Lessons from…our journey into hospitality

Our company has just entered the hospitality business. Yes, we just started renting out our creative room. Here are some lessons that we learned from it.

1. Customer focus. Being a patron of the boutique hotels, I love the small things. Chocolates at dinner, an occasional tea/coffee on the house… these small things show that people care and provide a huge return on investment. Some of the guests at our creative room said that they wanted Milo and Ikea biscuits. Milo and Ikea biscuits weren’t in the contract. Actually, I overheard them say that they liked the biscuits and “it would be nice to have Milo”. Yes putting Milo and biscuits was an additional cost not in the budget. We made sure it was there. We also sought feedback on the tea breaks and made sure that we put in tea breaks that they liked. We monitored the tea breaks to see which ones had a lot of leftovers and which ones people enjoyed.

For the participant who was fasting, we gave him a pack of biscuits to take home for his iftar.

Trying to exceed customer expectations led to ice cream at tea breaks as well as teh halia and soya bean.

2. Processes and Planning. We made sure our partners worked according to our schedule. We made sure the internet provider, coffee suppliers, caterers, cleaners, water bottle suppliers, food suppliers knew our schedule and requirements. Being open with our partners helped them plan accordingly to ensure seamless delivery.

3. Backup. We have worked with a local restaurant to have a backup barista in case we need it. We also make sure we have spare suppliers of water and other essentials in case of glitches. You may not need your backup 90% of the time but you are really glad to have it for the other 10%.

We apply the three lesson for continuous learning and improvement. We constantly think about how to make things better for our customer – how to give them the WOW experience. By constantly keeping ourselves on our toes and looking for improvements we hope to stay ahead of the curve.

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