What your guest takes away from their dining experience is important. In many ways, it’s what each facet of a restaurant is working toward as a collective end goal. Your relationship with your guests is as important to the dining experience as is a particular bottle of wine or great dish. These industry leaders can attest to that.

Form an Honest Connection with Guests

“Early on I learned the importance of treating every guest equally and with respect and interest. I’ve found that the most fascinating guests are not those with security guards or black cards, but often the most unassuming ones. Making connections with guests and helping to create special and memorable experiences are why I love my job.”
- Katie Bell, General Manager at Agern Restaurant

Focus on the Present

“When interacting with a guest, give them your undivided attention. It's the most important conversation that you're having at that moment.”
- Gary Obligacion, Director of Operations for The Alinea Group

Smart Decisions are Financially Sound Decisions

“One of the hardest things I had to learn in this industry is that you are not buying wine for yourself, you are buying wine for your guests So make smart decisions that will make your restaurant money.”
- Daniel Toral, Wine Director of 50 Eggs Inc.

The Customer is Always Right

“Evan Goldstein taught me that the guest is always right, especially when they are wrong.”
- Christie Dufault, Wine and Beverage Instructor at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

Really Understand Who Your Guest is

“Know who your guests are. Meaning, when you are a line level employee, the paying guests are your guests, but as soon as you step into a management role, your guests change. They are now your direct reports, because to be effective, you need to work through them to get to the paying guests. Therefore, how you want the guests to be treated is how you should treat your direct reports. It all flows through.”
- Anthony Rudolf, Founder of Journee

Dining Experiences can Change Someone's Day

“I love that regardless of the kind of day someone is having, a restaurateur has the ability to positively impact the outcome of that day.”
- Jeff Benjamin, Chief Operating Officer of Vetri Family

Channel Inspiration Through Your Diners

“This is a very guest-oriented industry. I always rely on my guests to motivate and inspire me by challenging me to provide better service, better wines and pairings, and a great overall experience.”
- Raj Vaidya, Head Sommelier at Daniel