We may be neat and clean usually but when Guests arrive at home, we strive to be our best. The way we keep our house, the way we dress, the way we extend our hospitality speaks a lot about ourselves. A good Host is admired as a good person, even if he/she is not so. We, human beings, are social creatures. Where we stand among our fellow beings marks where we can reach in life, as it is our fellow beings who give us opportunities to prove ourselves and also provide us with companionship.
As a salesman needs to please his customers, the service-man his boss, we all need to please Guests to maintain our positions in society. So how do we make our hospitality good enough to please our Guests? Here are a few tips.
- Even if not spotless, keeping a clean and neat house is necessary. A clean house pleases the sight of both the parties- host and guest and creates an Environment for amicable discussion. Mind me, you don’t want to remove clothes from your sofa when the prying eye of a Guest is on you. The living room should be always kept at the best in case of unexpected visitors. If you are expecting a guest, having clean sheets on your bed, the showcases dust free, and books and clothes arrange in order will help your case. After all the Guests would always want to have a look at your house. Why not keep it as such so that you can show off?
- Keep necessary things ready at hand. A towel and hand-wash near the sink, a coffee table beside the sofa, napkins, spoon and glasses on the dining table. Please repair any tap. Water is very essential and a tap that does not stop dripping, is an annoyance to Guests.
- Change your clothing. Do not wear your unwashed maxi, sleep-wear in the presence of guests. Do not also go for high priced outfits and make-up. You are at your home. A simple slacks and clean T-shirt would do. A simple salwaar kammez is also an option if you are comfortable with it. Oh! Do not forget to comb and tie your hair. It may keep falling in your face while serving.
- Serve some snacks. They may not want it or may pretend not to want it, but they will expect you to serve snacks.
- The safest option to serve at first is a drink- water, soda, juice, sherbet, tea or coffee- with or without sugar as they choose. Your Guests may actually have a full stomach so this avoids wastage of good food.
- Offer some snacks.
- Ask them to stay for supper or dinner(Not necessary).
- Take their choices into account. You don’t want to offer a selection of pastries and sweets to only find out they have diabetes.
- Another tip that may not apply for everyone, guests tend to like more delicious and costly food items in small quantities than the cheaper ones in large quantities.
- Try to serve healthy and tasty food. If you have to make a choice between the two, choose healthier food for over 30 people and tastier food for those below 30.
- Remember to take away the cutlery as soon as Guests are done with food and drinks.
- Always try to keep them company. You don’t want your guests to feel bored or feel that you lack an interest in them. Always direct the conversation to their favourite topics. Play music of their choice. Try to find out their tastes and hobbies. Direct children to play games on your computer or PlayStation or with any available toys. Keep everyone engaged.
- Always keep a smile on your face. You need to show your guests they are welcome.
7. Most of all, don’t try to please too much. Be yourself. Every person’s hospitality should have a unique flavor to it. If you like flowers, decorate your living room with fresh flowers- in bowls or baskets. If you are a curio collector, show your collection on the walls. If you are a good sports-person, show your awards in a gallery on the wall. This kind of uniqueness impresses people.
“Any celebration meal to which guests are invited, be they family or friends, should be an occasion for generous hospitality.“- Julian Baggini