4* Service vs. 5* Service

People in all sorts of businesses, from small and large office based companies, convenience stores, cafes to sporting teams are always expected to perform well as individuals and as a group to hit targets and win games or matches. My article however is about what separates the very good and the exceptional. Over the past fourteen years I have had the privilege to have been able to work in both four and five star environments from hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and private households.

The differences between the two are very different, like chalk and cheese. Four star establishments are usually highly reputable, have very good reviews, highly trained staff and lovely facilities. In a five star establishment however customers demand superior service each and every minute, no matter what the service or request and no matter what time it is, staff in these establishments are continuously mentored and reviewed, they are also always recognized and praised on their achievements, commending staff on excellence encourages excellence, and rewarding excellence encourages excellence.

It is important that all of the team have the mentality that the establishment or company is their own, that they all have a stake in the company’s rise or fall. Good or very good is never good enough in a five star property, management always push their team to perform better and staff should always push each other. A five star service is all about the individual or businesses’ mindset not just about company policies and procedures, it's about customer expectations, and exceeding these expectations in every way, every day without thinking about doing so, it must be second nature.

How can we implement a five star mindset? First of all we must be very clear that providing a five star service is not about a distinction or award, it is all about our mentality, a way of how we work, our discipline, passion and most of all, the attitude that even the smallest task must be carried out to the highest standard with the utmost commitment, passion and pride. If you find yourself thinking“Well that will be OK” or “It’s not too bad” then you do not have the five star mentality.  I think it is also important to remember that you do not need to be working in a five star establishment to have a five star mindset, for example, the café down the road has exceptional service and incredible food, they go above and beyond your expectations each and every time you go for a coffee and a snack, and more commonly airlines, these are not officially recognized as five star environments however most, not all airlines I have been on, regardless of class always provide a five star service and are always trying to go above and beyond for you.

It is very important that staff take ownership of their roles and responsibilities; passion, dedication and pride are all huge attributes in achieving impeccable levels of service, if you do not have these you should consider a career change. These levels of service do not necessarily always come from the staff you would expect, sometimes the cleaner who cleans your room and leaves a personal message on your bed or the maintenance staff who come and fix your air conditioning at 1am when they were due to finish work after a fourteen hour shift, these staff members might not be the highest paid, nor hold the highest of positions within the business however it’s their passion, dedication, pride and gratitude that drives them to exceed customer expectations. A five star establishment must strive to give customers a memorable experience, exceeding expectations daily, always going above and beyond for their customers, not just once a week or once a month, every single day, multiple times.

It is important that we focus on providing the customer with a special service, providing them with special moments with tailored and intelligent personal engagement. It is important that the guest recalls each moment time and time again in the future, perhaps when they get home and talk to their partner or when they return on their next visit and recognise you, that is how we create a special and memorable experience, that is a five star experience and service.

Challenge everybody within your team to take ownership and follow through on guest requests each and every time, no matter how small, commit to these requests with passion, dedication and a positive attitude, and strive to be better yourself and your colleagues. 

And remember, very good is not good enough, only excellence will do….


Thank you for taking the time to read my article, if you have any feedback or comments please leave them below or contact me either using my email address, via the LinkedIn messaging system or my website.

Kindest regards,

Adam Green


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