Show us your pearly whites – it’s World Smile Day! Today the slogan is, “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile.” We in the hospitality and service industries should oeprate by those words everyday but today of all days, we need to live them. Go above and beyond today for all of your guests – make them smile, make them laugh, make them happy.
The first World Smile Day was celebrated in 1999. The idea came from commercial artist Harvey Ball from Worcester, Massachusetts. If that name sounds familiar it’s because he created an icon in 1963: the smiley face. Concerned that the smiley face, the global symbol of kindness devoid of politics, religion and geographical constraints, had become overly commercialized, Ball came up with the idea of and initiated World Smile Day. After he died at the age of 80 in 2001, the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation was created to carry on his legacy and serves as the official sponsor of today’s holiday.
There are several ways to celebrate today and put a smile on other people’s faces. Organize a human smiley face photograph, with guests and staff members wearing yellow and black shirts to form a smiley face. Set up a pie eating contest or hide smiley faces around your venue for guests to find, offering discounts on menu items. Discount food or beverage items for people wearing smiley face shirts, hats or pins. Encourage your staff members and guests to bring in canned food for the less fortunate. But most importantly, smile. Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile.