My #1 credo is "Don't be a dick." Think about other people and realize that we all share this existence together – trying to help one another succeed instead of pushing each other down is where it's at.
Beer started as a hobby for me. I used to work in the audio industry and quit it in 2006. I bought a homebrewing kit one day. My first couple of batches really sucked, but I wanted to get better at it and I did. It evolved into a profession for me organically. I enjoy drinking beer and it turns out that I was pretty good at talking about it and explaining it in ways that people can understand.
Keith Lemcke, former Vice-President of the Siebel Institute of Technology, taught me how to turn what I loved into work. He always knows how to break things down to figure out a situation.
I look up to Michael Roper, owner of the Hopleaf in Chicago. He has done an incredible job at making it one of the best bars in the country. He is a great businessman who is ethical and I admire his approach to the welcoming sense of hospitality. Every time I go to his bar, it is a complete educational experience.
Don’t rush to judgement. We all learn in different ways; if someone doesn’t seem to understand what you ask him/her to do, maybe you aren't teaching in the way he/she learns.
Be an overachiever: that extra step you take and effort you put in is noticed. Every. Single. Time.
Stay humble: I work hard, but so do many others. Always acknowledge your influences and pay homage to them whenever you can.
I look for people who are tenacious, who can change their way of thinking and are not afraid of making mistakes while they put their all in into what they do.
I would not be able to do my job without passionate people surrounding me, whether it be my staff or the guests. I care, but I can’t teach people to care. Passion is something that can’t be faked, it is obvious when you find someone who is passionate. The best experience one can have in a restaurant or a bar is when the staff is willing to go above and beyond for you.
What I’m most proud of since joining One Off Hospitality and the Publican family of restaurants is The Publican Tavern at O’Hare International Airport. It’s an amazing beer bar inside an airport. It is so cool and gratifying to see someone order a bottle of Orval, a small Trappist beer from Belgium before hopping on a plane. I find it mindblowing that we’ve been able to create that experience for travelers.