Will Guidara

Tagline: Restaurateur

Talent Highlights

  • Restaurateur, Eleven Madison Park, The #1 Restaurant in the World,
  • Entrepreneur, Author, ‘Unreasonable Hospitality’

Keynote Topics

How Giving People More Than They Expect Can Get You To #1

Will Guidara took Eleven Madison Park from a middling Brasserie to the best restaurant in the world when he realized something revolutionary – in a restaurant, the food, the service, and the design are simply ingredients in the recipe of human connection.

When Will encouraged his team to be present with their guests, take what they do seriously without taking themselves too seriously, and employ a “one size fits one” strategy, magic happened.

In this talk, Will shares why these lessons took EMP to #1, and how an unreasonable approach to the pursuit of human connection can help you win – and give people an experience they’ll remember forever.

For most of America’s history, we functioned as a manufacturing economy; now, we’re a service economy—more than three-quarters of our GDP comes from service.

So, whether you’re in retail, finance, education, healthcare, computer services, or communications, you are in the business of serving other people. Making good products is no longer enough, and serving efficiently is no longer enough – now, it’s how you make the people you work with and those you serve feel that matters most of all.

In this talk, Will will share why he believes our world is on the precipice of becoming a hospitality economy, and how every business can choose to be in the business of hospitality, by transforming ordinary transactions into extraordinary experiences.

We know that people and teams excel at a high level when they feel in community with each other – aligned and connected. In the corporate workplace, this used to happen organically but in today’s post-pandemic world where most work is done remotely, the conditions of the game have changed – which means leaders must change how they’re playing the game.

Today’s leaders need to be skilled at very intentionally creating the conditions for their teams to come together, to genuinely connect – and that’s what is at the heart of hospitality.

Leaders who know how to take a collection of individuals and make sure they operate as a team will create more connected, inspired, effective, and happy employees.

By applying ideas honed over the course of his career operating the world’s #1 restaurant, Will helps others do whatever it takes to be better hosts, and thus better leaders.

Why Hospitality Is The Greatest Tool In Problem-Solving

Too often, when we’re faced with a pernicious problem in business or our lives, we fall back on the tried-and-true: push harder, be more efficient, and cut back.

Imagine, that instead, you asked yourself: what is the hospitality solution? What if you forced yourself to be creative, to develop a solution that worked because of—not in spite of—your dedication to generosity and extraordinary service?

These are usually harder to execute, and coming up with them will definitely call on your creative side. But they’re almost always a win. During times of struggle – particularly in today’s economic climate – people tend to operate from a place of fear.

In this talk, Will makes the case for why this is the perfect time to root your decisions in hospitality and give more, not less.

5/5

(3 reviews)

Travels From:

  • New York, NY

Fee Range:

  • Fees: On Request

Gallery

Videos

Video 1

Will Guidara is the author of the National Bestseller Unreasonable Hospitality, which chronicles the lessons in service and leadership he has learned over the course of his career in restaurants.

Will Guidara is the author of the National Bestseller Unreasonable Hospitality, which chronicles the lessons in service and leadership he has learned over the course of his career in restaurants.
He is the former co-owner Eleven Madison Park, which under his leadership received four stars from the New York Times, three Michelin stars, and in 2017 was named #1 on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

He is the host of the Welcome Conference, an annual hospitality symposium that brings together like minded people to share ideas, inspire one another, and connect to form community.

A graduate of the hospitality school at Cornell University, he has co-authored four cookbooks, was named one of Crain’s New York Business’ 40 Under 40, and is the recipient of WSJ Magazine’s Innovator Award.

Will Guidara | Business Restaurateur

In early 2012, Will went on to open the food and beverage spaces at The NoMad Hotel. At The NoMad New York, they have received a three-star review from The New York Times, one Michelin star, and a James Beard Foundation award. In 2014, Will and Daniel opened The NoMad Bar, which has earned a top spot on the World’s Best Bar list. In 2017, they opened Made Nice, a counter-service restaurant located in the NoMad neighborhood.

While running the restaurant Eleven Madison Park, Will Guidara discovered the remarkable power of giving people more than they expect, and used this idea of Unreasonable Hospitality to turn a struggling two-star brasserie into the #1 restaurant in the world.

This radical reinvention was a true partnership between the kitchen and the dining room, creating memorable, over-the-top, bespoke hospitality. Today, every business can choose to be a hospitality business—we can all transform ordinary transactions into extraordinary experiences. In his presentations, Will Guidara urges us all to find the magic in what we do—for ourselves, the people we work with, and the people we serve.

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