The hospitality industry can be tough even during normal times. Here is a compilation of industry leaders who shared with us what has kept them going while navigating the highs and lows of 2021.


"In our line of work, you have to take it day by day, service by service. But what’s gratifying about that never-ending cycle of performances is being able to feed New Yorkers day after day. Treating guests to a night out -- particularly when they’ve been confined to their apartments for months -- has been our lifeblood."

Jeff Katz (General Manager and Co-Owner)

"I have been (and always will be) incredibly motivated by our managers and restaurant teams. This past year has brought the industry so many challenges and our teams come to work every day with such amazing energy and a focus on building an amazing culture."

Emily Finkelstein (Director of People Operations)

"It has been a very tumultuous year and there is no question that our team members, our guests, and our stakeholders have motivated us to keep going. Their commitment, passion and dedication to support us throughout this time pushed us even further to become more welcoming and inclusive to deliver enlightened hospitality in its truest sense."

Abe Monzon (Director of Talent)
Union Square Hospitality Group

"Personalizing the highs and living through the lows has provided me with even more empathy that only reinforces the importance of our mission to connect people with a paycheck in a way that works for them. It’s inspiring to witness someone go from feeling like it’s impossible to care for loved ones AND earn a living to realizing there’s a world of options out there that allow you to work when you want, when you can. Those stories are powerful and motivating!"

Nicole Allen (Vice President of Operations)

"My team is my biggest motivation. To see the tremendous passion, drive, dedication and hard work my team puts in daily is amazing. I am learning from them every day and they are learning from me. I have an individual relationship with every single person and together, they all contribute to the team in their own way."

Pawel Brzezinski (Executive Vice President of Operations & Strategy)
Creative Culinary Management Company

"One of our company’s core values is 'Hospitality is our Honor'. This has been a major motivator for us to keep going, despite the highs and lows of 2021.Hospitality is our Honor is about looking outward, not inward. It’s been very important for our leaders to bring back as many employees as possible as the restaurants are their livelihoods. These employees and our leaders truly believe in and love great hospitality, meaning we love creating experiences and memories for our guests. It is an extraordinary feeling and pure honor to have guests dine with us so our teams can practice their crafts."

Rachael Sobotka (Personnel Manager & Talent Integration Specialist)
The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group

“Our teams have truly been our motivation; they have worked incredibly hard for us throughout the challenges of the last year. Seeing their dedication and commitment makes us want to work even harder for them to provide the best workplace for them.”

Fabio Trabocchi (Chef and Owner)