Imagine the potential here. Suddenly you are put in touch with a totally different outlook in life. Your choice can only be to continue on the discovery path and stay wide awake!! Now Im not in recovery but I sure feel grateful about my little discovery. Its the feeling I get when something has been done for me (hospitality) rather than to me (service). Suddenly, without judging, I find myself smiling from cheek to cheek when I feel this experience. It happens when someone cares. It happens when someone engages with you and they don’t even have to!
In this busy and ever-changing world of restaurants its not the ones that have the most amazing interior or even menus that stand out. Nor is it the location that necessarily that brings customers back. For me its the warmth and care that we take to look after our customers that turns them in to regulars. These regulars return to us simply because we remember at times just the little things. Anyone can copy the latest food item on another menu or recreate a similar table plan to a rival restaurant. But the difference lies in how well we have looked after our guests that make us stand out. How many times have you taken the same airline on the same route but with different staff on board and felt a very different experience? Why is it too that we almost know instinctively about the energy of a room and the interpersonal behaviour among staff as to how well we may enjoy our experience? Getting this right on an emotional level is crucial for any organisation no matter how big or small.
For any successful organisation to provide the very best Hospitality is always by the people right through the business and being aware that for this to flourish then it is vital that we take care of each other. This requires emotional intelligence requiring qualities such as;
– Emotional Self Awareness. Which is the ability to recognise your feelings, differentiate between them, know why you are feeling this way and appreciate the impact you are having on others around you.
– Empathy. “Seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with heart of another” – Alfred Adler
– Optimism. Ability to look at the brighter side of life and to maintain a positive attitude even in the face of adversity.
– Respect. A person with strong emotional intelligence typically holds massive respect for others. Remembering that to give respect is to get respect.
These are just some aspects which are evident if any organisation believes in a strong Emotionally Intelligent Culture. In recent decades not only the finest Hotel and Restaurant groups across the world have benefited from adapting such a culture but also many service businesses which realise the importance of being “Hospitality Aware”.
Airlines such as JetBlue and Southwest in the U.S. really make you feel you are on board!
Shane Kenny has worked all of his life in customer service. His appetite for restaurant business began at the Pronto Grill in Ranelagh when Shane would, as a young teenager, sneak out onto the floor to showcase his friendly personal touch with locals who enjoyed his fathers home style cooking that dated back to 1960 at this Dublin 6 address.
After completing his Hotel Management Diploma at Shannon Hotel School Shane set off on some invaluable hotel and restaurant management work in Washington D.C.
Shane returned to the industry that started it all by opening the now very well known and successful “Seapoint” restaurant in the beautiful village of Monkstown.
Now in its sixth year of restaurant business Seapoint itself has relaunched its brand and undergone an interior transformation. Shane feels it vital that he has his own hospitality model in this live breathing form at his busy Monkstown venue.