The Portland Phoenix has published an interview with Hugo’s co-owner Arlin Smith.
LO: What do you think the secret is to excellent service?
AS: One thing that I try to push … is the difference between hospitality and serving. Anyone can be a server. You don’t have to have a voice, you just have to have feet and hands and be able to take food from one place to another. Hospitality is going above and beyond, to guide a person, to be generous, to anticipate their needs before they even know that they need them. That’s what separates just serving people and really taking care of people. This is one of the most unique dining experiences in New England, never mind in Portland. It’s not for everyone — you have to come here not just to get sustenance, you have to come here to have an experience, to allow us to take care of you. If you want to go out and be taken care of, I don’t know many places that do it better than here.