My husband and I have been in hospitality for the last 9 years during which we have seen some great changes in our business. We remember when we jumped in, with little experience, and took on a business that involved staff, customers, clients, suppliers and the list goes on. The years have gone by really quickly, with ups and downs, challenges and moments of enjoyment.
What we can say is that we have been committed to serving and delivering, no matter how challenging and tough times have been, and we have always given our 100%. Christmas can be a very stressful period, with the hype of the media, shops and product selling. Everyone is trying to compete with the next venue; who gets the most customers, whose offering is better etc.
This last Christmas we were a little concerned with the number of customers who might come through, due to similar services and themes being offered by other companies. At first we were upset but then I had a conversation with my husband, sharing that we should just trust the service we personally provide with love and honesty, and that will bring in the customers.
My husband and I did not let the stress and madness around Christmas affect us; we took the Christmas period in our everyday flow. To us, it was another month of functions and events – what we do all year around. We approached December in that mindset. We prepared and managed every party as an individual event.
So, to our surprise, we got a fair amount of bookings around our party nights and all the customers really enjoyed the food, service and entertainment. Our biggest surprise was Christmas Day and Boxing Day where we had doubled our numbers from previous years. On Christmas Day we were serving an 8-course meal, so service time was for around 3.5 – 4 hours, which sounds a lot, but time just flew.
From the moment the customers came in, our entire team were greeting/meeting and looking after them. Every member of staff pulled together; the front of house team, housekeeping team and kitchen team. There was a beautiful flow, from serving the food, to clearing the plates, serving the drinks to washing the dishes, and cleaning and changing bedrooms. The chefs were busy preparing the food and plating it, and the front of house staff were busy serving and interacting with the customers. It was such a beautiful experience and no one knew where the time went!
When the food was served, both the portion sizes and the timing were perfect and no one felt rushed. Customers were extremely appreciative of the lovely food and service and many shared that they had such a beautiful experience, one they had never experienced before. They even shared that nothing was too much trouble for the staff, and they also felt that time just flew past.
For many years during Christmas there had always been tension in the kitchen and front of house, and often complaints about something that was overlooked or forgotten, or staff calling in sick and not wanting really to work on Christmas Day. But this time everyone knew there was a purpose, a purpose to serve, and to serve with love. No one was working in a rush to get the customers in and out through the door; everyone wanted to be there and provide a service.
It was a moment to appreciate for my husband and I. Because we have chosen to create a more loving way of living, with flow, simplicity, rhythms through our livingness and commitment to serve, we have inspired our staff/team to provide a truer service. When we serve in our fullness and love, what is reflected to us is love too. Customers left giving beautiful feedback to the whole team, and it was a moment to stop and appreciate ourselves as a team for the love and commitment everyone put into that day through the service they provided.
It is through the support of Universal Medicine workshops and presentations we have come to understand the true meaning of service and commitment, and that our livingness is a true reflection to inspire others.
Published with permission of my husband.
By Amita Khurana, BSc Honours, Hotel Business Owner, Director, Practitioner/Therapist, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk UK