To Serve Is To Love

The difference between service and hospitality.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You don’t need to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t even need to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

Let me tell you a story which makes this concept clear:

“The story is about an old monk who stood on the river Ganges bank many years ago. He was waiting to cross the river and, since it was bitterly cold and there were no bridges, he would have to “catch a ride” to the other side. After a lengthy wait he spotted a group of travelers on horses approaching. He let the first one pass, then the second, third, fourth, and fifth.  One traveler remained. As he drew close, the old monk looked him in the eye and said, “Sahib, would you give me a ride across the river?”The rider immediately replied, “Certainly.” Once across the river, the old monk slid to the ground. “Sir,” the rider said before leaving. “I could not help but notice that you permitted all the other men to pass without asking for a ride. Then, when I came, you immediately asked me to carry you across. I am curious as to why you didn’t ask them and you did ask me.” The old monk quietly responded, “I looked into their eyes and could see no love and knew in my own heart it would be useless to ask for a ride. But, when I looked into your eyes, I saw compassion, love and the willingness to help. I knew you would be glad to give me a ride across the river.”

 The rider was touched. “I’m grateful for what you are saying,” he said. “I appreciate it very much” With that, he turned and rode off.

Our eyes are the windows of our hearts. If you (or any of your staff) had been the last rider, would the old man have asked you for a ride? If your recruitment system in the hotel is focusing on recruiting staff with the desired qualities of love, care, warmth, and empathy, then you can increase this warmth in the eyes and smile of your staff and their service. This would make a great difference to the hospitality you are offering guests. And remember, financial goals are achieved only through great customer delight scores.




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