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Gratitude for the hospitality industry

by Sheridan Lane, director, culinary program and operations, Lincoln Land Community College 

In this era, reminding folks that gratitude is needed and appreciated is abundant. There are observances that celebrate and recognize groups of people, from Mother’s Day and Boss’s Day to Teacher Appreciation Week and Veterans Day. We are reminded to uplift and show our love to those that influence our lives in magnanimous ways.

The way we show that love is often expressed or carried out in the hospitality industry — especially this time of year. We take someone special out for lunch or dinner. We bring the group a special pastry or dessert. We buy that unsung hero a drink at the local watering hole. 

Whatever the case may be, we largely rely on the food and beverage industry to help us convey our gratitude for others, and it makes sense. When we want to show our gratitude, why not chose a universal form of pleasure — eating and/or drinking. Georges Auguste Escoffier, the great French chef historically known as the founder of modern cuisine, is noted as saying “Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness.”  

As we quickly approach the holiday season, I am delivering an important public service announcement. Show kindness to the folks that serve your celebrations this season as well.  

Yes, I recognize there are times when our expectations of good food and good service are not met, and it is frustrating. So how can we best express those disappointments? We can speak up when something is off in a way that maintains respect and expresses our empathy when there is an “off” day. And we can certainly be complimentary when our experience goes really well! 

A great experience, as well as a not so great one, is never just the result of the front-of-house person with whom you work directly. Guest satisfaction takes an intense amount of teamwork, however big or small the team, and being mindful of the folks that help us celebrate this holiday season is important. While officially “Hospitality Day” was back in September, please take a moment to personally express your gratitude for the teams of food and beverage industry professionals that make your capacity to celebrate others possible.  

Here are a couple of “recipe tips” for making our industry feel the love.

  1. Write a handwritten note. Even just a few words go a long way!
  2. Thank the leadership on duty, not just the front-line workers, and give specific examples of what you really enjoyed.
  3. And, if appropriate, treat the team that treated you with rounds of drinks or a snack for later.

Such gestures of thanks and appreciation can make the long days of serving during the holiday season 100% worth it!


Lincoln Land Community College offers credit programs in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management and Baking/Pastry, and non-credit cooking and food classes through LLCC Community Education.

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