One of the most interesting business books I have read is Setting the Table by Danny Meyer. Meyer is a successful restaurateur, CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group. I have had the great pleasure of eating at a number of his restaurants over the years.
The thing that distinguishes them is the relentless focus on the experience, not just the food. Attentive and caring staff make the food taste even better.
In February 2009, Danny Meyer was on Jim Cramer’s CNBC network TV show, Mad Money. As a function of that appearance Meyer picked several companies who he thought did an exceptional job of providing high levels of hospitality. That group contains: Chipotle, Whole Foods, Apple, Amazon, American Express, Nordstrom, eBay, Men's Wearhouse, Southwest Airlines, Mattel, Google, Bed Bath & Beyond, Costco, Brown-Forman, Goldman Sachs, and Salesforce.com.
In a recent broadcast, Cramer compared the results of the “Danny Meyer Index” to that of the S&P 500 Index. ‘Looking at the performance of the companies in the Danny Meyer Hospitality Index, it looks like Danny Meyer was dead right," Cramer said. "Since its creation in February 2009, the index has generated a 375% gain, crushing the S&P 500, which is up 128% over the same period.’”
Being nice, in a systematized way, pays off!
The question for you is: What can you do at your company to make it more successful simply by being hospitable? Consider sitting down with some of your best clients and asking them what they especially liked about working with your company. Ask your trade contractors and vendors as well. And don’t forget to ask your employees for their perceptions and insights.
Then systemize what you have heard and train your employees to deliver great hospitality, which is all the soft stuff that often gets overlooked when trying to get “the work” done.
Then watch your profits get better and better!