Hospitality Industry Professionals: What Business Are We In?

We aren’t in the coffee business serving people. We are in the people business serving coffee.” Howard Schultz- Founder and Chairman, Starbucks

greek-coffee-1328798-639x511I shared this quote in a 2011 blog post and am amazed at the reaction I continue to get from this simple message. This Howard Schultz philosophy continues to drive the culture he wants for Starbucks to be successful.

This quote should make all of us think…what business are we in? We introduce ourselves as working as a meeting planner, or in the hospitality industry, hotel business, or name the specific organization where we work. But, when we respond to this question, do we truly understand the business that we are in?

I agree with Howard Schultz and the vision he has for his company. Starbucks is in the people business serving coffee while creating an environment that offers a desirable experience. In the hospitality industry, we are in the people business providing great individual guest and group meeting experiences. We help bring people together to discuss important topics that can change the course of an individual, an organization, a country and perhaps even the world. It is human relationships and interactions that create the experience we desire. Sure, our facilities provide great beds, meals and meeting rooms – but the people provide the environment that enables the guest stay or meeting to be a desirable experience.

The hospitality industry is an exciting career choice. Let’s make sure we always remember what business we are really in…the people business.

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