Good Ideas: Hospitality Journal

Do you enjoy pulling together beautiful meals and serving delicious food to friends and family? Would you like to get a little bit better at exercising hospitality?

At a recent conference on hospitality, one of the speakers shared her way of remembering those she fed and what she served. She keeps a journal noting who came to a meal, what the menu was, any special needs, and whether the food was a hit or a bust. It’s a great way to remember all the joys of hospitality past, but it’s also an excellent tool to know who likes what (and who needs to avoid what).

One way that we show love to each other is by noticing and remembering likes and dislikes. If you know your friend doesn’t like pizza at all, you won’t keep suggesting the local pizza place for lunch. You wouldn’t want to bring chicken noodle soup to a sick vegan friend, would you? Better to nix the peanut butter cookies for the family with a nut allergy. These things matter, and any effort we make to consider them for others is part of loving our neighbor.

A simple notebook (or spreadsheet, if you prefer) will allow you to track guests, menus, and preferences. It doesn’t need to be elaborate, just your notes.

Further benefit
If you are getting to know new friends, notes on the conversation will help you connect details with names and faces as you go along. You will more easily remember that John and Jody were the couple that lived in Iceland for a year, for instance. You are collecting memories as you go.

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