What Is Hospitality? The Current Answer Doesn’t Work.
One of my last restaurant meals before the shutdowns started last year was at Swan Oyster Depot in San Francisco. I waited on the street by a fishy-smelling puddle until I was waved toward a seat at the well-worn counter.
Unlike service, which is technical and easy to describe, hospitality is abstract, harder to define. It can't be summed up in a checklist. It can't be bought. It doesn't hinge on the quality of the glassware, or the folding of a napkin while you're in the bathroom. And it can't be eroded by a slightly-longer-than-you-expected wait, or other little inconveniences, like picking a piece of crab shell off your tongue.