How Authenticity Can Turn Any Restaurant Into A Success

Being authentic isn’t easy lets just get that out in the open right away.

Do you know how hard it is for individuals let alone entire businesses to just do what THEY want to do, create what THEY want to create, be who THEY want to be?

Well, if you don’t know how hard it is, let me tell you it a’int easy and I am still working at it one day at a time.

We are living in a time not unlike many others where it is important to “fit in”. The only difference is now in 2019-2020 we are consistently bombarded with information and suggestions of the person (or business) we should be. Heck I even heard a podcast from CBC interviewing Chris Buck one of the two Creators of the Disney smash hit FROZEN and they were reporting on whether or not the movies creators should establish one of the characters as a lesbian due to a public out cry for more LBGTQ+ representation in Disneys films.

Disney was feeling some pressure here but what did they do? Nothing. They didn’t conform to what a large segment of the population was asking for. While LBGQT+ is a topic that deserves a ton of space and respect I fully support how Buck and his colleagues reacted. And I feel that so many of us as individuals, but also as businesses, should take notice of moments such as these.

Just because millions of people (or 5, or 12, or 1) want you to do something that isn’t inline with your vision for yourself or your business I support you in not doing it.

In the hospitality industry for years we’ve been told that “the customer is always right”. However with industry leaders such a Danny Meyer stepping up and saying those days are done has left some room for restaurants, cafes, hotels, bars, you name it, to really do what they want without having to necessarily conform to what the public is calling for.

Now here is the tricky part. You’ve got to pay the bills.

If you own a pizza joint and you love making square pizzas, and you’ve always wanted to make square pizzas. Heck you have square pizza dreams, and you’ve set up your shop as the only square pizza shop in your town. But there is a catch, in this scenario no one is coming through your door. The town isn’t ready for square pizza quite yet. So with every ounce of disdain you conform to the pressure and you start slinging round pizzas and all of a sudden business is improving.

But, for how long?

Here’s where it gets even trickier.

The thing with authenticity is it may take a little longer but that the business that hang on a little longer, remain authentic and resist the urge to meet societies demands are the ones that add something to the culture and create progress where there otherwise might not be any.

Fife Bakery & Moving Coffee here in Vancouver for me is a great example. They are a small spot that offers arguably some of the cities best bread and coffee. Their coffee offering is pretty phenomenal but does have a hitch, they don’t ever offer cream and sugar. Just last week I saw with my own two eyes a customer order a regular drip coffee and then ask for cream and sugar. Guess what happened? Nothing. The shop owner mentioned that they don’t offer cream and sugar. Then the customer left.

While I fundamentally understand that cream and sugar aren’t nearly as important as LBGQT+ issues the principles are the exact same. By sticking to your vision, by creating and offering what you yourself want there is power, beauty, and truly a ton of respect in that.

There is a fine line that I do respect and maybe that fine line means offering some square pizzas along with the round pizzas for example if it means the difference between your business staying open or having to close up shop. However I do feel very strongly that in the current environment the more authentic you can be the more likely you are to get a following and support like never before.

People, myself included, aren’t interested in cookie cutter anymore, There is a demand for realness and if a business within the hospitality space is ready and willing to be real I find it very hard to believe that they won’t be a success.

***Side note if you’re reading this and you’re thinking “Brad, I am being as real and authentic as I can be but still nothing!” I’d suggest one of two things":

  1. Keep going.

  2. You can probably get even more authentic in your offering and how you do business.

Brad

What Happens When You Give; A Vol5 Summary

With the help of some incredible friends we have now successfully pulled off 5 charity dinners throughout the Lower Mainland here in BC and I couldn’t be more proud.

For me it is incredible to see what has become of what was really just an idea or vision I had while laying awake one night. I laid in bed thinking to myself “Wow there are so many talented, caring and thoughtful people in the food space and I am getting to meet so many of them. I wonder what we could all do together to create some real positive change in our communities. This dinner series has become some of the most fulfilling work I have ever done and I cannot wait to do a lot more.

This past weekend we brought our dinner series back to the downtown core where we hosted 60 guests in the iconic Medina Cafe . It was such an awesome setting as we collaborated with Ono Vancouver to welcome our guests to an evening of incredible food, inspiring conversation and create the space to encourage positive change for those less fortunate in our community.

Working with Union Gospel Mission from the Downtown Eastside I was extremely excited to not only bring their message to a broader audience but also facilitate a sizeable donation created all on the back of this dinner. Using food as a connector throughout this dinner series has inspired me to do more and find more ways to bring people together to affect some real positive change. It’s really special the amount of people that have purchased tickets to these events to facilitate the financial donations going to these platforms such as UGM that they so greatly appreciate.

While I am not ignorant to the incredible amount of need that exists in our world let alone our city I am so proud to be working with my team to create some shifts in the right direction by giving to those less fortunate.

I have said on numerous occasions that this dinner series has given me way more than I have ever given it and that statement really couldn’t be any more accurate. Not only do I literally get high off of these events but as I mentioned I get so inspired as well. I get inspired to see how far can I push this. How many mouths can I truly work to feed? Not only in this city, not only in this province, and not only in this Country but across the globe what can I create that will help feed those who need it more than others, those who have had setbacks and at the very least deserve a warm meal?

Personally, I am just so inspired to create massive positive change using every skill I have and doing it all with food. After executing just 5 of these dinners I know it is possible. I know I can do it and I cannot wait to level this whole operation up.

Giving to others gives so much to me.

I am a massive believer in the law of reciprocity and I talk about on almost every podcast because it really has served me so well especially as a new entrepreneur working to grow my business to even higher levels. By using all that I have access to I’ve been able to bring people together, get them to buy into my vision and help me create the positive change I was daydreaming of that night as I laid awake in bed almost a year ago. By giving to others, by creating this platform, I have been gifted so much abundance in my life and for that I am so grateful.

The people I have met, the people I have worked with, the stories I have learned more about are all far more valuable to me than anything you can put a price. The real value for me comes from the fact that with these dinners we are helping others in our communities gain access to food, food they may otherwise not have access to.

If this dinner series can keep playing a role in putting food into the mouths of those that can’t afford it, you can rest assured this dinner series will not stop. If anything I have bigger and more audacious goals for this dinner series and like I mentioned there is no reason we cannot take this globally and positively impact our global community one meal at a time.

What happens when I give?

I learn how lucky I am that I get to do it. I am privileged to give to others and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

Brad

Stephanie & Emily Lee: Starting A Cookie Business Out Of Their Condo

Business partnerships have always intrigued me as I’ve been in a few myself and I know how absolutely challenging they can be. Through a partnership into the food business realm and that is a whole other ball game of potential challenges. 

 

Going against the odds, sisters Stephanie and Emily Lee have formed what seems to be the most natural match made in heaven with their business Conscious Cookie Co. and those of us that are looking for health cookie options are reaping the rewards.

 

On this week's podcast I had the pleasure of not only meeting these two dynamic entrepreneurs but digging deep into what makes them tick inside and outside of the business. Along with being Co-Founders of the business they both keep busy with a ton of other activities and jobs as well. Stephanie has been changing the lives of today's youth for the better for a number of years for example while Emily is heavily involved in the health and fitness community in Vancouver. The two inspiring women are not short on energy or ambition and I loved learning more about them both and their WHY with Conscious Cookie Co.

 

I truly appreciated their unwillingness to adapt what they are doing with their products just for a more attractive bottom line, staying true to making a product that is as clean and as healthy as it can be all while making it still seem like a true indulgence and one that so many of their customers deserve and enjoy. 

 

We dive deep on so many topics and I cannot wait to see where this duo take this business in the very near future.



Don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE & SUBSCRIBE to Half A Dozen Hospitality Podcast

 

IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:

  • How to make health snacks taste great

  • Why both Emily and Stephanie now embrace challenges

  • What’s in a name

  • How they work together as sisters, best friends, and business partners

  • Why knowing who you are is important in business

 

Follow Conscious Cookie Co. | INSTAGRAM  | YOUTUBE | FACEBOOK




Quotes:

 

“Because of those food sensitivities, ok well if you care about taste so much why don’t we create something that tastes good that you can eat?” (3:36)

 

“Especially as entrepreneurs, if anyone is listening and thinking of doing a business...you’re scared? That is normal.” (19:54)

 

“Motivation through that, because the reality is that it is not easy. I don’t think there is such a thing as an overnight success.” (38:32)

 

“When people come up to us and talk about the sugar, but you’re not putting a substance into your body that nature didn’t create.” (59:13)

 

“You know a lot of kids have come to me and have spoken up about things that they struggle with and I just feel so honoured.” (1:18:12)



Links:

Bali

Sauder School Of Business

Spin Society 

Plant Based Diet

Yoga Training 200hrs 

Bad Sugars

Post Workout Nutrition 

Gluten Free

Co-Packaging

Body Energy Club


Who Do You Want To Hear From The Hospitality Space Featured On The Half A Dozen Hospitality Podcast?

 

Email Us At info@hadhospitality.com To Let Us Know Who And Why

 

Jess Reno: Fostering Culture With Coffee

Whose world is this?
(The world is yours, the world is yours)

Jess Reno is one of the awesome team members behind the beast of a coffee shop in downtown Vancouver and he and his crew have created something special, something that feels as comfortable as Grandmas cooking.

This week on the podcast I sit down with Jess to discuss all thing Nemesis Coffee. We cover hip hop, food, culture, training, growth, challenges, and how to stick to your vision. I was really impressed with Jess’s ability to articulate his thoughts and share with us how Nemesis even became a thing.

One of the cooler findings for me within this episode was learning that this isn’t really his first kick at this can of owning and running his own spot. He, like so many others has come up the hard way learning from “failures” and challenges to create something that seems to be truly from the heart.

Admittedly I am a big fan of what the Nemesis team is doing at their one location in Vancouver and I am excited to see their team and brand expand with some new projects popping up in the near future.

Tune in to this episode to hear Jess and I cover:

  • How to bring a team together and see things through

  • Why his guests aren’t just customers

  • How he fosters the unique culture

  • His favourite rap album and why

  • How many projects he swung at before Nemesis

  • Where his passion for coffee started

Don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE & SUBSCRIBE to Half A Dozen Hospitality Podcast

TUNE IN NOW

Follow Nemesis Coffee  | INSTAGRAM  | FACEBOOK |

Quotes:

“I mean we ate a bit of this $@!& on the first one. I didn’t know what I was doing man.” (12:27)

“I think the thing that drives us is after doing all those rounds in the industry and getting to know people, and when you’re talking about coffee, I fell in love with coffee.” (19:16)


“There is more to us that I want to offer, showcase and challenge ourselves with. ” (32:56)


“I can be a little bit real. When I was growing up that was one of those pushing elements. It was that I felt like we were stuck.” (46:35)


“Just be super open minded. The way things taste or what they look like, I mean F%#@ it and try it anyways.” (1:11:56)

Links:

Nas

Cabrito

Minimalism 

Scandanavian Design

Hip Hop Influence In Food 

Space For Change

SOPS in Restaurants

Tom Brady

Empathy 

Failure 

Illmatic

Becoming A Father



Who Do You Want To Hear From The Hospitality Space Featured On The Half A Dozen Hospitality Podcast?

Email Us At info@hadhospitality.com To Let Us Know Who And Why




20 Years In Hospitality; What I've Learned

I started scooping ice cream at Almos Fine Ice Cream (R.I.P Almos) in Fall River, NS in 1996 and I haven’t stopped learning about this industry and the people in it since.

I’ve told the Almos story many times on the podcast but revisiting it here I am simply reminded of the visceral feeling of joy I had having the opportunity to work with people and food. It was a dream I never knew I had come true.

Over twenty years in this food and beverage community I’ve learned what I think are some absolute jewels and I wanted to get them down here today to share with you all. And just too keep things all in line with the theme, lets knock off SIX (or Half A Dozen) of my invaluable takeaways from my time in the hospitality industry.

My Half A Dozen Jewels From 20 Years In Hospitality

  1. Have Fun. This is simple but also very difficult just due to the nature of this industry. The simplicity comes from touching base with your day number one and touching base with the times where this industry filled you up. Think of the days you were excited by what you were doing and hey maybe that is still you today and if that is the case that is awesome. Hang on to that. However, I know that for so many of us this industry can truly take more than it gives at times and if that is the case more often than not, step into that and ask yourself why you feel this way. Getting back to having fun though, it really is a must in our industry and in life in my opinion. If you’re not having fun, you need to change something because this industry demands way too much from us not to enjoy what you’re doing. If you need to switch roles, join groups outside your work space, spend more time doing non-industry stuff to bring back more joy into your actual work do that and do it before it is too late. Find ways to bring back the day one vibes you had. Remember, nothing is worth doing if at some point it doesn’t fill you up with joy. Have fun.

  2. Be Ridiculously Nice. I work with so many of my clients who aren’t having fun (see #1 above) and I get it. They are “burnt out” and that burn out and lack of fun leads them to throw courtesy, kindness and overall just being a nice person out of the window. Again I get it. I have empathy for those that feel as those they have been giving and giving and not getting anything back but we need to find a way to put on that happy face. Touching base with Jewel #1 again will allow for #2 to occur somewhat seamlessly in my opinion but let’s look at what I mean in practice. We are in the service industry and as my once upon a time podcast guest Eric Pateman put it , “I can cook a great meal at home but when I go out, I want to be taken care of.” We need to get back to the full comprehension of what we are doing here in the hospitality community. We are meant to be at the very least hospitable and this is where being nice, kind, caring, generous, etc. all begins. This one aspect of our industry and your business could be the difference between you being busy every night of the week and wondering why no one wants to dine in your space. Whether you are the owner, dishwasher, head chef, bartender or the janitor find a way to treat every single person you come into contact with (in the business and outside of it) like they are guests in your very own home. Treat people well, everyone, and that includes yourself and it will pay dividends like you’ve never experienced before. ***This isn’t unique to the hospitality industry this is an every day every way life piece***

  3. Surround Yourself With Smart & Caring People. Again I’ve seen a lot of businesses within our industry struggle not because they don’t have a kick a$$ menu or because the concept isn’t great. A lot of them struggle due to lack of proper insulation. By “insulation” I mean talented, smart, passionate, and valuable people that are going to help you, challenge you, and get you to where you want to be and likely need to be a lot faster. Don’t surround yourself with cheerleaders, people who only tell you what you want to hear. Looking at specifics I think EVERYONE in the food and beverage game should have the following people in their Power Circle. A sound and smart accountant (ideally a tax specialist), a consultant (shameless plug but really this can be a key piece in any business so long as the consultant is in line with what you are looking for), a bookkeeper (the amount of bartenders turned business owners who try to run their own books ALWAYS ends up messy), a designer (don’t pay too much but don’t get a “free” designer), a solid general contractor (whether you’re looking to complete a whole new build out or fix a busted wall, having a talented and trustworthy general contractor will be a game changer), and lastly a therapist (self explanatory, you need be proactive with this and find someone that you jive with but again challenges you)

  4. Get To Know Your Community. For me the first community that comes to mind that we in the food service industry need to have a closer relationship with is our local farmers. All those people producing our food before it gets to us at the restaurant level. Spend time on your suppliers farms and get to understand their process and work to better understand them as people. I also encourage the multitude of talents in our industry to get out in your local community and meet your customers in different environments, volunteer with kids, attend local community events, cook for strangers, whatever it is, make an attempt to be available to your local community. With a better understanding of your community, they will get a better understanding of you and that is a WIN-WIN-WIN in my books (You win, your community wins, and your business will win as well)

  5. Be honest. This one is and has been a tough one for me, but wow, when you are honest, which is tough at times to do depending on the topic and audience but punching your way through the challenge will serve you well. How does this show up in our industry? How much time do you have? We are at a pivotal time right now in the hospitality industry where the more we share, the healthier we all will be. Sharing and being honest about what it takes to even serve a hot plate of food in the current climate is extremely valuable for everyone to better understand. Honesty about the stress, anxiety and overwhelm that you may be feeling day in and day out due to your work with the appropriate audience will allow you to feel like a weight has been lifted off of your chest. Lastly, and this one perhaps needs its own blog to totally dive in to but being honest with your guests within your business. Help them better understand what it takes to keep the lights on, staff paid, and the water running in a way that doesn’t overwhelm them but again gives them a much better understanding and perhaps appreciation for what you and your team do and why you do it. If honesty can lead to feeling and being more appreciated by your community, I vote honesty 24hrs a day 7 days a week.

  6. Get out. If you’ve been grinding away at this industry for years and you’ve given literally everything you can, truly 100% and it doesn’t feel right and you really can no longer have any fun, get out. There may be fear in the form of “What else will I do? All I know is food. All I know is this industry”. If you’ve been working in this industry for any length of time, you are no doubt suited to wear many hats in many industries and thrive. I’ve been with people in our community who are just done and recognizing that is super important. We have to have real and honest (see #5 above) conversations with ourselves. If it is time to cut the cord with this industry do it. If it is time to close your restaurant, do it. Look at what Jen Agg of the Black Hoof did years ago. She took what was a very popular and successful business and shut it down. She was done and that is both powerful and admirable. If you’re done, I get it and support your decision. You will however be missed, but know you’re always and forever a member of this unique and very special community that is the hospitality industry.

After twenty years I am still learning every single day, and perhaps more now than ever before and I cannot wait to see what else I can learn from the members of the industry and every one that engages with it.

Here’s to being humble, open to learning, and celebrating the most dynamic industry in the world today!

Brad

The Ultimate Question In Food: Work To Be Relevant Or Work To Create Art

I cannot comment on the global state of the progression in food and it’s impact on culture but I can give my report on the industry I know well here in Canada, and the one I know even more intimately here in Vancouver, B.C.

I was motivated to write about the desire to be relevant in food after listening to some musicians talk about their work and how it seems that most (meaning a lot, but not all) musicians are chasing likes, streams, and downloads more aggressively than ever before. Very few artists are doing what the name suggests, creating art. You know the stuff from the soul, the stuff that when you hear it for the first time it gives you shivers and goosebumps. It is that music, that art that changes industries, redefines a genre and likely motivates a whole other legion of young and up and coming musicians.

While listening to this conversation I was reminded of a section of The 50th Law by Robert Greene where Greene talks about Jazz in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. He describes how “the total destruction of these dead conventions, creating space for something new”. Greene is talking about how Jazz at the time (1940’s) had become hardened and was less “freewheeling” and was quickly becoming all about popular music, which at the time was big band and swing. “To make money you had to play by the rules and perform these popular genres” which left some incredible talents truly muted by their inability to express themselves and show the world their talent and their work.

Greene goes on to say that “the only way around this oppressive situation was to destroy it with a completely new sound (bebop).” This new sound gave the artist the ability to perform “on their own terms and some control over their careers.” This new sound that was being provided by the likes of Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie and completely shift Jazz music for the next 20 years. For these artists, being relevant simply wasn’t enough.

Jazz and food aren’t so different.

I offer that the creation of food and drink is just as much of an art as is Jazz, Blues, Rock, any type of music or even traditional art such as painting or sculpting. So I ask all of those who are partaking in food and beverage today, are you working to stay relevant or are you working to create your art?

Robert Greene says that to destruct the current way of doing things “you must be a lion, as bad as can be.” While that may sound dramatic, I don’t disagree one bit.

I am aware that there are 1,000 different variables that play into why a Chef cooks what they cook or why a certain concept exists, but I wonder how all of these kitchens approach each day or each seasonal menu rollout. Are they looking for “likes” or are they looking to add something to the food culture that will help push them and this industry forward.

I challenge the masses to find restaurants that are willing to be that lion and take part in what could be a movement forward unlike ever before. The kitchens that are playing it safe, I get it, they are speaking to the masses and a lot of these kitchens aren’t set up to test new boundaries, but come on, we can try a little bit harder to move this industry forward.

Again I cannot speak for the global presence of Chefs creating art first and sexy instagram photos second, but I promise you that there are a million restaurants who have a formula thats comfortable, predictable, and it works. I don’t blame them one bit.

Looking back at the Jazz example, can you imagine a world void of the music from the likes of Charlie Parker? Heck I am not even a big Jazz fan and I know how influential he was not only in Jazz but a plethora of other musical genres. So if Parker didn’t play the role of the lion and shake things up Jazz would have looked, felt and sounded way different, one might argue not nearly as good.

So when it comes to our food scene, locally and globally who is willing to be the lion and create art that will impact the industry for decades upon decades?

Brad B

100th Episode

In just over 15 months I’ve sat down with some of the coolest, most influential, incredible, interesting, fun and creative people that make up our industry. Over that time, together, we’ve created a total of 100 episodes for The Half A Dozen Hospitality Podcast and I couldn’t be happier!

Today marks my 100th episode and for this monumental episode I was lucky enough to have my brother in-law fly out from Ottawa to change things up with me on the show. Scott joined me as we hit record for episode 100 but this time I was the guest and he was the host.

Not only was it really awesome to have my brother take over the show, but it was also a blast to sit on the other side of the table and have the questions posed to me.

This episode had me thinking and reflecting a ton.

I’ve said it before, but it needs to be said again, this podcast has given me way more than I have ever given it. I have met some salt of the earth people who I am now lucky to call friends. I’ve launched my restaurant consulting business off the back of this podcast and created a whole charitable aspect of my business through The Half A Dozen Dinner Series. None of my current reality would be remotely possible if it wasn’t for this podcast.

I am beyond grateful for every guest, every listen, every download, and every share. I am also very proud of the 100 episodes we’ve created as it is just proof to me that when you are really committed to something truly amazing things happen.

i hope you all enjoy episode 100 as it is really near and dear to my heart. If you dig it and you have some friends or family that you feel would dig it as well, it would mean the world to me if you would pass this on to someone who you think would enjoy it.

Thank you again for all of your support crew! We are just getting started.TUNE IN HERE

Brad

The FIT FOR SERVICE Launch

With over 1,000 hours of podcasting under my belt and 20+ years in hospitality I have been given the gift of meeting some of the coolest people that I know and learning from them. A lot of what I have learned has prepared me for my business as a restaurant consultant & coach as well as fuelled my passion for this industry even further.

Through the 20 years and 1,000 + hours of podcasting I have also learned that there are gaps in our community and those gaps are causing pain for not only the hospitality industry as a whole, but also for each and every one of its individuals.

Just last week I had a friend send me a private message asking me if I could help them facilitate a running group for our city’s hospitality workers, something similar to what they are doing in Toronto with The Food Runners (which as a side note seems like such an awesome group of people doing rad things). This friend told me that this city needs something like this, something to bring our community together and promote a healthier lifestyle. Next my friend told me that she’s leaving the industry for good. After running numerous kitchens, opening up her own restaurant that she’d put more than her own blood sweat and tears into, and then making the move to work as a corporate chef for a large local chain of restaurants she’s calling it quits.

Way too young and way too talented to see them go but this happens far too often where we see incredible creative and valuable people just completely burnt out. Will a running group in Toronto be the shift the industry needs? Maybe not, but you know what, it is sure a heck of a lot better than doing absolutely nothing and expecting it to change.

Thinking outside of the box a bit I’ve decided to see if I can help this industry out. With FIT FOR SERVICE I intend to bring to our community a platform that has never been seen before that will not only be the cherry on top of the already awesome efforts by groups such as The Food Runners but a quantum leap of improvement of resources available to those in need in the hospitality industry.

While I realize that stories of burn out, and just sheer disappointment with the hospitality industry, like the one above aren’t really in my control, I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t work to create some more positive change for everyone in our community.

FIT FOR SERVICE will operate under the HALF A DOZEN HOSPITALITY umbrella and will be accessible to anyone and everyone that should wish to engage with it. We will also be offering a membership option after the November 1st launch that will get members unique access to a tailored list of groups that will focus on all three pillars of the offering, Physical, Mental, and Spiritual.

If you or someone you know could use a platform like this, please have them email us at info@hadhospitality.com and we will add you to our mailing list when we go live with the platform.

Lastly to all of you out there who are giving so much of yourself to this industry it is not going unnoticed and we all appreciate what you do. With that said, take care of you, your body, mind, and spirit as nothing is worth more than those 3 aspects of you being as optimal as possible.

Keep up the awesome work crew and stay tuned for FIT FOR SERVICE on November 1st.

Brad

Pace And Lead For Incredible Results In Your Business

“The idea of pacing before leading is that if you try to persuade without them (your team) feeling alignment with you, you will likely cause resistance or objection. While pacing is not necessarily enough to ensure persuasion, without it the chance of success may be reduced.”

In this weeks podcast I quickly break down the importance of meeting your staff and team where they are each at individually for the most impactful results. The idea of pacing is that we aren’t waiting for them to catch up to us, we are joining them with the intention of bringing them up to our speed.

You can find a very high arching overview of what Pace & Lead is here. I encourage you give it a try with your team members as soon as possible as the concept makes so much sense when looking to impact your team in a positive way. All of this work creates a much greater bond and theoretically a greater culture within your business.

This is one of those techniques where I can already hear most members of the hospitality industry saying “Ah man we don’t have time for that.” Whereas my opinion on this technique and others like it, you cannot not afford to implement this immediately with your working team as the cost of leaving things as they are is immeasurable.

BB

A Platform Must Exist

I was pleasantly surprised to see so many chefs chatting, working together, and getting things done as a team.

For years I’ve thought I had known all their was to know about Chefs and their inability, or lack of desire, to work with one another. I was obviously very mistaken.

So, last night, I was pleasantly surprised as I helped execute a charity dinner for someone in our community and watched as 13 Chefs of varying skills, backgrounds and abilities huddled in the kitchen to knock out a pretty slick 8 course dinner.

These Chefs worked together in a way I haven’t seen before, like a legit team. I was confused though, don’t these men and women all dislike each other? Didn’t that one guy steal that other guys dishwasher? Isn’t there supposed to be drama? A fist fight?

It was the opposite as each Chef literally did whatever they could to help the other. As each featured Chef executed a different course, the surrounding Chefs supported and insulated him or her like an army pushing to take over a small town. It was awesome.

There was a lot of “What do you need?” “Can I help?” “That looks great” “Oh so good”. I was witnessing a culture unfold in front of me and that culture was one that I was excited to get to witness, one that I was proud of.

So I am left to ask myself is this actually how it is, always? Have I been way off when I say that people in our industry, Chefs especially are working in silos? Perhaps I am wrong. Or perhaps I am right and last nights sisterhood and brotherhood of Chefs that came together as one unit to execute something very special was actually an anomaly.

Here’s what I think happened.

There was a platform created.

You see Chefs aren’t that unique of a species, I mean sure they have their own intricacies but they could easily be likened to say Professional Athletes that play team sports. Sure those athletes as individuals, much like the chefs, have a ton of talent on their own, but what they can all do as a team is truly special. And that is what I witnessed last night.

There was a field for all of the Chefs to come together and play. The field allowed for them to squash what maybe at some point was bas blood between one or two of them or some silly past issues that kept a few of them from speaking for months. This event, this “field’, this platform allowed for them all to come together and pull the weight in the same direction and wow it was so awesome to see.

Now I am challenged with the idea of how can we spread this platform feeling, vibe, reality, industry wide, heck globally? What needs to be in place, managed, nurtured and there for any individual in the hospitality space to access at any time? I am not too sure what this much broader platform would look like, but I am sure that once I am able to better comprehend it I will be actioning it here in my city to create more of what I witnessed last night.

Here’s to power of teamwork and stepping up to help each other out whenever and wherever we can.

BB