Essential lessons in hospitality for every business, from the former co-owner of legendary restaurant Eleven Madison Park.
Will Guidara was twenty-six when he took the helm of Eleven Madison Park, a struggling two-star brasserie that had never quite lived up to its majestic room. Eleven years later, EMP was named the best restaurant in the world.
How did Guidara pull off this unprecedented transformation? Radical reinvention, a true partnership between the kitchen and the dining room—and memorable, over-the-top, bespoke hospitality. Guidara’s team surprised a family who had never seen snow with a magical sledding trip to Central Park after their dinner; they filled a private dining room with sand, complete with mai-tais and beach chairs, to console a couple with a cancelled vacation. And his hospitality extended beyond those dining at the restaurant to his own team, who learned to deliver praise and criticism with intention; why the answer to some of the most pernicious business dilemmas is to give more—not less; and the magic that can happen when a busser starts thinking like an owner.
Today, every business can choose to be a hospitality business—and we can all transform ordinary transactions into extraordinary experiences. Featuring sparkling stories of his journey through restaurants, with the industry’s most famous players like Daniel Boulud and Danny Meyer, Guidara urges us all to find the magic in what we do—for ourselves, the people we work with, and the people we serve.
A Joy To Listen To
I just spent a lazy Saturday listening to Unreasonable Hospitality. I consider it time well invested in reimagining our business culture into Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful World.
I aspire to work my way into management, and Will’s story has motivated me to work even harder. I give 5 stars because like hospitality Will was colorful not just black and white about the details of management. I encourage anyone who’s starting low as Running or even Bussing trying to move up within the industry to read this. My current GM recommended this to me, and I’d love to witness EMP’s dining room service in action.