MINE HOST, MY FRIEND
“Friend: A person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection normally exclusive of sexual or family relations.”
The word ‘Friend’ has to be considered within a given context. Friendships vary between acquaintances with whom one becomes friendly and lifelong or long-standing close relationships. Friendships are a direct result of relationships and relationships are everything. There is no doubt that businesses can be made or ruined by the relationships one has with one’s clients. Now, to be truthful, you could have a long-standing relationship with the newspaper vendor or the veggie store owner on the corner, but no matter how friendly that relationship is, you might be hard pushed to refer to him as a friend.
In the hospitality industry, in all its forms, relationships are crucial. Your own inadequacies or short-comings may be overlooked if your relationship with your guest is good. I have found in the hotel industry, that there is no substitute for relationships, to a point that returning guests become ‘friends’ albeit at a certain level. Genuine affections in this industry do emerge as time goes by, and often times, an association thus built lasts well past the guest’s departure well into the future as so often, communication in some form or another continues prior to the next visit
Now a cynic once told me that if you really want a friend, get a dog since a true friend will be inclined to give you his paw, not his hand. Well, I love dogs, there is no doubt about that though I am reminded of the joke that suggests you should try locking your wife and your dog in your car boot for an hour, then open up and see who’s happy to see you. I have never had the guts to undertake that experiment! But friends is what you do tend to make in a hotel – but – it’s a team affair. Staff at all levels, have to in their own quaint ways perhaps, extend that warm friendly smile and that helping hand when required. Like a Maitre d’ hotel who can walk about his restaurant with pride in the full knowledge that the food and service is good, so an hotelier seeks the same confidence in the presence of his guests.
It’s a true and amazing thing that friendships begin with ‘recognition’. This does not necessarily mean a ‘name’ recall, but a genuine recognition of a returning guest with whom you hold great value – not only as a customer but as a person. A kind word, like, “You are back! We have just gotten over your last visit” tends to engender some level of kinship. If you happen to recall that he was in a plaster cast, or was driving a new car last you saw him, a mention of that will assure the guest that you do in fact remember him and indeed are glad to see him return. In our case especially, the best and worst bowlers are never forgotten!
Now The Nest, having the long and enviable history it does, has a host of ‘friends’ that date so far back, in fact 85 years this year, that the children and children of those children come back to receive the same kind of ‘return applause’ and recognition. In the old days, when we were young, you joined the bank your father did and you got to know the manager in much the same way. Today, you have no idea who the manager is and what you have now is a ‘Relationship Manager’. I have never heard a greater contradiction in terms – no offence. I have never had any sort of relationship with this mythical character, for, whenever I phone, I find I am in a ‘relationship’ with someone not only new but hasn’t a clue who I am. That does not become a relationship, it’s an inquisition as you start from scratch. The Nest, on the other hand, enjoys ‘hands-on’ proprietors who have a real vested interest in their business and as such, that interest is contagious.
So it’s true to say that guests of The Nest most certainly become friends, and that, as we all know, is a scarce commodity. So when next you are in our piece (or is it ‘peace’) of Heaven, succumb if you will to our style of bon ami, for you will become a friend, and that dear guest, is a precious thing.
While you are getting your mind around all this, as I said, we have been 85 years operational this year and have a celebration planned. Contact us now and enquire how you can take advantage of a pretty dang good offer and even a better party. I mean, what are friends for? Right? Right!
Till next time, and dare I say, ‘friend’