The New Mexico Hospitality Association in collaboration with the New Mexico Restaurant Association and the Jennifer Riordan Foundation have joined in a plea to the public to be patient, kind and respectful when dealing with hospitality and restaurant staff.

“We’re excited to see our hospitality and tourism businesses opened again, many of which are bringing new employees on board without much time to train,” said NMHA CEO Kathy Komoll. “We encourage patrons/customers to be patient with all the service people they come in contact with and remember that they are people, too, who are doing their best to serve guests.”

Many hotels and restaurants across the country, including in New Mexico, are dealing with staff shortages or are training new employees which may result in longer wait times and, sometimes, frustrated customers. The “Be Kind” campaign was launched to encourage guests to exercise patience, kindness and respect when patronizing hotels or restaurants.

“Restaurants are working to increase capacity and get back to pre-pandemic service levels, which means everyone from the hostess station to the wait staff to the back-of-house employees are working very hard, and many of them are learning a new job or starting a job in a new environment,” said NMRA CEO Carol Wight. “These workers haven proven themselves to be essential during the pandemic, so please show them the respect they deserve as they work to get our industry back on track.”

NMHA and NMRA are working on printed collateral for member businesses to help their employees manage customer expectations and proactively communicate with customers who may deal with wait times.

“It’s been an unbelievably difficult year, and we are all excited to be back enjoying all the unique and amazing experiences that New Mexico offers,” said Michael Riordan, president and CEO of the Jennifer Riordan Foundation. “Let’s remember to be kind and caring to those working hard to help us enjoy those experiences and offer service despite some less-than-ideal workforce challenges.”

NMHA, NMRA and the foundation offer the following tips to guests:
• Use the “Golden Rule”: Treat others as you would like to be treated;
• Tip generously if possible — many employees are working with less staff;
• Call ahead: Call restaurants ahead of time for wait times and changes in hours;
• Be aware of staff shortages; employees are working as efficiently as possible;
• Plan ahead. Allow for extra time when you go out;
• Be compassionate: Remember that the past year has been difficult for everyone.

The Be Kind campaign will be shared on social media and will continue through the summer. For more information about the Be Kind campaign, contact Kathy Komoll at 505-506-8624 or CEO@newmexicohospitality.org.