Professionals from across the restaurant industry attended the forth annual Welcome Conference on Monday. A one day event that focused on the hospitality aspect of the industry with an eclectic collection of talks centered on a theme of ‘Conflict and Change’.
The mix of speakers at the event is the most attractive part of the offering with world class restauranteurs sharing the stage with neuroscientists, CEOs, farmers, chefs and an FBI hostage investigator.
Below we’ve taken a look back at some of the highlights with reactions from those who were there on the day, you can also watch all the videos from the event again online.
“Adversity is a Terrible Thing to Waste”
The morning crowd were treated to an insight into the infamous Will Guidara when his dad, Frank Guidara, who spent years in the restaurant industry, offered up some powerful words of wisdom that were welcomed by a standing ovation from the crowd.
Recounting some very personal stories, he spoke about how events in life have moulded him and how he likes to see adversity as an opportunity, something that should never be wasted. The vet also shared his own leadership advice: a small book of 11 key leadership principles given to him when he started in the army.
David Chang is in charge of quite an empire, his Momofuku group owns restaurants across the U.S and he operates restaurants that cover everything from fast casual to fine dining.
Chang used his time on the stage to discuss the importance of team and how a leader’s actions influence those working below. He talked about how important it is to set a strong example during a talk that anyone working in a restaurant will appreacite.
“The Customer Isn’t Always Right”
Richard Melman from Lettuce Entertain You, a restaurant group in charge of around 90 restaurants, spoke about the conflicts that many of those in hospitality face daily when dealing directly with the public.
His speech will resonate with anyone who has worked a restaurant floor, while his “customers are not always right” mantra is one that will resonate with all of you.
Chef Sean Brock took a more laid back approach with his presentation, taking the spotlight and shining it on three women who work at his favourite waffle house.
It’s interesting to see a chef of such acclaim take the time to not only appreciate, but applaud the work of a section of the restaurant industry many overlook.