Book Review: Unreasonable Hospitality

Posted by Kristin Arnold on November 27, 2023

unreasonable hospitality

One of my clients wanted her team to read the book Unreasonable Hospitality: The Remarkable Power of Giving People More Than They Expect in preparation for a strategic planning retreat. Of course, that meant I had to read the book, and I’m glad I did!

It’s a well-written story about the author, Will Guidara, and how he transformed a two-star restaurant into a four-star restaurant and ultimately became recognized as the #1 restaurant in the WORLD.

The story itself is interesting, especially if you have ever worked in a restaurant.

But the story can also be applied to Will’s insatiable curiosity about how to make things better. For instance, how can the front of the house make things better? What about the back of the house, the chef and the staff? They all work in different areas of the restaurant, but need to work together.

Every once in a while, the author tries to make his journey more relatable to other industries, but the real power is in the story itself. Pay attention to the subtitles, and you could have an AWESOME way to start your team meetings.

For example, in the chapter on Restoring Balance, the subtitles are:
Slow Down to Speed Up – Will and Chef Daniel were making too many changes and realized they were pushing too hard.
The Deep Breathing Club – What to do when a teammate is having a meltdown of sorts.
Touch the Lapel – An inobtrusive way to ask for help.

To provide context, have each person read the few pages within that subtitle and then have a brainstorming discussion about how they envision it could work in your organization, division, department, or team.


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KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CSP, CPF|Master has been facilitating meaningful conversations between executives and managers to make better decisions and achieve extraordinary results for 25+ years. She's a leading authority on moderating panel discussions and passionate about finding the perfect olive to complement a vodka martini.

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