It’s All in the Details…

Earlier this summer, I shared some “Best Practices on Engaging the “high-touch” Side of Our Business” in my blog. I summarized feedback from attendees in a series of workshops I conducted for a major international hotel company that addressed the danger of becoming a “Commodity.”

This article/blog kicks off a related topic:

Question:  How do we motivate our hospitality staff to care every day, to build and maintain a commitment to delivering quality??

Answer: In surprisingly small ways.

It’s All in the Details…

I am certainly not the first person to have written on the topic, and there have been others who have used the unusual example I am about to offer as an illustration of the most fundamental area of any hotel or restaurant.

Almost every guest uses this essential area of every hospitality business, as well as a good number of first time visitors who “drop by.”  The hospitality business may be an elegant five star hotel, a country inn, a hometown diner or an ethnic restaurant but they all have this space in common.

I am referring of course to the “public restrooms.”  I have included some examples of outstanding ones at the end of this message, but I challenge everyone in any hospitality business to take a moment and think about the first impression made when someone enters a portion of your facility that is open to all visitors.

Think about the human senses

1.       Sight – is your space inviting and clean? This means pleasant lighting, neatly arranged facilities, wall treatment that is pleasant to look at and of course, a very clean floor with no paper on it.  Fresh flowers or live plants can be a positive.

2.       Touch – as in #1 Sight above, the space must be inviting.  There must be well maintained sinks, clean and well lit mirrors, attractive dispensers holding adequate towels and toilet tissue,

3.       Sound – Public rest rooms must be reasonably constructed and designed to block out  external sounds, as well as contain the sounds of plumbing and discussions in the facility. Some properties today include appropriate and pleasing piped in music that create an  additional positive calming effect

4.       Smell – the fragrance discussion in hospitality is not new.  Care must be taken in cleaning products used, and there are packaged scents available that can be subtly present in the public rest rooms.

Some sample “best of” in this category may be found at under America’s Best Public Bathrooms

Feel free to share an idea for a column at anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.

John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events.  He is Co-Founder of a consortium ( of successful corporate and academic professionals delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today. is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas that are designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.   Special introductory pricing is in effect for a limited time that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES.

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