In the hospitality industry, we survive and thrive on delight. How do we define happiness and delight? Well, in many ways! The whole purpose of our industry is to keep our guests happy and delighted!

I need to be candid. We are dealing with trying to recover from a global pandemic, and we don’t know how the future will unfold. We have experienced decreased occupancy, slowly increasing travel, decreasing profit margins, and supply chain issues. The public at large relies on us to create an escape. So the pressure is on us constantly to turn a building with rooms and beds, into an escape, a hideaway, a reprieve from the pressures of the world.

And with all of that said, keeping our guests happy is just not enough anymore. As a hospitality professional, you get to, probably on a daily basis, find ways to delight your guests. I can only assume that you are looking for new and innovative ways to bridge the gap between perception and actual delight. And believe it or not, on the customer service side, delight only happens 16% of the time. Yes, only 16%.

I spend a lot of time thinking about how best to delight guests. And I also realize that something that delighted our guests last time has now become an expectation or a brand standard and they are looking for even more nuances to feel special and be delighted.

So keeping it simple, I encourage you to anticipate and deliver delight.

Anticipate the Needs of Your Guests:

If you know what your guests want and how they need it, then give them that. You can do this by using data around their interactions with you as well as understanding who these people are so that future needs of theirs will be anticipated already!

Ask yourself why your guests should walk through your doors vs. the competition. This will help ensure they have a positive experience. Making this type of practice routine across all teams in your company ensures excellence for everyone involved. Some great questions to ask are…

  • What makes our hotel and offerings so unique?
  • How do we measure up with the local competition?
  • Why are guests choosing a property? Are they relying solely on price? Or is it the experience of delight?

Deliver Beyond Expectations:

Deliver a seamless and delightful experience for your guests. It may be difficult to keep this ball constantly rolling forward, but they need you to do that for them. The very thought of being able to get away for a vacation or staycation right now could be nirvana to them and you can make a significant change for them. You can do this by:

  • Knowing what they’re looking forward to in advance. This will keep them from being disappointed when it doesn’t turn out exactly like they thought/planned. Be proactive.
  • Paying attention to the small details that may not seem important, but it really will add up over time. Paying attention to the details will make all the difference between getting great online reviews versus mediocre ones!

Someone might not always be there to give you a pat on the back. So I will. I see you. I know you’re working hard every day. I know that you choose to delight your guests and keep up morale with your staff, even when it’s hard. I know you are constantly thinking outside of the box. So from everyone who you delighted this year, THANK YOU. Thank you for burning the midnight oil and thank you for creating delight in all that you do.

Jill Rigsbee


iDEAL Hospitality Partners Group