Julian Hakim

Julian Hakim

President of Shōwa Hospitality

As leaders, we need to put ourselves in other people's shoes. Whether it's the dishwasher position or executive chef, everyone has their own needs and it's my job to try and understand everyone the best I can. Making sure the team is happy and has a balance between work and life is key to long term success.

Treating people with kindness and respect are both extremely important to me and something I want everyone at Shōwa Hospitality to extend to others. We are all human beings, we share this planet, we should at a minimum be kind and respectful to one another.
My background coming from medicine and witnessing real life and death situations gave me a ton of perspective when I started in the restaurant business. Things that may seem super urgent and a crisis in our industry are really not as serious as we sometimes make them out to be. Having that calmness and being able to react appropriately to these situations is something that can't really be taught and can be very useful.
Hiring is perhaps the single greatest challenge our industry has faced since the pandemic. One key thing for me is attitude. There's a saying, “you hire for attitude and train for skills.” It's very true.
For inspiration, I love to travel and explore. I am on the road two weeks per month constantly stimulating myself with other cultures, restaurants, bars, cafes, etc. It's so enlightening to see how others do things, how they approach things. I go to Japan at least three times per year. Japanese people are so disciplined and focused on their work, it provides a great visual for us in this industry to see these things and learn from them.
At times it becomes a challenge in itself for me to practice what I preach. I may not have the healthiest balance between life and work. I travel more than I probably should. I feel a great responsibility to everyone at Shōwa Hospitality and I want to be there for them when they want to talk. With this lifestyle it became necessary for me to make sure I carve out time to be with my family. This industry throws things at you all the time, it is important to triage (as in medicine) and realize what is urgent and what can wait. I put my family first, and think that is the healthiest path forward.

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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