Merriam Webster’s Dictionary tells us that the word “SERVE” has twenty meanings as a verb and one as a noun.  I chose FIVE.  (1) To do military service. (2) To assist in a religious setting, providing food or drink to customers or to wait on tables. (3) To be of use, to be worthy of reliance or trust or to hold an office (such as political) or to perform a function (jury duty).  (4) To prove adequate or satisfactory. (5) To put a ball or shuttlecock into play in various games such as tennis, volleyball, or badminton. 

It is the first word in the values of the High 5 Hospitality organization.

According to Mark P. Fisher, our guest speaker at the H5H Awards on February 23rd, our SOP should be this simple- “See a need. Meet a need.”

When I hear the word “serve” the first thought that comes to mind is a verse from the Bible.  “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ~ Mark 10:45

Jesus was the best example of what “serve” looks like.  “Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.

He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself…

Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.  I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.  He was a servant leader” – James Allan Francis

All too often our approach towards our work life is self serving.  We verbalize things like: “I deserve a raise”, “I want a different title”, “I am under-appreciated”, “I have worked here X amount of time and they owe me a promotion”, “I know more and work harder than….”, “I, I, I”.  Really?  Do you hear yourself?  Do you understand that it is not about you?  The true mindset of “serve”, the exceptional leader, the best employee, the honorable person, always makes it about others. 

“The more you help others, the faster you will get results.” — Catherine Gordon

  • Do you serve in a way that elevates others?
  • Are you setting the next person up for success?
  • Do your behaviors, attitude, and speech role model what you expect from others? 
  • Is it possible that you are making significant impressions on others, and you don’t even know it?  There’s often a ripple effect. 
  • What kind of difference did you make in someone’s life today?

Do the right thing for the right reason – If you expect praise and recognition, it will seldom come.  I really don’t know why, but life has demonstrated, repeatedly, that if your motive for doing something is to receive thanks or praise, you’ll often be disappointed.  Do it for others.  Practice random acts of kindness.  Hold the door for someone.  Pick up loose garbage. Pay for the stranger’s coffee behind you in line.  That’s how you serve.

Then there is Guest Service.  Guest Service is a topic that is beaten to death worldwide on a daily basis and yet nothing seems to work.  The guest service that you and I get, observe and hear about is still poor.  Let’s make this clear: Great Guest service is not that hard.  In fact, it is so simple that it’s embarrassing that we need to talk about it.

This is all it takes: Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it and the way you said you were going to do it.  That’s it…oh yeah, and be nice about it.  Now, that’s it!  If you make a promise, keep it.  If you give your word, don’t go back on it.  If you say you are going to be there, be there – and be there when you said you were going to be there.  If you mess up, admit it and accept the consequences.  And if someone is giving you money for a product or service, at least be a little grateful and friendly to them.

It is critical, if we intend to be the best, if we are going to purposely live out the mission of H5H “to create dining experiences worth celebrating and that demand loyalty”, then we must embrace the mindset and put into action (verb) SERVE. 

Will you join me, and others, this year as we share the why and live out our 2022 theme? Let’s set our organization apart from the mediocrity that is all around us.

“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.  If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.  If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.  If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.”