The Spirit of Hospitality



Go back to the beginning. For most of us in this industry, there was moment, a person, a place where something happened and our world changed.

This moment couldn’t have been created by technology, by a sales person, by spreadsheets, by philosophies or even by a dish or cocktail.

The moment was created by the exchange of one person’s efforts to give something special to another person. In this fleeting space, an exchange of humanity creates a very unique spark. Our mission as a restaurateur is to ignite it. But how?

As stewards of this very special industry, we’re the counselors, the teachers, the magicians, the laborers, the artists, the business minds and the leaders that give life to something special. She has no age nor physical form. She has no place to walk amongst us, although she yearns to be by our side in conversation, laughter and love. She can only step through us in kind gesture, courteous moment, or inspired action. When she’s with us, the most fatigued can love what they do even more, the inexperienced thirst for greater knowledge and the battle-hardened lift up those ready to quit to new levels of ability previously unknown.

Yes, she’s powerful when she’s here by our side. When our teams are guided by graciousness, humility, humor and the pursuit of excellence, she’ll bless our dining rooms, patios, bars and balconies no matter how remote, obscure or outcast an establishment may seem to be.

Yet in the face of greed, insincerity, apathy or pretentiousness, she’ll vanish without warning and turn the most successful of venues to ash in a heartbeat.

By building our business first upon the timeless foundation of the core human needs we all possess, what happens next is a natural, authentic and harmonious way to navigate all operating decisions. With these needs in place, serving as the foundation for everything the business does, everything from staffing to décor to pricing to technologies, can be put in check to make sure the mission is always on target.

These principles ensure that management doesn’t elude accountability when confronted with explaining why numbers are down. In light of how we address our guest’s core needs, the true source of failure can be identified and quickly fixed- usually without high cost or extensive restructuring. The core human needs we’ve explored are the only 100% reliable compass to keep any business on track.

Sales people, management, stakeholders and even ourselves, act out of self-interest, take shortcuts, make exceptions, and are not able to fix real problems- that is until, as a team, everybody is mutually aware of the powerful motivating factors that influence how we choose to live our lives.

Once in the dining room, where we seek to engage with her, we’re bound by our promise. It’s a willful choice by all who take part to serve others. When we serve without holding back, when we understand and care for these timeless human needs, there she’ll be, bringing with her those we’ve invited into the home we’ve created-  breathing life into that tiny spark we call hospitality.