Christmas in Hospitality

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

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411 thoughts on “Christmas in Hospitality

  1. What you show here is that no matter how crazy the situation might be (or seem to be) we can always choose to be loving and caring with each other and focus on harmoniously working together instead of running after and trying to fulfil all that needs to be done.

  2. It only just dawned on me that the clue here is in the name. Hospitality, after all shouldn’t this be all about opening up and sharing what is yours with others as if it was theirs? The greatest hospitality I have experienced in my life has been when people have greeted me like I am their brother or long lost son and opened up their heart. So it makes perfect sense in what you share here Amita that when you and your husband made your service all about Love business boomed in a new way.

  3. Purpose and true service beyond a mere commercial interaction are a great foundation for love in the hospitality industry.

  4. It is beautiful to feel how a commitment of working together, with the focus of offering loving service, not only is a blessing to the customers but also supports the staff to experience the genuine value and joy of working, together, in true service. The steadiness that love is, is powerful beyond measure. This is a template of how the hospitality industry can operate. Thank you Amita – very inspiring.

  5. This is wonderful to read Amita. You obviously care for your staff greatly and it pays off on days like this where it can be super busy and this care is noticed and felt by everyone for your patrons are also receiving that same level of care as well.

  6. What an incredible healing this was for this party but also the staff. To be steadily supporting your team to be confident and relaxed by leading by example. To look after ourselves by eating meals and drinks that aren’t going to take you on a roller coaster. All this has an immediate effect on how your clients are going to experience their time with you. How powerful is that to have a party and they walk away feeling nurtured and cared for. I’m sure they will be coming back for more and spreading the word too!

  7. Its incredible how soon everyone starts to get talking and preparing for Christmas. It’s now early September in UK and I am getting enquiries and people talking about what they can do. It seems like it has become this functioning of how the cycles of the years roll, so what I have been working on during this time and when it comes around in the hospitality world is to make sure we make it about the connection with the clients and supporting them to see the celebration is really about the time we spend with our work colleagues, our families and our friends and taking a moment to stop and appreciate all that has been for the year.

  8. A great reminder of magnetic pull, that is our magnetic pull in how we are living that emanates out to others who can feel this ‘trust the service we personally provide with love and honesty, and that will bring in the customers’ so it is not about a hard sell or competition but about truly caring for ourselves and truly caring for others, if we all had our businesses and services based on this alone the world would be a completely different place.

  9. We can say that it is about this or that and that we get this or that. What this blog reveals is that we can go beyond the surface and realise that supply and demand have to do with the quality of movement. This is what we get, besides a comfortable bed and a nice meal.

  10. Beautiful Amita, when we make life about the quality we live in this moment now, the plans and goals deliver themselves. There’s absolutely no need for stress or panic, just aligning our body to the flow. Our whole world is set up around living racing against time, and panicking and getting upset. The contentment and easyness starts first in yourself and then becomes magnified in what we do. It’s time we realised that what we get served in life is the direct result of the quality we choose.

  11. It only takes one person to align to space and a true movement within their bodies for many to benefit by having the choice to connect to that within themselves too. That’s the beauty of reflection.

    1. It’s an amazing choice to be connected to our essence not only for ourselves but also for others by what we offer by reflection.

  12. I can feel it all starting to bubble up again it is that time of the Christmas cycle where things are starting to get prepared. This is great reminder on how we go about this lovingly and supportingly for all involved so the best celebrations to be had.

  13. And what a great gift and experience it would be for anyone staying at this particular hotel, where client care goes so much deeper than a surface or veneer experience.

  14. I would love to meet you and your husband one day, I always enjoy reading your blogs and I relate very much because my Husband and I are also in hospitality! I love purpose and I love work and it sounds like you and your husband are on the same page!

  15. I have worked a lot during Christmas period in hospitality, it can be a very emotional and tense time for everyone involved, customers and staff alike, it is wonderful to allow ourselves to hold steady in that situation making the relationships we have with everyone the priority and also knowing that in truth there is no difference in this time of year and any other, only that we have a different reflection to learn from.

  16. Wow Amita – I can understand why you wrote about this experience. It’s unheard of to be able to eat out and be truly looked after by staff that genuinely want to serve and be with customers – especially on Christmas Day. I have eaten at restaurants many times and often notice that the staff are stressed or indifferent and it really puts a dampener on things.

  17. This is enormous, where staff and guests are equally honoured and treated and cared for. A business model for the entire world.

  18. ‘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.’ Beautifully said Amita and you are living that and serving that up to every staff member and customer you meet.

  19. It is awesome to read your accounts of running a hotel Amita, as it sets a new standard for the service industry. Often as diners, we feel under pressure to eat up and leave which just feels awful and does not encourage a person to want to come back. But what you are showing and sharing is that you can enjoy your work, and the customer can have a dining experience they would want to repeat.

  20. I really loved reading this, I once worked in hospitality and worked on Christmas Day. It was a very different experience to this, everyone was stressed and rushed and most of the staff were just wanting to get out of there. The head chef barked orders and abused the staff and this had an impact on the whole atmosphere of the restaurant, there were more complaints from customers and this fueled the rage that was taking place in the kitchen, it was not a pleasant experience.

  21. So beautiful, Amita, to read how you approached what is a very stressful time of year for many people and brought the focus to true connection and brotherhood.
    This is great example of what this time of year is really all about, and how much we all crave a true connection.

  22. Thank you Amita, I enjoyed reading this again. I can see how the Christmas period could allow in additional worries, but by treating it the same as every other month and making the commitment and focus about love and serving with that purpose the bookings took care of themselves. Your consistency of love in business is inspiring, thank you.

  23. That’s an awesome approach Amita. It’s no surprise the day went so smoothly when you ensured that you and your team were united in the purpose of the day. A massive difference indeed.

  24. This is a beautiful and rare thing you are sharing, first to be so stress free at Christmas time in hospitality is amazing in itself but to be working with your husband and enjoying it is nearly unheard of, your lifestyle choices must be really paying off!

    1. We are naturally designed to easily handle intensity around us, but as you say Sarah it is uncommon to see this in workplaces. Great to feel that we have a choice and don’t just have to resign to thinking that if our surrounds are intense that we will just get swept up in it.

  25. When we connect with the purpose of why we do what we do we actually then bring a very different quality to everything that we do. Being clear about our purpose ignites something deeper in us that knows that everything that we do matters, no matter how small.

  26. Amita the fact that you, your husband and staff all had committed to making the Christmas lunch a beautiful experience for all, including yourselves that you were so rewarded with exactly that !

  27. There can be such a pressure around Christmas to be stressed. This is what I experience each year, how it can seem un-normal to not be stressed and to actually just feel the same regardless of the time of year or the occasion. And so, remaining steady and constant, even though it is lovely and mostly appreciated, can at times also be viewed as odd. But this blog shows beautifully how much very one benefits from such a constant and steady approach to life.

    1. Absolutely seeing others being so steady when the norm is to go a bit crazy with stress is something to behold and admire! I am sure it is very much noticed!

  28. Just another day living the love with total purpose to service – now I see why the staff were so happy and appreciative.

  29. When we are truly open to something it always comes back to us and more so than we could ever imagine was possible. Support is always there, it is simply about us opening up to it first and then everything opens up.

  30. We often allow ourselves to be tossed around by what’s happening around us, what the society says the time of year is etc., but what you share here just shows how powerful it is to know and appreciate the value of what we live every day and when the quality is set the rest just flows. Beautiful, Amita.

  31. ‘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.’
    What a beautiful Christmas gift you presented for everyone. Just as beautiful to receive for the customers as for the staff that did the work. Healing for each of them to move in flow and feel united on that day.

  32. It is beautifull you did not get caught in the doing or competition with other hotels/places that were offering something similar and instead chose to appreciate what you bring and could offer and see each event as separate. So often we can get caught up in the doing, pushing, stress, worry, drive, comparing and competition. It is also really beautiful you appreciated both yourself, your husband and the team right the way through to greeting the customers, preparing and serving the food to changing the beds/rooms. True appreciation of staff is also another thing I feel many companies and organisations do not currently do. Valuing our staff is crucial.

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