Hospitality 101 - The Smile and Body Language!- Part 3

Nancy Anderson
Posted by in Tourism & Hospitality

For any of our new readers, I want to review the first two parts of the three part series. It may be advantageous to check the website archives and review the first two parts to glean a direction of where we have been and where we are going with this series of editorials on the basics of hospitality! We are dedicating our series to the the “ground rules” of good hospitality attributes.
There are benefits to be realized for anyone currently employed, or those seeking employment in any aspect of the hospitality industry as the basics being reviewed would be assets if demonstrated by anyone in the industry as well as any business engaged in the industry! Therefore these pieces can be regarded as a “checklist” for those supervisors, management or even owners of a hospitality oriented business!

The one thing that sets the stage for a successful encounter with a client is A SINCERE AND WINNING SMILE! Everyone in the business must readily smile when approaching a client no matter what the situation or the encounter taking place at the moment!

A smile is the unequivocal indication of happy personnel that will be willing to “do whatever it takes” to satisfy the customer and has a total awareness and affirmation that the customer is
THE REAL BOSS, and the one that pays them!

Conversely, unhappy personnel that do not smile or possess a perpetual scowl are obviously unhappy and convey that they will do only what has to be done, nothing more and usually
will not exceed customer expectations and possibly, not meet their needs!

BODY LANGUAGE, like a smile or a scowl, portrays happy, unhappy, positive or negative employees and like in the latter and former scenarios conditions the customer for what they can expect!

Some of the observations that portray a negative employee that in most cases will result in a negative encounter and/or transaction are:
  • standing with arms folded (usually stands for boredom!)
  • standing with hands in pocket
  • constantly looking at their wristwatch
  • standing propped and leaning against a display, a desk or a counter (usually indicates tiredness and the likelihood that they will not provide excellent service)
  • employees with a disheveled or unkempt look (indication of sloppy service as an expectation
  • a handshake is the quintessential welcome or expression of gratitude for a transaction completed
  • a brisk approach to the customer indicates eagerness to serve
  • a neat appearance as opposed to the “disheveled” look, usually is a reassurance that the customer has made a good choice and will be rewarded with good knowledgeable service

One way to accomplish a consistency in appearance of employees is to provide uniform shirts of a style appropriate for the business, i.e. Polo shirts or button down collar tailored shirts, name tags with positions and first name.

In closing the unambiguous expectations of employees regarding a WINNING SMILE AND POSITIVE BODY LANGUAGE is emphasized (and detected) at the interview, during the orientation process and checked constantly for actual execution at the business. The oft times subjective utilization of these expectations can be included in the evaluation process as long as the observation and critique are conducted by the person closest to the situation!

There are many opportunities throughout the hospitality industry. If you feel you are the ideal candidate and can live up to the basics generalized in the industry, you may want to check out opportunities on this website or search

Barbi Snyder is a veteran of many different hospitality based businesses over a 30 year span and is a regular contributor to this blog. You may contact Barbi at (p) 828 625 4932 or


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