‘Reading the air’

Thank you to my new Penn State hospitality friend, Ang — originally from China — who shared with me a Japanese concept that can be translated as “reading the air.”

“It emphasizes the comprehension of atmosphere and help when needed,” Ang says. “One example will be when one is on a bus sitting with two empty seats next to them,  and a couple goes on the bus. He or she can move to the empty seat on any side to save two jointed seats for the couple to sit together. I think it can be connected with the quality of service in hospitality business. And I believe this skill of understanding for someone in need of help can be trained to become an ‘unconsciously aware’ stage, like a habit for employees.”

I was grateful for her insight, which made me appreciate even more the enthusiasm many young students are taking toward our industry.

What are you doing to “read the air” for your customers? Are you training your new hires to observe what service is needed?

MPD: “Comprehend the atmosphere” to see what service you can offer.