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Service vs Hospitality: What's the Difference and Why it Matters

There is a difference between service and hospitality. And when it comes to the success of hotels it matters a lot.

So, just what is the difference, you ask?

First, you’ll need some definitions.

Service has many definitions. But simply put, service is defined as handling tasks for someone else from physical labor to providing information. Hospitality is defined as an interaction. It’s the friendly and generous reception of guests, visitors, or strangers.

Handling tasks vs. Generous reception.

With increased competition among hotel brands for the same guests, that very difference makes a big impact. Today’s guest expects more than just a room and shelter. They expect an experience.

Take the routine practice of checking in guests…

A service-based guest check-in would include asking for name and identification. When hospitality comes into play that same interaction includes a warm greeting, and a question or two about their travel plans, before proceeding to the check-in process.

Conversations with guests can uncover knowledge about them that allows you to further improve their experience. 

Did you find out they are in town celebrating an anniversary? Take the initiative to send a card or bottle of wine to their room as a gesture from the hotel.

Why does it matter?

Those simple words or gestures can mean a repeat customer.

Providing hospitality creates the experience customers crave over just performing a transaction. A better experience can lead to repeat business, an excellent online review, and referrals. 

For Naples Hotel Group, a family-owned hotel management company, hospitality is an extension of our family values. We accomplish this by living out our purpose, hospitality from our family to yours. Our purpose involves having staff implement six initiatives into their daily work routines. Titled “CMATIC,” it stands for celebrating, having mutual trust, being approachable, team building, thinking intuitively and consistency.

Our belief: every successful company needs to have a focus beyond profits. By spreading these principles across the company, every staff person from the top down knows how to go beyond service to hospitality.


Read about our Hotel Management Services. The NHG difference? Superior service where you'll feel right at home during your travels.