Whether it's a hotel, coffee shop, theme park, grocery store, health provider or other business, good service is expressed in a number of subtle ways.
A few years ago, when I was traveling a lot, I found myself in Redding California. The hotel I chose was convenient, quiet, clean and recently upgraded.
On check in, it also offered this photo at the front desk.
Jack the hotel cat. As the sign reads, Jack originally came to the hotel with a family relocating to the area.
His owners were unable to keep Jack and so he stayed at the hotel, which became his adopted home. Jack now acts as the hotel's greeter and mascot.
I'm an animal lover, and have a family of fur children at home. I'm the guy who asks if I can pet your dog while you’re out walking him. So for me, Jack is a win. I immediately asked about Jack and where he might be. Sure enough, Jack was getting a sunbath just outside the main entrance. Unloading my car, I chatted with Jack, who was, typical of cats, aloof and just a tad bit uninterested in me.. Nice touch.
After returning from a quick dinner in nearby downtown Redding, I observed Jack making his rounds through the hotel and even heading into a nearby field to perhaps hunt some field mice.
Next morning at check out, I was delighted to see Jack sitting on the main counter, greeting guests and bidding fond farewells to those of us heading out.
Cute. Yet I wondered how having Jack in the hotel impacts other guest's visits.
I was reminded of my late grandpa, who grew up on a Midwest farm in the early part of the 20th century and who thought of cats as strictly outdoor creatures. He would not have liked Jack sitting on the lobby counter..
I didn't have a chance to ask, but I wonder how many guests Jack surprises in a negative way? The hotel does allow pets in some guest rooms. And one online review mentions the 'friendly cat' in a positive way.
Still, I wonder. Service features at a hotel like a swimming pool, fitness center and free breakfast are typically slam-dunks. But a cat?
What are your thoughts on Jack the Greeter Cat at a hotel? Is this a hit or miss? Please leave your comments below. PS: According to his Facebook page, in April 2018, Jack was was getting old and so was retired from greeter duty in Redding and was returned to his original owners, where he is apparently doing well.