In hospitality, the winning team is usually the one whose members can rely and inspire each other to give their best. As we approach the end of the year, it is important to remember how we can work together to get through the busiest time in the industry. Here is a compilation of advice by industry leaders on how we can teach and support our teams to bring out the best in everyone - especially when we need them the most.


“One of my earliest mentors taught me the power of a good pre shift. Her pre-shifts were fun, creative, inspiring, and purposeful. When I left to open my own place she told me that great leadership always set the tone for the night, and I should spend some time every day preparing for that 30 minutes, and be detailed about it.”

Kevin Boehm, Co-Owner of Boka Restaurant Group in Chicago, IL

"I always played team sports growing up and the restaurant industry is the real life version of that. Every team member plays their role and supports one another to make it work."

Angela Neri, General Manager of Alfred's Steakhouse in San Francisco

"Take your time. Realize that leadership is like being a steward of a bank account; you make deposits every time you take care of someone on your team. You will have to make withdrawals, but you have to make some deposits beforehand. The best way to make deposits is to build trust so that the people you are leading fully believe that you are on their side. They won’t believe that you are on their side if they believe you’re out for your own personal aggrandizement; then you’re going to start to lose the support of the very people you need to help you accomplish your vision."

Danny Meyer, Founder & CEO at Union Square Hospitality Group in New York, NY 

"Danny Meyer taught me that first we must care for our colleagues. 'Taking care of each other fills us up with the caring we need to spill over to our guests and naturally puts our team in a stronger emotional position to care for them.' I've never forgotten that."

Chris Baggetta, Director of Pacific Wine and Spirits in San Francisco

“Early in life, I loved to cook but struggled with the more complex aspects of culinary arts and learning. Once I received mentoring from a very talented and gifted chef, he deposited within me a passion to do better and lead. Now, as an executive chef myself, I find profound satisfaction in mentoring others.”

Stephen Forman, Executive Chef at KeyBank Center - Delaware North in Buffalo, NY

"I am also always available to my team whether it’s professional or personal things. I like to be able to connect and be empathetic of what’s going on in their lives, and help them create new goals. I hope it helps them stay motivated and engaged."

Jillian Rocco, Director of Operations of Row 34 and Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston

“Jay Fletcher MS taught me about overcoming obstacles and the importance of paying it forward to help others grow and chase their dreams.”

Sabato Sagaria, Master Sommelier and President of bartaco in New York

For more words of advice from industry leaders check out our other Inspirational Career Timelines.  If someone you work with has been an inspiration to you and your team let us know by emailing us at [email protected].