Hospitality Lessons From the Big Easy

Mardi Gras Mask

With its distinctive food, language and traditions, there is a mysterious quality  that annually draws people by the thousands to the city of New Orleans. New Orleans has an air of continuous celebration and why not! This city and its people have survived disease, hurricanes, floods, primitive conditions and numerous wars. Surviving and thriving is cause for celebration! How can you overcome and leverage your obstacles in the likeness of The Big Easy? While there is a uniqueness that is indigenous to New Orleans you can create your own irresistible draw that will increase room blocks and keep your guests returning year after year!

Survive and thrive with the mojo of New Orleans by incorporating these four big and easy lessons.

Lesson 1: Share Your Culture with Pride

The residents of New Orleans are very proud of their heritage and their culture. Guests experience this culture immediately in the architecture, the food, the music, the language, the traditions and in the activities. From arrival to departure, the Cajun and Creole influences touch everything. New Orleans is noted for its total mix of ethnicities that have held onto their past traditions and languages. What culture are you presenting? Create one that immediately speaks to the guests; one that sparks additional interest and mystery.

Lesson 2: Leverage a Rich History and Tradition

I tell anyone that I know who is going to New Orleans, if you want to learn about the beginnings of this charming city, attend a class at The New Orleans School of Cooking. I was amazed at the depth of history and tradition that I picked up in just three short hours. How can you leverage your past and share your traditions? Consider offering an activity on your property that will make learning about your history and traditions fun and impactful, leaving guests with a feeling that they want to know more (which means they will just have to return)!

Lesson 3: Offer Unique and Delicious Food

Spanish, French and African influences contribute to the delicious New Orleans melting pot. You can’t get flavors like this anywhere in the world. How can you incorporate the flavors of your traditions and culture into your outlets and your banquet menus? A complete overhaul of the menus is not required. A one of a kind appetizer provided to every dining guest complimentary or an amenity in every guest room upon arrival that reflects the "tastes" of your culture can put you on the map! Your inimitable food will get people talking. Future guests will come simply to taste and experience what is uniquely you! Café au lait, beignets, crawfish etouffee, muffaletta, red beans and rice. Yum. Can’t wait to get back!

Lesson 4: Integrate Leisure Interests That Bring it Home

No visit would be complete to New Orleans without a visit to the French Quarter; Café du Monde, Marie Laveau’s, Jackson Square, and Pat O'Brien's. Even a gator swamp tour if you are brave enough! And New Orleans has a nightlife that is world renowned! Fais do-do on Bourbon Street, a street that gives you that Mardi Gras feeling every day. In addition, there are many opportunities for goodwill and giving back to the community. What activities representative of your culture and traditions can you present to your planners that enhance the total guest experience including "giving back"?

You can't talk about New Orleans without talking about the culture, the great food, the exceptional night life, traditional activities, a rich history and how people are contributing to that community. New Orleans has it tied up in a neat package! By incorporating something from each of the four lessons shared here, you can create your own package of experiences that will make planners ask "Who Dat!" Translate the mystery of New Orleans into your own Joie de Vivre group travel marketing mojo and keep guests coming back year after year!

Be noticed as a property where groups want to be on Cvent's Destination Guide!

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