My Reading Notes for:

Unreasonable Hospitality

By Will Guidara

Service is black and white. Hospitality is color.

Making Magic in a World That Could Use More of It  = People will forget what you did, They will forget what you said, But they won’t forget how you made them feel.

Do everything with intention. EVERY decision – from the most obviously significant to the seemingly mundane – matters. With a clear purpose and an eye on the desired result. That is THE ONLY way to get great.

Danny Meyer =  hire great people, treat them well, and invest deeply into their personal and professional growth. Then THEY would take care of the customers.

When leading people control and trust are not friends.

If you call your team, a family, you have to be ready to invest in them and believe in them to keep them part of the family.

Enthusiasm is contagious Union Square Hospitality group sought to match enthusiasm with integrity.  But you have to believe it. Develop a sense of ownership in the people who work for you.

“Cult” Is Short for “Culture” = Make it cool to care about the customers and about their jobs.

Language creates culture. Make essential concepts easy to understand and to teach. Constant gentle pressure to improve. Make the charitable assumption to the people around you. Presume the best. If someone is late – ask if everything is ok before launching into a tirade. There is a certain way we do things here. Danny Meyer spent half of meetings listening. Focus on the why- not the what.

A grace note= a sweet not essential addition to their experience. Putting money in the meter for a guest Sending waiter to a clients house to remove a wine bottle from the freezer. And leaving an anniversary gift for them Taking care of a clients bags while they dine. Just making things a little more seamless Systemize it.

Try harder. Do better. Create a program for people to share when they create a “Legend”.  A “Legend” is a remarkable act of Hospitality that is unique, special, and show that you care.

  • Opportunities for Hospitality Exist in Every Business
  • Based on the size of the commission, and how much time you spend with the client. Every single client that buys a house should get a bespoke and specific gift to them. Luxury isn’t just about dollars. It’s about how special they feel.
  • If they have a young driver in the household. Get them a $150 membership to AAA.
  • If you buy or sell a house that has of those door jams where they measured the kids. Replace it and send it to the seller. The new buyer will appreciate that it’s not marked up. The seller will like to keep it for posterity. And will remember you on future transactions.
  • If someone is buying because they are expecting, give them a bunch of protective outlet covers. Buy a whole bunch of them and keep them around. Package them up nice so it looks like you did it specific for them. Put together nicely printed recommendations for the area. But stuff like the best place to hike. The best place to ride a bike.

When public speaking, tell them what they’re going to tell them. Then tell them. Then tell them what you told them. Public speaking is a leadership skill. Communicate your excitement power away to engage the people to work for you, and who you work with. And infected with energy and the sense of purpose.

“It Might Not Work” Is a Terrible Reason Not to Try

When you are hiring, you are not only hiring the people who will represent you – you are hiring the people who will represent the people on your team.  Morale is fickle.  One person can have an outsized impact on the team – in either direction.  At the end of the day, the best way to respect and reward the A-players, is to surround them with other A-players.  This is how you attract more A-players.

Don’t be tricked by need into hiring the wrong person Ask yourself, does this person have the potential to be one of the top two or three on the team? If not, don’t hire them.

How we were connected as a team is more important than anything!

Anytime the answer to “why?”  is that that way,” is because that’s how it’s been always been done.” That is a rule that needs to be re-looked at.

 I relentlessly interrogated the only thing that matters. The guest experience. Did this rule bring us closer to our ultimate goal? Connecting with people. Or did it take us further from it?



When making changes in an organization, ease  into the pool. Don’t cannonball.