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High hopes for hospitality

December 17, 2010

MAMMOTH TIMES EDITORIAL

We have high hopes for the Mammoth Ambassadors Program.

Our service personnel are critical to our image and to our collective well being, but sometimes enough is enough.

Case in point. At a recent meal in a local restaurant, the waiters were overly friendly and solicitous to the point of intrusiveness on the customers’ conversation. One diner made a specific request, but when the meal came, that request was unfulfilled, ignored.

So the question arises, which is more important: To serve the customers’ needs or kill them with kindness?

When the overwhelming, sometimes cloying attention that is paid by a waiter, retail sales person or reservations agent obscures the actual service or product, what happens?

Either the customer becomes annoyed and leaves, or accepts such obsequiousness as his/her due, which can encourage an even more extreme attitude of entitlement.

Is it better to perform the function of salesperson or server efficiently and with respect and natural warmth, thereby respecting the customer’s privacy and letting the product speak for itself?

True hospitality comes from warmth and a genuine desire to help the customer or guest.

Don’t get us wrong: Overdoing it is better than underdoing it, and we’ve seen plenty of that over the years.

So as we gear up to welcome holiday guests to our snow-swagged town, let us welcome them with the hospitality that lives within us.

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