Aaron Ginsberg

Aaron Ginsberg

VP of Restaurant Partnerships at Resy/American Express Global Dining

Restaurants bring people together and are universal in bringing people joy, providing memorable experiences, and of course serving delicious food and drinks. And the people behind restaurants are some of the hardest working, most inspiring people I have ever worked with. Being able to work to drive more guests into restaurants thus supporting those business owners, chefs, and restaurant workers, that keeps me inspired. I feel very fortunate to be able to do that in my role at Resy and American Express.

”Adversity is a terrible thing to waste.” This advice has stuck with me because not only did I believe in it before I met my mentor, but it became even more profound afterwards. The line is from Will Guidara, but more accurately from his father, Frank Guidara, and we used it quite often when Will was at the helm of Make It Nice.
In the hospitality industry you get dealt a whole range of challenges and we firmly believed that no matter the challenge, there is always great opportunity that could come from it and while you might need time to dust yourself off and get in the right headspace, an opportunity to make something meaningful of that adversity was always at your fingertips. I’ve seen this come to fruition in numerous ways in my personal career.
I was out of work briefly in 2009 and it was one of the most challenging professional experiences, but through determination and grit, I turned that lack of opportunity into motivation and a job at First Press Public Relations that set me up for every career milestone that followed.
Adversity struck again, not only for me, but for the industry, when in 2020 my year ended without a job, but turned into a consulting role with Resy and American Express. That risk paid off (I like to think for both of us) and I’ve been able to find a different type of career in hospitality that I never knew existed here.
When I was early on in my career working at an advertising agency, I committed to myself that I would get a job in or around the restaurant industry. I networked, cold called, talked to restaurant owners I met while dining at their spots, attended any event I could, and after dozens of meetings and calls, I found a job in restaurant PR and marketing. I learned from that process that if you have the right type of passion and commitment, you can achieve what you want, but you need to work to create a network that also supports you and sees your potential.
My parents always talked about the importance of networking when I was growing up, but I believe creating a supportive community around you is paramount to bring any significant change to your career, and also to sustain it with new growth and opportunities.
Your character, integrity, and passion are all things that cannot be masked, or taught in my opinion. There are many skills you can learn on the job, but these are elements of your personality and heart that are critical to let shine through, not only in my position, but in any position, especially one that touches the hospitality industry.
One highlight that really stands out from my past career with Make It Nice was getting EMP Summer House launched in East Hampton back in the summer of 2017. It was one of the most challenging, yet rewarding projects I ever worked on and a true reflection of collaboration with literally the entire 100+ person team we had employed at the time. It was no small feat shutting down one restaurant and finding, renovating, and opening another one, but I look back at that experience as an invaluable one on so many levels.
For self-care, I try to workout in some form every day. It started during COVID as a way to just give myself some time before everyone in my house woke up and ensure I kept my body and mind challenged, but it’s continued years later.
I go back and forth on if I believe in the idea of work/life balance. I think it depends on who you are and what you do, because if you stress out too much about it, you may be setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. Adam Grant, who I happen to be a big fan of, likes to talk about work-life rhythm since there is an ebb and flow to things and that feels a bit more realistic to me. Working in an industry you love also poses some challenges because in my personal situation, I love restaurants, so even if I am not working I may be putting time and attention to the hospitality industry in some way. But I do have some rules that I try to abide by when it comes to spending time with my family and think that’s essential in any job.

Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.

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