Hospitality Hive

Updates, opinions, and news for anyone working in Orlando's Hospitality community

7 easy-peasy random acts of kindness to brighten the holiday season

. . .and, here in the Hive, we believe that’s always a very good thing.  Of course, ‘RaK’s’ are welcome any day of the year, but for some reason as we approach the twin goodness of Thanksgiving and the mother-of-all holidays that closely follows, it seems even more pertinent to acknowledge the need to pay it forward – if only in the tiniest of ways – as much as possible.  So, in the spirit of being grateful for a multitude of things, how about trying a week’s worth of random acts of kindness?  To get you started, here are seven easy ones that are basic and inexpensive but could leave lasting impressions:HH Gift Cert small_41850038
1. Purchase some $5 gift certificates from your favorite fast food establishments, place them in individual envelopes and keep them in your car where they will be easy to pass on to someone in need as you pass them on the street.  Even better if you’ve also written a personal note of encouragement to that nameless person who will maybe be able to have one hot meal that day.

HH teacups small__24090698622.  Have a cup of tea and a little conversation with a housebound neighbor.  It’s only one cup, but it could be the deed that finally brightens their day and takes the weight of loneliness off, if only for that brief visit.  Bonus points if you bring some home made cookies or cake along with those tea bags.

HH conversation small_55052291733.  Make a point to actually listen and be present for an entire conversation with someone you love, and try really hard to do this in a zone of non-judgment.

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4.  Take a garbage bag with you on a daily walk and just do what needs to be done to make Mother Earth a better place.

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5.  Speaking of Mother Earth, wrap yourself up on one of these cool nights and spend some time silently staring at the stars.  This random act is for you and your weary, overworked soul.

HH notecard small_68434069556.  Send a card, note of encouragement or thanks to someone who needs a lift.  Even an email delivered via cyberspace holds weight if it says something meaningful.

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7.  Buy a favorite game or toy that you identify with good memories from your youth and put it in the Toys for Tots (www.toysfortots.com)  bin in honor of the joy it once brought you; then say a little prayer that the good karma of your own happy memories travels along with it to new owners.

The possibilities for your own combination of RaK are endless, and hopefully these simple ideas are already sparking some personal ones of your own choosing.  Whatever you do, make sure it’s done with intention.  Selfless acts can have positive effects on so many levels, now and any time of the year, so pick your season, remove the noise in your life, and perform a simple miracle or two.  Maybe even load up with a week full.

Remember that every day, we’re creating with both our actions and inactions,  the world in which we live.

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The Four Seasons – Luxury, Ambience and a Food Truck?

That’s right, a food truck.  Who knew?  For most people (myself included) familiar with the Four Seasons message of over-the-top luxury, the tag-along of a food truck would never be in the same sentence.  Yet here I am writing about both – www.fourseasonsorlando.com AND www.fourseasonsfoodtrucktour.com One from the standpoint of ‘been there, experienced that’ and the other, well, guess I’ll have to wait until that food truck rolls back into Orlando again because by the time I got wind of it, the Fours Season’s Sponsored Food Truck was well on its way to rollin’ down the highway to another destination.  Yes, I know what you’re thinking now.  Pity me.  It means this story is mostly about my recent dining experience at the recently opened Capa (www.fourseasonsorlandocapa.com), located on top of the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World, aka the newest addition to Orlando’s luxury hotel scene.

Capa, New Rooftop Restaurant Venue at Four Seasons Resort Orlando

Capa, New Rooftop Restaurant Venue at Four Seasons Resort Orlando

Yeah okay, it was a bit of a rough night. . . . .

And by that I’m only referring to the drive out there and actually finding the place.  (Hey, it was slightly dark and this hotel is in a rather ‘mysterious’, newly designated area called Golden Oak at WDW, only accessible via a gated entrance.) Once we arrived and went inside, well, pity me no more.  Let’s just say it was a truly lovely experience dining in the two-week-old rooftop restaurant Capa, billed as a contemporary Spanish steakhouse, with both indoor and outdoor seating.  And yes, if you time your reservations right you can view the fireworks from this glorious perch that one might also refer to as a safe haven from all those tourists ‘out there’.

So, it all began with this:

Specially created by  Includes Scottish gin, edible flowers, raspberry, red apple, Key lime, fennel fronds and juniper berries and was created by the team at Michael Chiarello’s restaurant, La Coqueta, it includes Scottish gin, edible flowers, raspberry, red apple, Key lime, fennel fronds and juniper berries.

Capa’s Signature Gin and Tonic

Moved on to this:

Yeah, baby!

40 day dry aged, 16 oz., Bone-In Prime Rib Eye

Followed up by this:

Dessert at Capa Nov 2014

Fancy-schmancy dessert presentation, and trust me, it was yummy!

No. Complaints. At. All.  Nor should there be when someone else is paying (DISCLOSURE, since I know you’re curious, this dinner was not hosted by the Four Seasons), and you are gourmet-dining in a restaurant that overlooks a magical kingdom where both mice and men (and zillions of hyper-active kids who are literally out of their minds with happiness, sigh) rule the world.  But on the 17th floor of the Four Season’s Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World there was only peace and quiet, appropriate atmosphere music with an international flair, ambience and hospitality galore, along with incredible smells coming from the open kitchen grill area.  Oh yes, and delicious food that was delicately prepared and artfully presented.  Here is another example of the true meaning of ‘artfully presented’:

Jamón de bellota, cured for 36 months in Spain and fed only acorns during the last period

Jamón de bellota, cured for 36 months in Spain and fed only acorns during the last period. And the Chef shaves it for you right there on the counter.

And truthfully, those are the expectations of most people when they think of the Four Season’s brand.  But, how about that food truck business?  How on earth does the affluent international hotel empire go from, well, uber luxury to a traveling food truck?  Glad you asked, and here’s the simple answer:  it’s a brilliant marketing concept to bring that indulgent brand down to the people.  And that, my friends, is what hospitality is all about.  Finding and meeting needs.  At its best, this includes service with a smile at an affordable price.  And since many will never be able to afford an actual stay at a Four Season’s resort (check out their hotel room rates and you decide), that traveling food truck is bringing a taste of their experience to everyone.  In fact, the tour is also known as the Four Season’s Taste Truck Tour, successfully bringing this message to the masses.  Did I mention I think that is brilliant on their part?  I did?  Well there, I said it again.

Here’s what the food truck’s very own website has to say about the launch of year two for this take-it-to-the-people road show:

     “After a great run down the West Coast last year, we are thrilled to kick off our East Coast tour,” said Guy Rigby, Vice President of Food & Beverage, Americas. “The food truck concept allows us to pair our commitment to innovation and quality with a dynamic setting that provides Four Seasons chefs an opportunity to share their creativity, craft and passion for food with the local community.”

Plus, a portion of the food truck revenue will be donated to a local charity in each participating location furthering their cause of goodwill marketing and community brand awareness.

So as we circle back to the beginning of this story, maybe now you see how I finally got comfortable with using the words luxury and food truck in the same sentence, and don’t you agree?

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