By Anthony Anton, CEO

We often talk about how we’re different: Democrat, Republican; Seattle, Moses Lake; UW, WSU. It feels like we’re always talking about our differences, but hospitality is the solution to bring all these differences together.

We are local people providing personal experiences to our guests, employees and community that become great memories.

Our hotels and restaurants have the gathering places and the dining room tables. We should exemplify what the Northwest can offer and define that as our desired guest experience. Wouldn’t it be cool if people around the world were talking about the Northwest experience as they do about the other areas of the world that are known for great hospitality?

The Northwest experience is showcasing one of the most beautiful parts of the world and its incredible resources. It’s our salmon, shellfish, cooking talents, natural beauty, incredible creativity—all that kind of stuff. It’s casual – there’s no pretense about the Northwest. Suits and ties are not who we are.

The Northwest experience can be consistent from Walla Walla to Tacoma to Seattle to the San Juans.

Talk to your team members about how they each exemplify the following concepts in showing incredible customer service through the Northwest experience. Here are some concepts I see:

  • Relaxed, casual attitude.
  • Showing off the outdoors.
  • Being proud of what our area produces.
  • Giving a guest a better day.
  • Passion.

Let’s talk about passion, specifically. The Northwest experience could be all about how we share our passions with our guests.

I love when I’m in a restaurant and a server is clearly passionate about what she or he does. Or when I’m in a hotel and the person walking down the hallway with a nametag on starts talking to me about a part of their community they love and encourage me to experience it.

At a restaurant, the other day, I asked my server, “What should I try that’s different?” She passionately said, “Oh, my God you have to have this dish — it’s so good. We do this and it’s made with this Northwest ingredient here and our cook….” I mean, her eyes lit up.

So you ask me about the Northwest experience? It’s when someone combines what our area has to offer with something they truly love, and they care that I am listening to them.

How about you? How would you and your team define the Northwest experience? And how can your team deliver it for your guests?

The Northwest experience already exists in what we’re doing every day. Taking the time to better define what it is and what it looks like in your business gets us one step closer to sending our guests home thinking, “Man, I can’t wait to return again and experience the Northwest.”

(May 2019 Magazine)