Hospitality vs. Customer Service: Why You Need Both

These are common terms in the service industry, but weighing hospitality vs. customer service isn’t the best way to run your business. The reason? They are two different, yet important, concepts. Whether you work in a restaurant or hotel, our definitions and comparison will help you better understand how each helps meet your customers’ needs.

What Is Hospitality?

waiter in formal clothes is at his work

Hospitality taps into customers’ feelings and memories, even after they have left your establishment. It encompasses a wide range of elements. It all begins with making guests feel welcome, but it doesn’t stop there. From the warmth of your decor to the attitude and tone of voice of staff members, to the decadent smell of foods being prepared in the kitchen, hospitality affects a guest’s overall experience.

Examples of this type of service include:

  • A warm greeting upon arrival
  • Being escorted to a table or room
  • Complementary bonuses go a long ways
  • Management checks in to ensure the experience is going well
  • Asking if there is anything else your establishment can do for guests
  • Wishing them farewell and expressing hope the customer will return

What Is Customer Service?

While the quality of customer service is important, the clear difference is it’s the basic tasks you do to accommodate your customers. Providing great customer service requires hiring and training well-qualified employees. To have a functional, profitable restaurant, you must have an attractive menu and fair prices based on the value of your product/service, and you must serve customers quickly and attentively every time.

A clean establishment is important as well. Part of your customer service should be creating a cleaning schedule. This helps ensure customers have a pleasant experience.

Customer service is really just a set of actions. It sets the norm about what your business provides. Satisfactory service doesn’t necessarily stand out, good or bad, but poor customer service does create a negative experience, reducing the chances of a dissatisfied patron ever returning.

What’s the Difference?

Young woman worker wearing face mask giving coffee to customer

Customer service is providing people with what they need. If a customer comes to your restaurant to eat, they’re served an order and then presented with a bill. They have few expectations if there’s a sign for self-seating in the window.

Hospitality, on the other hand, creates an experience that leaves the customer wanting to return. It taps into their emotions and memories by providing a positive experience. The patron genuinely feels accepted in your environment.

How to Improve Your Hospitality and Customer Service

Your staff may only be available during business hours, but you don’t have to weigh hospitality vs. customer service or sacrifice one over the other. To really serve customers’ needs, you must have both. AnswerMTI can help with our 24-hour answering service. Our receptionists can answer calls, transfer callers, provide information, takes messages, make reservations, and more. Unlimited call scripting enables them to perform as if they are part of your business.

To learn more, set up a free 7-day trial or call 844-798-1027 for help setting up a customized plan.