Written by on Friday 13 March 2015
At Noma they ask you: are you hungry, instead of: do you have a reservation. Thats a whole other approach on welcoming your guests.
A personal touch should start with the greeting of your guest. Do so within thirty seconds of them entering and you’re already operating above expectations.
Atmosphere and mood
At Los Caracoles in Barcelona, guests have to traverse through the kitchen before reaching their seats and, by the time they do, have been fully immersed in the atmosphere and identity of the restaurant. They smell the kitchen, see the old stoves and hear the clatter. By the time they are seated, they’re already in the right mood.
A visit to Wyndham Midtown New York (the former Alex-hotel) guarantees guests a legendary introduction. The concierge knows the name of the guests before they have even checked-in. He opens the cab door and greets you by name. If you’ve been there before, your preferences are taken into account. Did you drink a few bottles of Heineken last time? Then expect a minibar filled with Heineken when you visit again.
Remember my name
The Ritz hotel group is famous for their attention to detail and their ambitions of pleasing guests. Every day the operations team meets and discusses arriving and departing guests. Pictures are passed around so that names are remembered. Here too, they use a guest’s previous visit to shape their next experience.
Are you hungry?
Noma, the world’s best restaurant, is at the end of a pier. When you make the last leg of the journey, a waiter meets you outside and waves you in, smiling all the way. A simple gesture, seductive and recognizable and yet, one cannot guess what still awaits them inside: waiters, chefs, dishwashers, the entire crew lined up in the reception room to bid you welcome, not with the classic ‘Do you have a reservation?’ but with a warm and friendly ‘Are you hungry?’
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