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Craguns 2017

Local Golf
July 22, 2017

The Twin Cities Hospitality Happiness Factor - Arthur Morrissey Of Morrissey Hospitality Companies
Arthur Morrissey, left, and his dad, Bill of Morrissey Hospitality
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Arthur Morrissey, left, and his dad, Bill of Morrissey Hospitality
Kendall's Tavern & Chophouse
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Kendall's Tavern & Chophouse
Tim Cotroneo

Describe how you're feeling when you walk into a restaurant. What vibe occurs upon entering your vacation hotel? Usually you're happy to be going out to eat or starting a vacation. Arthur Morrissey feels it's imperative that you're still feeling good after leaving one of his Morrissey Hospitality restaurants or hotels.

"People are upbeat and excited when they enter The St. Paul Grill, Pazzaluna, Tria, the Headwaters Café, The Saint Paul Hotel, Kendall's Tavern & Chophouse, Grandstay in Luverne, Crossings in Parkers Prairie, Hillcrest Golf Club, and Home2 in Eagan. It's our team's job to not take that feeling for granted. If we do everything right, our customers continue smiling long after they've returned home," Morrissey said.

How a restaurant or hotel looks, sounds, or even smells often is only noticed when something negative occurs. The truth is, there is a real science to meeting or exceeding a customer's first impression expectations. Tee Times Magazine sat down with Morrissey at the recently renovated Kendall's Tavern & Chophouse at Bunker Hills Golf Club to learn what makes some of our state's most recognizable brands tick.

Cleaning Up on Hospitality
"I started working at The Saint Paul Hotel when I was 16 years old. My Dad managed the hotel and he would get on me to make sure the edges of each room were clean. He would ask if I had swept the crumbs from the where the carpet meets the floor moulding! He felt that food presentation went beyond what was on your plate. A restaurant or event center's entire environment plays a part into whether a dining customer had a good, bad, or neutral experience," Morrissey said.

Excellent hospitality is so ingrained in Morrissey that intimate details of restaurant or hotel operation strategy flow like a fine wine from one of his restaurants extensive cellars. Morrissey shared that alleviating any concerns a customer may have starts by "going the extra mile." If a customer calls a Morrissey establishment with a question, whether it's about a reservation, menu item, or even an upcoming wedding reception, whomever communicates with this customer needs to do everything possible to make that customer's life easier. Customers conduct repeat business with people they like.

One of the ways MHC instills core hospitality skills and loyalty among their 1,300 employees is by feeding them. "Before each shift in a restaurant, we feed employees. This is a great time for employees to learn the finer details of our menu items, bond with co-workers, and share guest experiences. As we discover situations in which a team member did something right, we share these ideas with employees throughout the company. Everyone learns, including management," Morrissey said.

Getting Social In 2016
A recent Morrissey brand success story is Kendall's Tavern & Chophouse located at Bunker Hills Golf Course. The restaurant features a beautiful indoor/outdoor dining experience with tables pointed toward an all glass exterior looking out on Bunker Hills' 54 holes of championship golf. The restaurant has always jumped on Fridays and Saturdays. Now the balance of the week at Kendall's is trending upward. Through involvement with the community, social media buzz, Tee Times magazine and word of mouth, Kendall's is riding a positive winter wave into the upcoming golf season.

Social media is something that Morrissey embraces. The game plan starts with an emphasis on mixing with the communities surrounding their restaurants and hotels. "We see our Social Media Coordinator as an ambassador representing our brands. One example is St. Patrick's Day. This holiday isn't emphasized as much at Kendall's, Tria, or Hillcrest Golf Club. Then again, St. Paddy's is a big deal at The St. Paul Grill and Pazzaluna in downtown St. Paul. Our social media person not only participated in the parade, he visited Pazzaluna to discuss customers' thought processes on celebrating an Irish holiday at an Italian restaurant. The photos, feedback, and tweets are a great way to build our brand," Morrissey said.

A hotel and restaurant's décor, menu, layout, and scents all go a long way toward addressing the wants and needs of a customer. At Kendall's restaurant, it's hard not to detect a hint of chicken cooking on the rotisserie oven. Morrissey team members are minutely tweaking what works and what doesn't on a daily basis. Two perfect examples are the additional seating space just to Kendall's bar and creation of Mully's Tap Shack, a concession and bar area with a patio for golfers at Bunker Hills..

Morrissey Hospitality Company, Inc. started in 1995, and the company has grown its family of brands by building on success stories and through innovation. Whether Tria Restaurant is hosting a Beer & Bites event, Kendall's is saying thanks to moms on Mother's Day, or The Saint Paul Hotel is catering a memorable wedding or business group, the goal is to keep customers smiling. If Morrissey customers leave happy, Arthur Morrissey is happy.

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