Guest Delight

Posted on November 3rd, 2020

“You are personally responsible for your guests’ happiness while they are under your roof.”

-Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin


We do not espouse “customer satisfaction” in hospitality foodservice. One may order a #3 combo-meal at a drive-thru for $5.79 and “be satisfied”. Guest delight transcends the transactional nature and allows for surprise and joy, exceeding expectations.


It is widely accepted that when purchasing food and service there are elements of service, price, and quality. One may typically choose two. It is also accepted that as quality increases, so does the price (see SQP pyramid below). A branded sale is generally more costly than a generic alternative. The expectation of a consistent level of service remains.


SQP Pyramid, MPS 2003

To accomplish this accurately, the provider must focus on true product. True product is not what is sold; true product is what your guest buys. Ask what the guest is coming to you to receive. Align your Service, Quality, and Price (SQP) of your offerings (menu, delivery, packaging, staff) directly with the desires of the guest. Now more than ever, todays patron is also looking for safety. Clear signage, contactless ordering platforms, improved packaging, and bedside protocols all point to the commitment to safety as a true product. Be sure to include multiple reinforcements of this critical theme.


Commitment to delivering True Product builds consistency with your guests. Consistency builds trust, trust builds loyalty, loyalty builds the Brand. Brand Equity is the perceived reputation in the market. Leaders in their categories often are so dominant that the brand name becomes the generic noun for the category (Xerox, Coke, Kleenex, Band-Aid, etc.). Keep this front-of-mind during all decisions and soon the decision-making process become clearly binary; either it enhances the brand concept, or it deters or blurs that concept.


Engage the staff at all levels and remind them that they all have a role to play to deliver guest delight at every turn. The culinary staff may be extremely talented, yet without clean, hot plates available the service breaks down quickly.


It is everyone’s responsibility to deliver guest delight. Every point of contact is a chance at connection with the guest. Make sure everyone is prepared to deliver service beyond expectations.


Every day.


Every order.


Every guest.


A delighted guest becomes the greatest advertising campaign for your establishment. Be better than you must be. Folks will notice!
To see guest delight in practice, please click here!
Michael Salvatore
Senior Director
Ruck Shockey Associates, Inc.
November 11th, 2020