While many hospitality providers think about the operation as a theatrical performance where much work needs to happen behind the scenes, Hans Pfister views it differently at Cayuga Collection.
“One of the things that we’ve done for many years is providing complimentary back-of-house tours. We believe in operating completely transparently. There are no areas that are a no-go for guests. Our tours take guests through the kitchen, through the laundry room, and through our recycling and wastewater treatment plant. We show them where employees eat and stay. This has a huge impact on our guests because they understand what it takes to operate in a truly sustainable way.”
Doing this also allows Cayuga’s back-of-house staff to interact with guests. This is good for both the guests and the staff to get to know each other as people and have an appreciation for the environment they are creating.
“I want my guests to get to know our gardeners, maintenance people, and others that would typically work behind the scenes.“
For Cayuga’s staff members, this instills a sense of meaning and shows that what they do really matters. “It’s a way for us to pay attention to them and honor them in the role they play in creating this experience.”
It’s almost like the chef‘s table at a restaurant: the production process is a performance in itself. You leave with an appreciation for all of the work and artistry that goes into that experience.
“It turns our satisfied guests into raving fans,” Hans said. “Sometimes guests take two hours to go through the tour because they talk so much and want to interact with every member of our team. But they come out of it changed and want to tell their friends and people on social media. It’s played a big role in spreading the word on what we’re doing.”