Kindness~ Not foolishness, but character

coffee and bread

The image is from

My last job required me to travel to Germany several times a year. Every time I went there, I stayed in the same simple and clean business hotel. Next to the lobby counter, there was a small table with lemon ice water and disposable cups, which customers could enjoy free of charge. Sometimes in the morning, they would also serve coffee, milk, and freshly baked croissants to guests who were running late for work.

These free offerings were directly in conflict with the interests of the hotel restaurant. In other words, if customers had free drinks, they were less likely to purchase beverages in the hotel’s cafe. Likewise, if free croissants would eventually become available, one might choose to skip breakfast altogether.

I once asked the hotel manager what they were thinking by engaging in such practices. He smiled and told me that he had studied hotel management in England. During one class, the teacher invited the general manager of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel to give a lecture. The general manager said to the students: “In a good hotel, the staff will fulfill your verbal requests. However, in an excellent hotel, you don’t even need to state your request. In this instance, the restaurant management works to increase customer loyalty rather than profit. Therefore, the shrewdest business practice is to be kind to your patrons.”

After the hotel manager finished talking about the philosophy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, he smiled and said to me: “Our restaurant has never lost much revenue due to the free coffee and bread. However, because of this free service, our guests are more tolerant of our shortcomings. They are willing to believe that our issues are due to our inability to be perfect, rather than because we don’t care.”

I was quite relieved to hear that their generosity did not hurt them financially.

Kindness is not a synonym for weakness or fear. On the contrary, it is a symbol of how we are willing to do our best to make others feel welcome, despite our shortcomings. If we show such consideration to others, they will return the favor.

The above is the translated article from a Chinese post on




有一次我跟櫃台的經理聊天,想知道它們的想法是什麼。他笑著跟我說,他在英國念旅館管理,有一堂課,老師請The Ritz-Carlton Hotel 的總經理來講課,這位總經理對他們說:「如果你走進一家好的酒店,提出一個要求,你就會被滿足。如果你走進一家極好的酒店,你甚至不需要提出要求。因為,真正飯店經營的精明,不是利潤,而是客戶的忠誠度。經商,貌似靠的是精明,其實,精明的極致,是厚道。」


那天他說完了The Ritz-Carlton Hotel 哲學後,微笑地對我說:「我們從來沒有因為擺放了咖啡麵包,而讓我們的餐廳受到多大的損失,我們卻因為這樣,讓我們的客人包容了我們不足的地方,他們願意相信我們做不好的地方,絕不是因為我們不上心。




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