Will Guidara is the former co-owner of Eleven Madison Park and the NoMad, and is the cofounder of the Welcome Conference, an annual hospitality symposium. In 2017, Eleven Madison Park was voted the world’s best restaurant by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants annual ranking. He has coauthored four cookbooks, was named one of Crain’s New York Business’s 40 Under 40, and is a recipient of WSJ Magazine’s Innovator Award. His new book is called Unreasonable Hospitality: The Remarkable Power of Giving People More Than They Expect.
Some interesting insights from this episode:
- Unreasonable hospitality is being just as relentless, as focused, as intentional in your pursuit of how you make people feel as you are with every other facet of what you do for a living.
- One of our most deeply held needs as human beings is we want to feel known and seen.
- One of Will’s favorite quotes that speaks to hospitality is one from Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you say. They’ll forget what you do. But they’ll never forget how you made them feel.”
- “If you don’t understand the importance of your work, the nobility of what you put out into the world every day, it’s very hard to be the best version of yourself consistently.”
- He has kept a paperweight on his desk since he was a child which reads: “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” If you don’t have the confidence and conviction to answer it honestly, it’s unlikely you’ll ever achieve it.
- Whenever you’re leading a group of people, it’s one thing to have a good idea. It’s meaningless if you can’t convey that idea to your team such that you’re all moving in unison and in the same direction.
- It’s important to be both “restaurant smart” and “corporate smart”. That is, balancing what’s best for the guests with what’s best for the bottom line.
- To become the number one restaurant in the world, he had to balance a culture of excellence with a culture of unreasonable hospitality.
- “If you are not being as intentional, as relentless, and as unreasonable about how you make people feel as you are about whatever product you make or service you offer, you are leaving extraordinary opportunities on the table.”