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If you haven’t read Will Guidara’s book, “Unreasonable Hospitality: The Remarkable Power of Giving People More Than They Expect”, I would strongly recommend you do.  In an increasingly competitive world, businesses strive to differentiate themselves in ways that are memorable and impactful. Will Guidara’s practiced method, that has gained much traction recently, is the concept of “unreasonable hospitality.” This approach, which pushes the boundaries of traditional customer service, aims to create extraordinary experiences that leave a lasting impression on guests. We’re exploring the essence of unreasonable hospitality, its significance, and how it can transform any business, especially the meetings and events industry.

The Essence of Unreasonable Hospitality

Unreasonable hospitality is about going above and beyond the basic expectations of customers. It involves anticipating needs, personalizing experiences, and delivering service that feels almost extravagant. Will Guidara, a prominent advocate for this approach, emphasizes that it’s not about offering luxuries, but about creating moments of genuine connection and delight.  In Guidara’s book, Unreasonable Hospitality, he discusses the differences between service and hospitality as service being black and white, and hospitality is color. We can be efficient and effective at a certain service but it takes hospitality to make your customer’s feel great about what they are experiencing.

The Significance of Unreasonable Hospitality

  1. Creating Emotional Connections: In today’s market, where products and services can be easily replicated, the emotional connection a customer feels with a brand can be a major differentiator. Unreasonable hospitality fosters these connections by making customers feel valued and cared for in unique ways.
  2. Building Loyalty: Exceptional hospitality can turn customers into loyal advocates. When people experience something extraordinary, they are more likely to return and recommend the business to others. This word-of-mouth marketing is invaluable and can significantly boost a business’s reputation and reach.
  3. Enhancing Brand Image: Companies known for their exceptional hospitality are often viewed more favorably. This positive perception can enhance a brand’s image, making it more attractive to potential customers and partners.

Implementing Unreasonable Hospitality

  1. Empowering Employees: Staff should be trained and empowered to make decisions that enhance the customer experience. This means giving them the autonomy to go above and beyond in service without needing to seek approval for every action.
  2. Personalization: Understanding and anticipating customer needs is crucial. This can be achieved through collecting feedback, observing customer behavior, and leveraging data analytics. Personalized service makes customers feel special and appreciated.
  3. Attention to Detail: Small gestures can have a big impact. Remembering a guest’s name, preferences, or celebrating special occasions can make them feel valued. These details show that the business cares about more than just the transaction.

Case Studies of Unreasonable Hospitality

  • Eleven Madison Park: Under Will Guidara’s leadership, this New York City restaurant became renowned for its exceptional hospitality. From personalized welcome notes to impromptu birthday celebrations, the restaurant’s approach transformed ordinary dining into memorable experiences.
  • Ritz-Carlton: Known for its legendary customer service, Ritz-Carlton empowers its employees to spend up to $2,000 per guest to resolve issues and enhance their stay. This policy demonstrates a commitment to going above and beyond for their guests.


Unreasonable hospitality is a powerful tool for businesses looking to stand out in a crowded market. By creating extraordinary experiences, companies can foster deep emotional connections, build loyalty, and enhance their brand image. While it requires effort and commitment, the rewards in customer satisfaction and business growth are well worth it. As more businesses embrace this approach, the bar for customer service will continue to rise, leading to richer and more memorable experiences for everyone involved.


  1. Guidara, Will. “Unreasonable Hospitality: The Remarkable Power of Giving People More Than They Expect.”
  2. Harvard Business Review. “The Human Moment at Work.”
  3. McKinsey & Company. “The Value of Customer Experience, Quantified.”
  4. Accenture. “Personalization Pulse Check.”
  5. Customers That Stick. “Ritz-Carlton Employees Are Allowed to Spend $2,000 Without Approval to Make a Guest’s Stay Perfect.”
  6. CNN. “How Eleven Madison Park Becomes the World’s Best Restaurant.”

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