I've spent the last month assisting the F&B staff of Inn at Lost Creek in Telluride, Colorado. With few exceptions, they performed admirably, giving guests a memorable experience. Occasionally, we would incur the "rush" when it seemed like everyone in town decided to dine with us at once. During these onslaughts, I noticed something interesting. Food took longer to get to the table, it took people longer to get seated, and it took longer to get the bill. But, that's not what mattered most. What mattered was the absence of conversation...the little bit of extra time and attention we normally provided when we had the right amount of staff, less guests to serve, or both.
The heart and soul of hospitality is conversation, attention and caring. That needs to be preserved at all costs, especially when it's really busy...when people expect it the least.