What can hospitality operators learn from the US and Thailand?


What can hospitality operators learn from the US and Thailand?

Thai waitresses holding plates of food

With Brexit on the horizon and the predicted influx of visitors to the country, it's time for UK operators to review guest expectations. According to our research, there could be a lesson to be learned about perceptions of hospitality from the USA and Thailand.

We asked a group of UK residents and overseas visitors: which country or culture stands out as being the most hospitable? America and Thailand were the clear winners with the UK placing a respectable third. Italy and the Caribbean also made the top five. Our research also revealed that, in terms of restaurants that best reflect the culture of the cuisine they offer, Thailand took the crown again, beating India and France.

Steven Pike, our MD, commented: "It's very encouraging that the UK is in the top three but, with Visit Britain forecasting 4% growth in overseas visits to 38.1 million and visitor spending increasing by 8.1% to £24.1 billion, UK operators should examine why the US and Thailand stand out and what lessons can be learned."

One UK operator that creatively harnesses the positive perception of Thai hospitality is street food restaurant, Thaikhun - the successful casual dining chain bases its guest experience on four intrinsic Thai values: Jai Sai - care from the heart; Samekee - togetherness; Sanook - fun; and Hoa Dao - service excellence.

"There are lots of examples of creative practice throughout the industry - Thaikhun being just one of these," Pike continued. "If we look at brands taking learnings from American hospitality, which led the way in our poll, Hard Rock Cafe stands out having built an international brand renowned for US-style service, authentic dining and memorable entertainment.

"What's important is that each member of the team is briefed to live and breathe a brand's values as part of their induction and then looks to implement them wherever possible as part of the ongoing guest experience."

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