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Sometimes Being Unreasonable Is a Good Thing

We all know that living in a service-oriented economy has its perks, but let’s be honest, lately, good service is rare, no matter the industry. We’ve mostly learned to accept sub-par customer experiences as the norm, so when exceptional service and genuine care come our way, it’s a breath of fresh air.  Like most of us, I’ve ridden the roller coaster from disappointing letdowns to the complete satisfaction that comes with top-notch service.  Being a member of an award-winning private club, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the magic of a philosophy that embodies extraordinary service: “The answer is yes, what is the question?” This simple yet profound principle is like a secret ingredient that sets the club miles apart. Believe me, it’s not just the awards; it’s the unwavering commitment to maintaining an incredible standard that keeps us coming back for more.

A few years back, while soaking up the sun in the Dominican Republic, a friend who knew the place like the back of his hand guided me. Thanks to him, I got to see the island from a local’s perspective. He took me to a roadside restaurant that didn’t boast much from the outside and was even less impressive inside. Despite my reservations, I ordered the fish and groused when the waiter said that they were fresh out of plantains, a classic side dish. So, we were surprised when our plates arrived, each garnished with a side of plantains. The waiter understood our disappointment and dashed off to a roadside vendor to purchase plantains. This simple act cost the restaurant next to nothing, yet it earned the waiter a hefty tip. It wasn’t just about the gesture; it was about the thoughtfulness that went beyond the call of duty. Little did I know, this was my first encounter with “unreasonable hospitality.”

Then came a Ted Talk featuring Will Guidara, the restaurateur and author who knows a thing or two about service excellence. His book “Unreasonable Hospitality” uncovers the secrets behind crafting unforgettable dining experiences. It’s no wonder his restaurants have climbed the ranks to become beacons of stellar service.

Here at J2, service isn’t just a checkbox—it’s part of our DNA. Whether it’s our clients, consultants, team members, or partners, Sanjay and I treat them as extensions of ourselves. It’s the golden rule in action.

Unreasonable hospitality is a simple but transformative concept.  It’s about nurturing the human spirit with empathy, kindness, creativity, joy, and presence. Picture a world where this philosophy is the norm for businesses, communities, and individuals.  The practice doesn’t have to be perfect; any step to go the extra mile makes a difference and could spark reciprocal efforts (e.g., paying it forward), strengthen relationships and build unity.  Unreasonable hospitality is like the guide to building connections that truly matter, enabling all of us to thrive.

So, as you gear up for the weekend, take a moment to savor the memories of exceptional service that have colored your experiences.  And consider a pledge to sprinkle a touch of unreasonable hospitality into our everyday interactions. It might sound like a stretch, but just imagine the impact of those simple acts of care and kindness. Sometimes, being unreasonable can be incredibly good—in the right context!

“There are few things that will energize you more than seeing the look of complete joy on someone’s face when they receive a gift you are responsible for giving them.” – Will Guidara

Wishing you a weekend full of kindness and remarkable connections.