Father’s Day is one of those special days of the year when families come together. That makes it a busy day for Australia’s restaurants, and the chefs and restaurateurs that run them. If they are dads themselves they try to squeeze in time with their children when they can. And the advice their own fathers gave them is never far from their minds.
Archives for August 2017
One of the biggest challenges in the industry is finding a way to attract diners without having to discount your product and brand. If price is the main motivation for some diners, we’ve got eight ideas to spark demand with new and returning patrons.
There’s something about The Welcome Conference that is simply quite inspirational and universal. Which is why we’re sharing some great takeaways from the event in June*.
OpenTable was one of the proud sponsors of The Welcome Conference 2017, the best-in-class, unique hospitality conference. ICYMI, you can watch it online here. For the fourth year running, Anthony Rudolf of Journee and Will Guidara of Make It Nice (this time at Alice Tully Hall and with an assist from co-curator Brian Canlis of Canlis restaurant in Seattle) created a day packed with speakers who shared their experiences with and insights into conflict and change. Once again, we laughed, we cried, we SoulCycle’d (sort of!), and we learned.
Some of the day’s key lessons (and there were many, so forgive us if we missed a few):
1. To be truly hospitable, we need to be hospitable to ourselves. Melanie Whelan of SoulCycle reminded us to make time for ourselves and stay in touch with what we really want. Find space for yourself every day to be with your thoughts, she urges.
2. Sam Lipp, general manager of the iconic Union Square Cafe, notes that we should compromise to achieve our goals in the face of conflict and change. He related several tales of so-called solutions to problems at the restaurant that made things worse by not first acting with tact (and, later, ultimately succeeded).
3. What is obvious to you is obvious to you, says neuroscientist Dr. John Medina. What he means is that everyone’s brain is wired differently and each one is has a different way of perceiving rewards and punishments, so how you see things is not how others do.
4. Frank Guidara, formerly of Restaurant Associates and proud poppa to Will Guidara, reminds us, “Adversity is a terrible thing to waste.” Seek out what you can learn in times of adversity and you can grow from it.
5. It’s important to understand what cannot change, counsels Mary Celeste Bealle, proprietor of Blackberry Farm. When your situation changes, especially tragically, some constants are a good thing.
6. Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, co-owners at Eleven Madison Park, reveal that during times of conflict if you can take emotions out of the situation, arguments can become constructive conversations. The brother-from-another-mother business partners have had many disagreements over the years, but they have found that conflict has always resulted in them doing their best work.
7. In times of crisis, former FBI hostage negotiator Gary Noesner says if you do nothing else, “Stall for time. Slow things down. Time cools emotion. And then listen. “People want to be heard and they want to be listened to.”
8. Richard Melman of Lettuce Entertain You, which boasts 260 restaurants in its coterie of eateries, shared his motto regarding conflict with customers. “The customer is usually right,” but we need to remember, “There are some crazy-ass people out there.” He stands firm on not allowing a diner to be disrespectful toward his staff.
*This post was first featured in our Open For Business US blog.
The OpenTable Industry Series is back in Melbourne in September, and we’ve got another exciting line up!
Secure your spot for one of the most engaging events on the calendar, and tune in to three luminaries in the Melbourne dining scene.
We’ll also provide you with lunch at Epocha Restaurant, and as well as a platform to engage with others in the industry
If you’ve been confronted by nagging questions and struggle to find value at other events that don’t relate to your challenges, join our intimate event series by registering for it now.
DATE AND TIME: Mon. 11 September 2017, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm AEST
- +More to follow!
Tackling a restaurant refurbishment is a daunting task – as Mitchell Waugh knows all too well. After taking over Paddington institution Four in Hand in early 2016, the Public House Management Group founder and managing director recently embarked on a three-week renovation of the restaurant and hotel.
“A refurbishment of both the pub and dining room was on the cards from when we purchased the Four in Hand, we just wanted to spend a bit of time with the property before making any decisions on what direction we would take,” he says.