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Hospitality: Simple But Rare

Ok, so in all fairness this concept isn’t quite as rare as the word “rare” would imply, but I would say this concept definitely hasn’t become the norm for most companies. You see it in a few offices on occasion, but it has yet to take hold in a majority of companies, which is interesting because it makes such a huge difference.

A little story to describe what I mean...

Recently I was visiting an office for a meeting with their President. I had met the individual on several occasions off-site, but never at their offices. Due to the location of their employee breakroom and the window therein, I happened to notice the spread of snacks and drinks they provided for their team. I was both impressed and envious! I found myself wanting a snack due to seeing all the options they provided. I continued to their front desk and was surprised to find that they also provided such a spread to company visitors as well. As I waited for a few minutes (I’m always early), I decided to help myself to the refreshments in the mini-refrigerator in the lobby. Water, soda, juices, etc. Many options to pick from.

That in itself would have been generous hospitality on the part of the company, but then I witnessed something even more impressive. A delivery person came in with a box of office supplies for the organization. I don’t remember if it was Amazon, FedEx, or UPS, because what happened next caught more of my attention. The delivery person had a helper, and he called back to her, “Hey, do you want a granola bar or a drink or anything?” I found it odd for some reason, although I don’t know why. I guess it was because I had been conditioned to feel that such offerings were for customers as opposed to vendors. And yes, I’m a little embarrassed by this.

To continue the story though, they walked out to go to their next delivery with a snack in hand and a smile on their face. As I waited a couple more minutes for my meeting, I noticed a sign on the front counter specifically inviting all delivery persons to help themselves to whatever refreshments they wanted... along with a note of appreciation for their services. While I’ve seen a few ‘snack bars’ for guests, been offered water many times, and certainly taken a couple pieces of candy from a candy dish, I’ve honestly never seen this level of hospitality within a company. Maybe my experience is limited, or maybe it’s not. You will have to be the judge. The lesson I was reminded of is extremely valuable though.

That lesson is simply this: It takes so little effort to make someone feel so much more appreciated. In a world where phone systems are automated, staffing levels are short, and we all work diligently to be productive all the time but then feel exhausted, all it takes is a little extra care to make your friends, business colleagues, and just general visitors feel special. In this case it was a can of soda and a granola bar for the delivery guy, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that. Sometimes it’s just a little extra attention, although free food does go a long way. 😊 And the cost to the company for providing such goodies?? It’s likely the smallest expense they have, and yet one of the most impactful in terms of customer experience.

I was happy to be reminded of this. I used to do something similar in my own company, but the pandemic shifted such things for many of us. It’s important that we get back to helping people feel welcome.

If I can be of assistance to you in any way, please feel free to reach out. As always, I wish you the best in your business.

Mark Goldman


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