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Guest vs. Customer

I want to talk about the one thing that we all drive ourselves to have more of and that is customers. To me, customer, or client, has a very negative connotation and I wonder if there is a better word than that to use. As owners and managers, we hear customer and think money. Those same exact customers hear you talk about them as client and they begin to think of themselves as a number. Just the next one in line.

As leaders we must change our employees’ perception of the customer or client. We are happy to have the customer in our locations. We do everything we can to make sure the customer enjoys their visit. We go out of our way to impress our customer and avoid giving them any reason to think of themselves as just another transaction. They are our guest. A guest does not come with any preconceived feelings of monetary value. These are people we are inviting to our venue to enjoy the comforts that we offer.

At Disney, we were built to serve with our focus on the Four Key Basics: Safety, Courtesy, Show & Efficiency. These four focuses have proven to be the basics to success. The best part is they are easy and completely driven in the best interest of the guest.

My wife and I were presented with the opportunity to attend the opening night of Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. We dined on delicious foods, premium beverages and service that is representative of the Four Key Basics. The food was a buffet style service with servers ready and waiting to remove our dirty plate and alert us of new items as they were delivered to the suite where we were viewing the show. I don’t think my beverage was ever completely empty before one of the attendants offered a fresh one. After a bit, the bartender caught on to my tastes and was offering new items that I might enjoy also. The employees knew the products they were working with and that enhanced my experience. Of course, the concert was an amazing experience. But my wife stated it was unforgettable because of the experience provided by the employees at University of Phoenix Stadium. We were guests, not just another number or customer.


Authors Bio:

James McQuade has 15 years of hospitality & entertainment experience in a wide array of styles.

He started his career as a part of Darden working within the restaurant operations. From there, he started with the Walt Disney Co. working his way up to Guest Service Manager. While working with Disney, James took part in the Disney Institute training classes focusing on Hospitality Management, Operational Leadership, and Marketing. James also earned sommelier certification with working with the Disney Co. James had the opportunity to move home to Arizona and purchase an insurance agency and work along side with his father. After a couple years out of the hospitality industry, James sold the insurance agency to his father and got back into the hospitality and entertainment business once again. He accepted a General Manager position for Fun Brands LLC. Within 8 months, he was promoted to Area Manager for the southwest region as the company continued to grow. James joined Craft Culinary Concepts in October 2017 as our newest general manager. James attended the School of Hotel & Restaurant Management at Northern Arizona University.

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