Service and Hospitality are words often used to describe the elements contributing to a customers experience. Although often mistaken to be the same, Service and Hospitality are very different in terms of what they offer the consumer.


Service is a transaction based approach to customer service, meaning there is very little personal involvement, and it’s main goal is to purely provide the customer with the service on offer. Hospitality however goes above and beyond.

Consider this. You work at a busy restaurant located in a popular tourist destination. Some new customers come in and wait to be seated. Your conversation goes something like: 

You: Hello, can I help you
Customer: Hi I Have a booking for Smith for three people
You: Sure follow me

And you proceed to seat them and take their orders. This is a very transactional approach to serving a customer. Yes you have done your job and all required of you, but you have not made an effort to engage the customer, and make them feel welcome. 


Hospitality is all about how you make your customers feel. It looks at ways to make the customers experience easier and more enjoyable. It takes into account the personality of the brand and also of the person involved in the interaction.

Now take the same scenario as earlier, but with a hospitality approach. 

You: Good evening Sir, welcome to [Restaurant Name]
Customer: Yes Under Smith
You: No worries Mr Smith, a table for three people, have you dined with us before? 
Customer: No we haven’t we’re here on holidays. 
You: It’s a pleasure to have you here Smith family, where is home for you? 

and so on. Obviously the conversation will not always follow the script, but finding some key things to chat with your customer about to make them feel at home is important. 

You can of course do one without the other, but to achieve best results, a strategy providing good customer service with great hospitality is most effective. Hospitality is how the customer will remember your business. Embrace that and be sure to wow them into coming back again.