A lost fork, a practical lesson in hospitality.
Spoiler alert, while the fork in this post might be viewed as a metaphor it was also a tangible, real-life example of the power of the hospitality experience!
Last Saturday was a HOT one! 90+ degrees in the shade and not a cloud in sight. The scene was a prestigious 250-acre horse farm / polo ground. The event, a wedding for a lovely couple and 60 of their closest friends and relatives. The bride said Yes, everyone enjoyed the cocktail reception and dinner service was a success! Coffee was brewed and the cake was cut. So far, so GREAT!
What happened next illustrates the difference between service & hospitality, and upon reflection, is a source of personal & professional pride.
Everything was going smoothly until my service captain cleared the bridal table and noticed that the custom engraved forks the couple had purchased were missing! In what felt like seconds, Pedro put 2+2 together and decided that the forks had been cleared from the table & were now most likely comingled with 300 other pieces of soiled flatware! He took charge in dumping the entire lot of dirty silverware onto a table and, properly adorned with disposable gloves, began the unenviable task in searching for the engraved forks.
I’ve heard that integrity & professionalism in their purest forms are often displayed when nobody’s watching. Pedro reminded me how important doing the right thing is. Of how important our roles as hospitality professionals can be.
The engraved forks did in fact find their way to the bottom of the scrape bucket! The couple may never have remembered or thought to ask what happened. The point here is that they didn’t need to because of Pedro’s actions. Service was getting the meal out on time, hot and flavorful. Service was keeping the ice cubes cold on a super-hot day. HOSPITALITY however was recognizing a potential challenge, having the experience to diagnose the situation, and taking action to solve a problem before it took shape.
I really love my role in the hospitality business. I enjoy building proposals, providing my teams an opportunity to learn & grow, and helping clients leverage food and service experiences to make the workplace a more attractive destination. Sometimes you go dumpster diving for the client’s fork, and that’s JUST show biz folks.