Monday, March 25, 2013

First Class

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. It's the hard that makes it great."
- Tom Hanks, in A League of Their Own

I have never flown first class, but I imagine it is quite special. I try to get bumped up when I fly on my birthday, however I have yet to be successful in my plight, and I assume the airline agents laugh at me after I leave the counter. This year marks twenty years in the service and hospitality industry for me. Most who have worked with me will attest that I take pride in my work and (in the words of Sean Honan) "do more than is asked of me," but my newest endeavor at the luxurious Capella Hotel in Georgetown has forced me to think of a different level of necessary mastery - "first-class service."

Remember that I wrote a whole blog entry a while back about the madness of opening and operating restaurants? Yeah, so I chose to do it all over again. Most of my friends say that it is better to go to an already established place so that you know what to expect. I, of course... don't. Come to think of it, out of the nine restaurants I have opened, five of them have been sight unseen - not a darn clue what the places would look like or be about (fully). Blind trust? Faith? Naivete? Thrill of the gamble? Upon some reflection, I like to think of it as the opportunity to put my mark (yes) on something. There is something quite exhilarating in the madness that is starting from scratch. Fortunately, the vision we were imparted in our training was to aspire to be the best. The tools and the road map we were given were meant to produce a successful business. Exceptionalism is optional and will require some extra dedication and creativity. Perhaps I have found the right place.

The Grill Room at Capella Hotel in Washington DC

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