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Southern comfort: Attitude and training breed local hospitality (access required)

By Sam Boykin In inspired moments of sly calculation, Becky Farris sometimes will drop her pen. Then Farris, the general manager at the Duke Mansion, will watch as the job applicant she is interviewing wonders what to do. Like hospitality providers throughout the Charlotte area, the Duke Mansion, a historic bed and breakfast in Myers Park, requires employees to offer service, and a dropped pen is an opportunity to do just that. “Do they just look at it,” Farris said, “or do they offer to pick it up?” A picked-up pen is a little thing, but local hospitality specialists meticulously point out that exemplary service is not necessarily a grand gesture; rather the people who truly will serve know to smile at the right time, greet guests by name, even choose words as carefully as they choose a spouse.

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