Hospitality is all about people. People we know and love, people we’ve never seen before, even people we hope to never see again!
I am reminded of the tasks of the Innkeeper as my wife and I wrap up ten days with our daughter and grandson visiting from Costa Rica. Like all good parents expecting a rare visit from loved ones, we planned events, meals, trips to the museum, dinners out, family gatherings, etc., all with the idea that Trudy and Charlie would have a wonderful trip to Virginia. Of course, once they were here, other family members wanted to see them, invite them over, take them out, etc., so we did a lot of shuffling of plans and changing of menus.
The goal, of course, was twofold. We wanted to see them, but it was also to make sure they had a memorable trip. Our thinking had to shift from "showing them" a good time from our perspective to "letting them have" a good time from theirs. Good Innkeepers do this all the time.
A guest has answered your question about food allergies but then neglects to show up for the specially prepared breakfast (they were out late last night). The guest who was going to arrive late at 8:00 calls at 9:00 to say they’ve been further delayed and now won’t make it before 11:00! What do you do? You adapt; you don’t get upset (or don’t show it), you accommodate, and you let them have a good time. That’s what they’re paying for. It’s all about the guest’s experience. Your job as an Innkeeper (or loving parent) is to help make it happen without showing how much effort it is. That’s innkeeping…and hospitality.
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