How to show welcoming smiles behind your hotel staff masks

As part of the hotel and lodging industry’s effort to help guests feel safe about traveling during the current COVID-19 pandemic era, nearly all are requiring hotel staff to wear facemasks.

However, one down-side is of course the fact that our colleagues can no longer share their warm and welcoming smiles as they greet guests at the front entrance, pass by them in hallways and corridors or when serving them in dining and recreational outlets. 

Lately, as our trainers have been conducting our “Heart of Hospitality” Certification webcam coaching sessions, many of our participating candidates are expressing that while they recognise the importance of wearing masks, they also feel bad that no one sees their smiles anymore. 

Certainly, a warm and welcoming smile is expressed by a full face and not just the mouth and chin area, and welcoming remarks spoken authentically also help communicate the spirit of hospitality.

However, we wanted to share very simple training tips that seems to be going over well for our hospitality training and certification clients:

  • First, take photos of your staff members in uniform while briefly removing their masks and flashing their genuine, welcoming smiles we all so badly miss seeing. This does not have to be a professional photoshoot, as an “organic” image may seem more authentic than a professional photoshopped image. Just pick a solid color background such as a wall or curtains.
  • Next, crop the photos to zoom-in mostly on the face as one would do for a headshot or passport photo.
  • Then print these pictures on a color printer for immediate use so you can get in the game today, and order better quality copies such as from an online photo printing service or at a local pharmacy chain. I recommend a 4 x 6 size that can be trimmed with scissors, or a sheet of wallet- size pictures.
  • From there, you can simply tape the picture to hang from the bottom of most name tags or attach to your staff’s uniforms with tape or safety pins.
  • For a more sophisticated looking presentation, order name badge holders that can either hang from a lanyard or bulldog clip.

Image Credits: ©sosiukin –

Doug Kennedy

Doug Kennedy is president of the Kennedy Training Network. Doug's articles are originally published in” and Accom News shares them with permission.

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