The 13 | Part 1

By: Greg Nasser, BOH director of operations

We’re kicking off 2017 by taking you back to the fundamentals of our trade (hospitality) with a 13-part series on the 13 ethics of hospitality–brought to you by Director of Ops. Greg Nasser. Read on for part 1.

#1: Respect – Respect for your craft is critical for building relationships within your team and with your guests. Appreciate the needs and basic expectations of your guests to ensure satisfaction. When dealing with your team, always work together to ease the burden of your collective workload.

Chef Alex Morgan (El Techo, Flores and Lolinda) is a great example of someone who continuously places the ethic of respect at the forefront of his daily work. He’s committed to setting up his fellow chefs for success. The respect he gives to his team members creates efficient and motivated back-of-house teams who do great work and consistently produce at the highest levels. We’ve seen extremely high guest loyalty at all three restaurants and we trace much of it back to the respect our employees receive–and show–for one another.

Respect is a three-pronged ethic comprised of craft, guest and self. When you understand the importance of each prong, then you’ll have mastered the first ethic (respect) of hospitality.

Prong 1 – (The Craft) Your craft is what you study, what you create and what you honor. Respect is essential in your daily practice when preparing for the long term. The following rituals are two examples of showing respect for your craft:
· A chef must sharpen their knife before their day starts to honor their products and be precise in their work.
· A bartender would never use a brown or rotted peel as a garnish. Instead, she or he would honor the product by using only the freshest citrus peels.

Respect for one’s craft is a value that can be transferred any every department in our organization. When each of us chooses to respect our craft, we lay the foundation for our teams. This then becomes recognizable to the guest.

Prong 2 – (The Guest) Guest loyalty is only garnered through guest satisfaction. To understand each guest’s specific expectations is very difficult. It’s a matter of studying each person individually. Whether the guest is celebrating a special occasion or is merely in need of something to eat (and quickly!), it’s on you to figure them out to the best of your ability. How many of your guests leave 100% satisfied? Do they tell you personally? When you can appreciate the needs of each guest and understand how to deliver to their expectations, then you have demonstrated respect for your guest.

Prong 3 – (The Self) When individuals work smarter–not harder–and efficiently, the collective team can accomplish great things. It’s very challenging to always be in the service of others (the guests). When everyone focuses on performing at a high level, the workload becomes manageable and the whole team wins. Having the flexibility to re-charge and re-energize after a particularly demanding schedule will allow you to take on the new challenges that will, inevitably, come your way.