Episode 253 – Bob Pacanovsky talks about the Black Tie Experience, service excellence vs. hospitality and third party relations

Guest Experience, Podcast


Bob Pacanovsky is Chief Hospitality Officer of The Black Tie Experience.  Bob’s background includes nearly three decades as an entrepreneur in the hospitality industry, owning restaurants, event companies, and catering companies, where the uniform consisted of a black tie tuxedo.    Today, Bob is a keynote speaker and trainer, and helps organizations elevate their service and experience to the black tie level.  In this interview, Bob talks about The Black Tie Experience, service excellence vs. hospitality, and third party relations.  

The Black Tie Experience

“No one remembers ordinary service.”

Bob shares examples that he has experienced personally where staff members went above and beyond by recognizing him as an individual and showing a dedicated commitment to his experience.  One example includes a casual chain restaurant where the cashier introduced herself and learned Bob’s name, and served him with enthusiasm that exceeded expectation; in another example, a rental car employee indiciated that the car that Bob would receive did not meet her standard, and offered to treat him to lunch while he waited for a better car.

To truly deliver The Black Tie Experience, the level of service and hospitality must be above average and beyond guests’ expectations, but does not require extravagant productions or significant costs.  These examples are intangible and cost very little to the business to exceed guests’ expectations, yet they create a long-lasting impression on how the guest feels about the brand.

Service Excellence vs. Hospitality

“Hospitality is you how make your customers feel while delivering your service excellence.”

What is so important to you as a company that you involve your staff in training and onboarding?  The answer to that question drives your service excellence.  These are the tactical elements that go into the individual interactions that the guest or leader can observe directly.  Bob recommends that if you want to implement service excellence, it requires practice, role playing, and task-oriented training.

The hospitality component indicates how you make people feel.  It is the spark that is driven by the culture, leadership, and through the service excellence that is delivered.  By recognizing the difference and effectively combining the two, guests walk away with a positive experience that was delivered organically by the staff.

Third Party Relations

“Our brand is associated with the brand of that venue.”

With Bob’s catering business, he states that he “never played a home game,” because their work was being done in a venue that was not his own, which brings a new level of responsibility to the service that is delivered.  On one hand, the catering team is serving the guests of the venue, whether they are day guests or event attendees, and on the other hand they are serving the venue in a client-vendor partnership.

If guests have a positive experience with the catering team, it will reflect positively on the venue.  However, if a guest’s experience with the catering team is poor, it will drag down the brand of the venue because most guests won’t know the difference between the two – nor should they, as it should be seamless.  This guidance is applicable to all third party concessionaires in the attractions industry, whether it is food and beverage, retail, souvenir photo, security, artists, or anyone else who works at the attraction but not for the attraction.


To get ahold of Bob, visit www.bobpacanovsky.com.  You can also connect with him on LinkedIn, as well as follow The Black Tie Experience on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


This podcast wouldn’t be possible without the incredible work of our amazing team:

  • Scheduling and correspondence by Kristen Karaliunas
  • Branding and design by Fabiana Fonseca

To connect with AttractionPros: attractionpros@gmail.com

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