Words for the New Year

By: Greg Nasser, BOH director of operations

Each morning when I wake up, I ask myself a very simple, yet tough question:

Is today going to be a good day or a bad day?

I’m sharing it with you because I find it very useful. It forces me to remember that the outcome of my day is in the power of my own hands.

The truth is, we’ve chosen to work in an industry where “power” — and a fair amount of control —relates directly to the principle word that describes our work: Hospitality. This word actually derives from the latin word hospice, which essentially translates to have power .

Now I mention this because over the next 13 weeks I’m excited to share with you the 13 ethics in hospitality. Hospitality ethics is a discipline that studies this usage of hospitality. It is essentially the right and wrong — the virtuous elements — that make our work relevant and special. As you discover each facet of this code (of ethics) you will come to realize that you already practice much of it, naturally. This “CODE of 13” will guide you in decision making and will also help you solve conflict through putting the guest experience first. It’s a simple code of conduct that encourages you to look at situations through someone else’s eyes. Empathy, care and respect will ground you along the way, creating constant reminders in the back of your head.

This code is vital to your success and ours respectively, because in reality, we have very little time to reflect on the impact we may have on others throughout our day. The more you identify with the greater ethics in hospitality, the more enjoyable “working in the moment” becomes. It also significantly lessens the anxiety you have about what you accomplished throughout your day.

As we start to collectively embrace this Code of 13 next week, try to answer this question:

WHAT DOES HOSPITALITY MEAN TO YOU?

It may be significant or not, it may be a job or a way of being. Just remember one thing: it does have great value in our society and community, be it the way we treat each other or attend to one another. For now, I’ll leave you with my favorite definition of hospitality:

Hospitality refers to the relationship between a guest and a host, wherein the host receives the guest with goodwill, including the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers. Louis, chevalier de Jaucourt describes hospitality in the Encyclopédie as, “the virtue of a great soul that cares for the whole universe — through the ties of humanity…” It’s essentially a matter of people skills, but also a matter of good grace.