Defining Hospitality Podcast

Today’s guest has been immersed in the hospitality industry since the age of 13. Will Guidara is the author of many books, including a new one called “Unreasonable Hospitality”. Will has been trained in the dining rooms of Tribeca Grill, Spago, and Tabla and opened the restaurants at the Museum of Modern Art. Will joins the host Dan Ryan to discuss his journey through hospitality and what it all means to him.
  • Having board games along with fine dining provides an experience that makes the guest feel comfortable and at home. It reminds them of home-cooked meals and time with family and friends.
  • Will has always had a passion for creating spaces where people can get together and enjoy being around friends and family. This is part of what led him to be in the hospitality industry. 
  • America used to be a manufacturing economy but now 65% of our GDP is driven by the service industry. This means we have shifted the focus of our economy to be in the service industry and provide people with memorable experiences of hospitality.
  • The culture of your company is a living, breathing tangible thing. It’s not just part of a checklist; if you don’t live by the cultures of your company, then the culture will die.
  • The best way to talk about hospitality is to compare it to service. Service is bringing the right plate to the right person on time but hospitality is how you make them feel when you bring them their food. 
  • Your values transcend everything. If you bring your values to the front and make them a core part of who you are, then those values will drive you and help you succeed. 
  • Don’t be afraid to look at yourself and tell yourself that you can handle anything that comes your way.
Quote of the Show:
9:24 “It has always brought me joy to create spaces where people can come together.”
Shout Outs:
1:36 The Nomad
05:47 Simon Sinek
25:39 James Corden
25:43 Balthazar
25:51 Keith McNally
36:09 Rookie Smarts by Liz Wiseman
Eleven Madison Park

Ways to Tune In: 

Creators & Guests

Dan Ryan
Host of Defining Hospitality

What is Defining Hospitality Podcast?

How do you define hospitality?

Dan Ryan has been working in the hospitality industry for nearly 30 years, and he‘s just as fascinated by it as he was on day one. Join him in this weekly podcast as he invites industry thought leaders to discuss what hospitality means to them - in the built environment, in business, and in our daily lives.

Dan Ryan: All right. Welcome everyone. Today's guest has been immersed in the hospitality industry since he's was 13 years old. He's trained in the dining rooms of the Tribeca Grill, Spago and Tabla, and open restaurants at the Museum of Modern Art. He's the author of many books, including a new one coming out, or, which would've just come out on the 25th called Unreasonable Hospitality.
Lazy, ladies and gentlemen, one of my heroes and a purveyor of incredible experiences for me personally. Mr. Will Gadara. Welcome Will. Hey, thank
Will Guidara: you so much, man. I'm really, really happy to be here.
Dan Ryan: So [00:01:00] I just want to go into a time machine. I actually went through my old emails and I found this, and I think that this is really gonna be a great point of departure.
Um, so for all those, the restaurants that I mentioned before, Uh, everything that you've done and all the ones that I omitted, um, like I just remember having one of the most incredible me meal experiences at 11 Madison Park, which it involve, you know, remember how they do the, um, The card trick at the end.
Yeah. I
Will Guidara: loved the card trick. Well, the
Dan Ryan: coolest thing is I was with three friends, or my wife and two friends, and we wound up playing hearts or something with the deck of cards until closing time, and it was like, I think it was a six hour dinner. But it felt like no time and I just felt so warm and cared for and it was incredible.
Which I know goes like you, you definitely highlight and speak about throughout un Unreasonable Hospitality, the book coming out. Um, and that was just a magnificent experience, but I think [00:02:00] what my office used to be right across the street from the Nomad, um, from the Nomad on Broadway in 26th. And I remember I wrote you this email after attending your welcome conference in.
18, I think, where it was basically, I said, um,
I know we never connected or it was so great to meet you at the welcome conference. I, but I never got to tell you about an amazing experience. I. Just had at the Nomad Library. I haven't been in a while too much, but I, Brittany was there, who I was a regular, and she said, Oh, how have your travels been? And I said, You know, I was going to Denver.
I, I, I've been traveling a lot, I'm going to Denver. So she brought over this woman Skylar, who's from Denver, was working at the library bar. Skyler brought me a handwritten card of things to do in Denver , and, and I remember writing to you just like, I just had to share it with you, and I was just awestruck and I, I, but I, as I [00:03:00] read your book and just knowing you and having experienced all these things, it's, I think it's those little moments that are the most price.
And I just wanted to get your, your feeling on it. I mean, you said it, it made your day and lit up your heart. So how does
Will Guidara: that tie Well, yeah. I wanna, I wanna say two things real quick because first you talk about playing hearts and, um, the, the card trick, I came up with that idea when I was playing a game of cribbage.
Um, Do you know, I'm not sure if you know the game. Oh yeah. It's
Dan Ryan: a very, um, Massachusetts,
Will Guidara: New England game. Yeah. And, and my dad is from New England and we grew up playing cried. And I was playing cribbage and drinking a bottle of wine. And I was like, Man, like why can't find dining meals include a game?
Like, wouldn't it be awesome if our guests could play a game when they were with us? And the card trick itself wasn't a game, but the fact that you guys ended up playing hearts until the, the we. Is actually the absolute fulfillment of how that idea came to pass in the [00:04:00] beginning. So that brings me joy. I, I think the reason why Britney, by the way, was one of my favorites at Nomad, and so it's fun to hear you mention her name.
But yeah, the reason that that filled my heart to the extent that it did was, listen, it's, it's one thing to believe in the idea. Of going above and beyond for the people that you work with and the people that you serve. The, the idea that you pick up on these little cues that give you an opening to do something that will just make them feel great.
It's another thing entirely and something that I believe is actually much more fulfilling when you can create a culture within your organization where other people become addicted to doing those things for people as well. And so, There's nothing that makes me happier than when I hear from someone who's been to one of my places that something like that happened to them and I [00:05:00] had absolutely nothing to do with it because it means that the idea has fully taken root within the organization.
And so, um, I just think it's the best I, for me, there is nothing. More energizing than seeing the look of complete joy on someone's face when they receive a gift. I am responsible for giving them, except hearing that people on my team have grown accustomed to doing it as well. Well,
Dan Ryan: I think that also comes into the idea of values, culture, attraction, and why, like, why do we all do these things?
Because Britney didn't. Appear there one day she was attracted to the Nomad bar. I don't really know her very well except just interactions there and you know, she always made me feel amazing. But I think that all comes from values and culture and why, and if you're really living in that, Place and, and living and breathing your why.
You attract these people and [00:06:00] you find these people and you, you hire, you, fire, you, retain, you nurture all these people that are, you know, you're aligned with culturally. Um, and it's interesting because first of all, Simon Sinek, that whole, uh, Ted Talk on starting with Why, I just remember for myself trying to figure out my why.
I remember writing down everything and going through his exercises and workbook and it was staring me in the face and I couldn't see it. And it took other people to be like, Oh, you don't see this. It's all here. You love the journey. And what lights me up more than anything else is when I can make sure that everyone feels cared for on their journey.
It happens to be opening hotels, but what. When I can shorten other people's journey, like that's my nirvana, right? Mm-hmm. So how, you know, saying that you've worked in restaurants since you were 13, how did you find your, why did you always know it? Did you explore, Like, what was your process in, in getting to your [00:07:00] why to where you are now and starting all the, the welcome conference and doing all these incredible restaurants and books?
Like, was it hard for you to find your why even though it was looking at you? Or did it just come out of you?
Will Guidara: No, it, it wasn't. I, I'm very lucky in the sense that, for me it was never a journey. I kind of always knew what I wanted to do for, for a variety of reasons. I grew up in the restaurant business. My dad was a restaurateur.
He was my hero growing up. I honestly would've done whatever it was that he was doing. It just so happened that the thing he was doing ended up being something that I fell in love with. Mm-hmm. . But I wanted to be like Kim. Um, first and foremost. . Um, and so I used to go to restaurants with him all the time cuz you know, your dad's in the restaurant business.
The only way to spend too much time with him is to go to work with him. Um, and I was always just obsessed with the magic that I felt in those restaurants. The idea that when you're in a great. Dining [00:08:00] room being served delicious food with graciousness, the world can be put on pause. I mean, you talk about that meal at 11 Madison being six hours, and it probably didn't feel like that at all the time.
Probably flew by because we created the conditions where you and the people you were with could connect. We created a little magical world that you could lose yourself in. Mm-hmm. . Um, but then, you know, my mom. when you read the book, and I share this story in the, in the beginning of it, my mom got, got pretty sick when I was a kid and ended up being a quadriplegic.
And, um, what I don't talk about in the book is that my dad, who always wanted to make sure that that didn't have too much of an adverse impact on my life and didn't threaten my confidence during those formative years. Kids are trying to find their confidence. Uh, moved our our house to one that was just a few [00:09:00] blocks away from my school because since I didn't have a mom that could drive me to my friend's places to.
For play dates or, or whatever you called them. He wanted to have the house that was so centrally located that the play dates happened at our place. So I didn't need to worry about getting rides to and front places and, and so since I've been a little kid, everyone always came to my house to hang out and I just always loved hosting people.
A, a friend of mine asked me a couple years ago, he said, Are you in the restaurant business or the hospitality business? And it was the first time anyone had asked me that question directly. And yet somehow the answer was so obvious, which is no, I'm in the hospitality business. I've just been doing it through restaurants.
Um, it has always brought me joy to create spaces where people can come together. I did it growing up as a kid. My [00:10:00] house at college was the, the house that everyone got together and, um, and the restaurants I've, I've built since then have, have hopefully served that purpose for as many people as possible.
I've always just loved it. Well,
Dan Ryan: that's, it's reassuring and again, for me, I guess maybe. Just missed the obvious, but what just resonated with me that you said is okay. Are you in the restaurant business? No, I'm in the hospitality business. Right. And I think about what I do furnishing hotels. I don't, It's like, okay, yeah, it's furniture, but it's really a vehicle for making other people feel cared for.
Yeah. And taking care of. And I, I think that that really resonates with me the most. And that was the hard thing to get my head around of really just like kind of peeling back the onion and seeing. Seeing what the why is. Um, you also kick off your book with this idea of the hospitality economy, right?
Welcome to the hospital. So in all these [00:11:00] conversations I've been having, many of the guests are interior designers who design restaurants, hotels, bars, resorts, and what's interesting, many of them come from these really large multidisciplinary firms, the designers do, and they're getting pulled into meetings.
Aviation, They're getting pulled into MO meetings of workplace. They're getting pulled into meetings of all these other spaces that are not hospitality, but every single business that, or client that these bigger firms are working on, they're bringing in the hospitality designers to look through each project with a hospitality lens.
So even though this podcast is called Defining Hospitality as well as we grow every week, which is also so humbling, I think it's because the idea of hospitality. Is transferable to every industry, every job, every human interaction. So walk our, walk our listeners to through what you mean by the hospitality economy.
Will Guidara: So, America used to be a [00:12:00] manufacturing economy for most of our history. Now we're a service economy and dramatically so more than three quarters of our GDP globally, it, it's, it's more than 65% is driven by service industries. Um, My whole thesis, the thing that I'm trying to encourage is to stop thinking that the hospitality industry is just restaurants and hotels and cruise lines.
Because whether you are in financial services or construction or insurance or design or you real estate or retail, you do the same thing for a living that I do. You're in the business of serving other. And given where we're at, given what's just transpired within the last three years. The thing that people are craving now more than ever is connection.
And the secret ingredient when it comes to connection is [00:13:00] hospitality. I believe that everyone in every business can make the choice to be in the hospitality industry. I believe that when you really look at what people want and need, making good products is no longer enough, serving them efficiently is no longer enough.
It's now how we make people feel, those that we work with and all those that we serve. That matters most of all, and I really do believe that we're on the precipice of becoming a hospitality economy because all the companies that choose to prioritize that connection, how they make people feel, those are the companies that will quickly find themselves separated from the pack.
Dan Ryan: I totally agree. And again, I wanna loop back into that idea of culture and values, right? Because if we, if we go back to Britney, Britney didn't just appear there, right? You had a culture and values that were, you know, oozing through all of the organizations that [00:14:00] you've been in.
How do you go about. Creating and scaling that culture so that it not just, it's how you treat your guests, but it's how you treat everyone and how you attract everyone to be in your tribe. What, what are like, how do you actually, how have you done that in your experience?
Will Guidara: Well, words matter. I. I think that any organization that's not taking the time to thoughtfully articulate their core values and their non-negotiables and put words to their isms, figure out the phrases or ideas that express who they want to be in the world, um, is missing out on an opportunity, but just articulating those things.
And putting words to paper isn't enough, then you need to say it over and over and over again. One of the things I talked about in the book is the idea that 30 [00:15:00] minutes a day can transform a culture. And what that is driven by is the pre-service meetings that we have in restaurants where every day for 30 minutes right before we open our.
We have a team meeting, and that's not unique in the restaurant industry. Almost every restaurant does some version of that, that many of them that may be while people are having family meal, and they're just gonna go over what dishes have changed and maybe a new step of service and when health insurance enrollment starts.
But the, the great ones are those that recognize that that 30 minutes is a precious resource and something that you should never. Because inevitably what is talked about in a culture is what is embodied and of every day over and over and over again. You talk about the things you stand for, the things that you believe in, the, the ideas that you wanna bring to life, the way that [00:16:00] you want to make people feel.
The people that you work alongside, if they are the right people for your organization, they will get on board and they'll embody those ideas more and more and more. And so, yeah, it's finding the words to express what you wanna be and then talking about those things as often as possible with passion and enthusiasm, because passion is contag.
I, I
Dan Ryan: completely agree. And to hear you say, you know, it's more than just words on a piece of paper. Um, I've created a bunch of businesses within our, within the hospitality industry, one of which was in the pandemic building Cultures of safety at hotels. Right. So for mostly their frontline staff. So housekeepers back of house.
But what was crazy is I would, I would go into some of, Properties, and they would have the poster of what their values are, People first, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And you'd go into [00:17:00] the, the employee break room. Hmm. And it was like, it was like the, the worst of a subway station you could imagine. Yeah. Right.
And I was like, how can you have these values up on a, on a wall? And then you're really treating your own people This. There was such a disconnect. Um, and another thing that's resonating with me is that on that pre-service meeting, you said, We do these daily huddles every day where it's like, what's up?
What are the metrics? Where are we stuck? And then we share a core value story about someone else on the team. And our core values are caring. We adapt and improve. We're tenacious, we're organized, and we say what we mean and we do what we say. Every company has their. Values. And from what I've found is all the company, my friends who have companies, those values come from the best examples of their leaders and frontline employees, and they're just, I think the, the really hard part is many companies don't live and breathe by those tell [00:18:00] about it.
It's not, you have to almost create lexicon like you were saying, right, Where it's like, it, it, it's a code that we all live. Well,
Will Guidara: yeah. And, and, and, and doing that and throwing it up on the wall next to the, the time clock. If, if all you're trying to do is check the box, I can guarantee you it's not gonna work.
Mm-hmm. , Um, a culture is a living, breathing thing. It needs to be tended to and fed and watered and nurtured. Um, it's not something that you can ever check off your. if, if you create a great culture and then you don't pay attention to it, it's not gonna be a great culture for very long. And so I love what you, I mean your daily huddles, they're exactly what I'm talking about.
And I love the grace note at the end. Not only reinforcing the culture by getting people to talk about a way in which they saw life breed that didn't do it, but doing so in a way where [00:19:00] they're given the opportunity to affirm other people on the team is, is, is a win. Totally.
Dan Ryan: And then we'll even play games where if some core values aren't being used we'll say, You know what?
This one hasn't been used in a while. Let's, for this week, let's just tell stories or shout outs about this value. Sometimes to help people get used to having uncomfortable conversations, we'll talk about a core value fall, fall down so that it can, you know, everyone gets used to giving feedback in alignment with our values.
As I think about values, and I think about my experience of you through the restaurants I've been at, but also through the Welcome conference. I think one of your values, although I don't know if this is written on a wall anywhere, is impacting others. Hmm. Right. In some, in some facets, because you've impacted me positively and a lot of my friends, whether you know it or not, you've had an impact.
It's like throwing a, a pebble into a pond, right? There's this ripple effect. If you [00:20:00] think about impact and kind of how I felt walking, how I like going to that welcome conference, I literally felt like I was walking on a cloud, right? You impacted me positively. The guests that you had, the speakers made me think differently.
If you think about, um, unreasonable hospitality, I give you, if I give you a magic wand right now, this book is publishing, um, on the 25th, um, if I gave you a magic wand, what would be the lasting. That you would like to have or the most resounding impact that this book could have out there?
Will Guidara: That's a good question.
I think that the greatest impact would be that in 10 years, all the ideas in the book, in 10 years, they won't be that unreasonable. In 10 years, the ideas that I'm put forward, that I'm putting forward would be considered reasonable hospitality, and we'd have the ability to shift into a whole new [00:21:00] gear.
Again, my, my hope for this book is, I mean, you look across disciplines in every industry and the people that are successful, what you'll see they all have in common is that they are unreasonable in their pursuit of the thing that they. , whether it's in the world of design, finding the perfect fabric for the perfect chair that sits in the corner of that room, that a detail that so few people will actually notice.
But because they're unreasonable in their pursuit of greatness, they do whatever it takes to get every single detail to be just right. My hope is that everyone. Recognizes the amazing power of being just as unreasonable about how they make people feel along the way, that rather than just pushing the envelope of excellence, they choose to push the envelope of hospitality [00:22:00] with as much relentlessness.
Understanding that in doing so, the ROI might be harder to measure, but it doesn't mean it matters less. In fact, I believe it matters. Gestures like that, embodying these ideas. I, I, I've seen it through my experience, make a business more profitable, but perhaps more importantly, they make the experience of running that business or for the many people that work at that business, so much more rewarding and fulfilling.
Mm-hmm. And so, yeah. The greatest impact would be these ideas, which right now are not embodied by, by too, too many people, and therefore are innovative, become the norm.
Dan Ryan: As you were saying that I wrote down on my [00:23:00] piece of paper here, like living with supreme intentionality. Hmm. Right. And you, for you, you're saying like an compromis.
Supreme intentionality, right? Because it really, if you're really that intentional about that little fabric on the chair that's in the corner, that maybe not everyone's there. You're really sticking to a story and you're telling a story throughout whatever you're trying to convey. And I love that. Well,
Will Guidara: and like you think about in, in the, And by the way, I love that too.
An intention is, is one of the more pervasive themes throughout the entire book. , you think about hotels, you think about the design of the hotels, the, the army of unreasonable people that come together to make one of those happen, right? It's the, it's truly an army that is required to build a great hotel.
And every single person, whether it's the graphic designer or the interior designer, or the developer or the, you know, like so many people have to show. [00:24:00] Uh, focus intention. They have to be completely unreasonable to make some of these projects happen in the first place. And then so many people forget what the point of a hotel is, which is just to bring people together, to connect with other people, to give them a space to feel loved and cared for place to lay their head down at the end of the night and feel safe.
They put so much energy into creating the thing and then not nearly as much energy into investing in the people that breathe life into it.
Dan Ryan: I agree. And go. Also going with the idea of that being unreasonable about things, there's like, there's kind of a scale, right? You, and I'm sure you see it in restaurants.
I see it with architects and designers, these uncompromising visionaries. Will not sacrifice anything and leave a lot in their wake. Right. So they could, they can [00:25:00] leave a, a trail of despair in their wake. Right. But they're, they get their, they achieve their vision. But then on the other side, like there's, I think there's a balance between being unreasonable about what you want, but not leaving a trail of dust and tears behind you.
How do you feel that?
Will Guidara: Well, the beautiful thing is when it comes to being unreasonable about how you make people feel, if you're leaving a trail, it's just of people that feel great, , right? Like totally, totally. It's, I, I just don't think of, I can't think of anything that is a more virtuous thing to be unreasonable about.
Dan Ryan: Um, one, one chapter I did not get to read yet is chapter 15, and I have a feeling I know what it's about and I want to tie it into a current event. It's. The best offense is offense. Hmm. So, I, I, and as I'm seeing, I don't know, I, I assume the chat, I, I really wish I would've read it, but, [00:26:00] um, literally the book hasn't even come out yet.
Um, but it makes me think of James Cord, which he was just at, um, Bath Isar, one of my other favorite restaurants. And apparently he was being unreason. , but just this morning I read that Keith McNally unbanned him and let him back because he, he called Keith and apologized. Um, and so in the, in what I do sometimes the, the projects that soak that shit, the bed so to speak, are also the tremendous opportunities.
To make everything right and go that extra mile and make everyone feel cared for. So I guess this is my roundabout way of asking you what's, what do you mean by the best offenses offense?
Will Guidara: Well, that chapter is about in the face of adversity, when business was not great. Not focusing on cutting, cutting, cutting, cutting, cutting.
But focusing on investing, [00:27:00] investing, investing, investing, not. money because we didn't have a ton of money to invest. But creativity, ingenuity, like how do you stay in the offense to get through challenging times as opposed to being on your back foot the entire time. I will say, it's funny, I just read about the James Cord and Keith McNally thing this morning.
Um, and what it made me think about were two things. I, I talked about this in the book, and it was the theme of, of one of the welcome conference years being right, and what is the relevancy of being right within a hospitality exchange? And, and we talked about that because on one side you hear people saying, the customer's always right.
And then on the other side, there are these restaurants that the chef is building as like a temple to their cuisine. And if you ask for some salt because you want the dish to be a little saltier, they look at you. , you've just committed high treason. In one case, [00:28:00] the restaurant is right. In the other case, the customer's always right.
And uh, the whole thesis of the conference was, Hey, listen, restaurants are about connection. Connection is about relationships. Relationships are a two way street. If either side is focusing on being right, then you're not gonna get very far and. I don't know what's real and what's not, what the whole James Court gave Magna, like, but like the idea that when people are attacked or shamed, um, human nature has it, that the natural tendency would be to say, No, that's not right.
That's not how it happened. Like, I, I didn't complain about the food like that, or da da da da da. It would be to try to assert that the person was wrong to attack you and. You were right. As opposed to recognizing that if the goal is connection in a relationship, if the goal is [00:29:00] hospitality, it's not about who's right or who's wrong, it's about how you made someone feel.
One of our isms to go back to that was perception is reality. Mm-hmm. , that if what we're trying to do is make people feel. if they think we made a mistake and we want to tell them we didn't make a mistake because we don't want them to think that we made a mistake. Like, who cares? Just, just do what you need to do to make sure the person feels good, cuz that is really all that matters.
Or at the very least, it matters much more than who's right and who's wrong.
Dan Ryan: Yeah. How can we be more like Britney and.
Will Guidara: I don't know that metaphor.
Dan Ryan: No, that Britney, who used to work with you in
Will Guidara: Australia, remember? Oh. Oh, I thought you were, I thought it was a Brit Spears thing that you were No, no, no, no, no.
Cause we were just talking James Gordon. I thought we were in like the celebrity, like no, no
Dan Ryan: pack. Like how can we, how can we do [00:30:00] that? Where it's like WW b d . Yeah. It's not so much about giving, It's both giving and receiving. It's how we make others feel. And I think like you're, Your vision 10 years in the future where we realize that we are a world of hospitality.
Like when you go back to pre-history or earlier ancient history, hospitality was what? That was the one thing that everyone could give even when everyone had nothing. Right. It was the one way to, It was like an uncompromising rite of passage. Um, And culture that you, you could never break or, or deny hospitality.
And then obviously like the, the podcast is called Defining Hospitality. So I'll give you the question like, after all this and your books and conferences and all the people that you've impacted in your, your, your Unreasonable, which I don't think is unreasonable vision of the future. How do you define [00:31:00] hospitality?
Will Guidara: Yeah, I read, I tell the story in the book back in the day when I. When I was a young manager, um, I was spending so much time trying to like convince everyone else around me that I was smart enough or mature enough to be a manager. And so I took a lot of things very, very seriously. Things that over time, I realized I was probably taking too seriously.
One of the things I, I, I was not very comfortable doing that first couple years was interviewing people cuz I was always like, Wait, do they think I'm too young, Da da da da. And so I came up with all these like questions that I thought maybe look smart. And that was my interviewing technique, was to run through this list of questions as opposed to where I ultimately arrived, which is just spending time with the person pretending it was like a first date, getting to know them.
Do they have integrity, passion. Are they someone I wanna spend time with? But back in the day when I did have those, [00:32:00] um, those questions, one of them was, what's the difference between service and hospitality? And the best answer I ever got came from a woman when I was managing a tabla who I ended up not hiring, and I can't remember why, and I feel foolish because I was such a good answer, But she said, Service is black and white.
Hospitality is color. I think the best way to talk about hospitality is I. Is comparing it to service. Service is, is what we do, the technical things that we do. Service is bringing the right plate to the right person at the right time with the most efficiency. All of that hospitality is how you make the person feel when you do it.
I love it.
Dan Ryan: Absolutely love it. And, and it's also coming up through so many of these conversations as. Um, you know, speaking about interview, interview questions and then tying it into culture. [00:33:00] I used to not be a good interviewer then. I really, I developed a system and a process for it, and I actually enjoy it now, but like, I always struggle.
I'm like, how do I make the questions about culture? And then what I realized is, and I think this can benefit everyone, aside from your normal interview questions, when you know what your values, It's like, Hey will tell me about a time when you were caring. Tell me about a time when you were organized.
Tell me about a time when you adapted and improved and you just be quiet and listen, and then it's, Hey, tell me more. Tell me more. And I think that that is really what I'm picking up from you is values transcend everything. And the more that we bring those to the front and celebrate them and make them part of our lexicon, that unreasonable future that you may.
Is that much more attainable because it is about giving and receiving of hospitality, and I think we just need, we need more of that. And I, I don't know. I'm, I'm excited you, This conversation is
Will Guidara: [00:34:00] exciting. Me. , I mean, listen, like the whole thing about also like going into an interview or any conversation really with a list of like questions that you feel some obligation to get through is that it ends up not being a.
And you see this all the time. This has happened in some interviews I've done about this book where someone asked me a question and I give an answer, and it could be the beginning of an amazing exchange where we get to know each other and feel more connected, and then they just go to the next question, which is a complete, like 90 degree term from what we were just talking about.
Conversations are an opportunity to connect, and anything that we do needs to be in service of that connection. And if anything we do takes us further away from the goal, then that's something that we should be like, really challenging and questioning and, and doing differently.
Dan Ryan: Wonderful. Um, so as you think a again, that magic wand moment of your book is out there, you're, you're, you're helping the world get to that 10 year.
[00:35:00] Um, what else is exciting you about the future?
Will Guidara: Huh? I mean, I'm a dad now. What keeps me pretty excited about the future? How old? 18 months.
Dan Ryan: Oh, wow. You're in it. I'm
Will Guidara: in it. And
being a dad is this beautiful experience for me because so much. Of how to like live the most, I don't know. Fulfilled life in my view is, is the freshness of perspective that you can bring to the table on a daily basis. And watching her look at things with like through the lens of everything being fresh and new has helped me to do the same.
Because I think at a certain point when you've done [00:36:00] life for long enough or you've done something specific in life for long, , you see us being able to approach it with a fresh perspective and that limits your creative capacity or your desire to introduce new ideas to, to people in the world at large.
And so I'm excited to walk through life with a bit more of a beginner's mindset.
Dan Ryan: I love that. Uh, in a lot of these conversations I'm having, I referenced this one book, I don't know if you've read it. It's called Rookie Smarts, but it's basic. Oh, it's a really good one. I'll put it in the liner notes. But, um, it's basically like what you're saying, it's embracing these fresh perspectives.
The new kid, the intern, the new hire, the one who maybe you hired for culture, but they're coming from somewhere else. You hired for values. They had that fresh perspective. is if you allow it to be, that's about allowing it to be, can be so accretive to what everyone is trying [00:37:00] to accomplish. Um, I know you're really busy getting this book out there, so I do want to hit one question I ask everyone.
Um, so the 13 year old self, your 13 year old self, that was the first time you really experie. Working in a restaurant, correct? Mm-hmm. , I'm, you're gonna get that magic wand I gave you before is also gonna be a time machine. So you're gonna be able to tap your shoulder and stand in front of your 13 year old self.
The dad will is standing in front of the 13 year old will. What advice do you have for yourself?
Will Guidara: You know, I think. I, I've, I've thought about this in the past, and once upon a time, my answer would have been because, like anyone, you go through, I, I went through those awkward phases where I was insecure and this [00:38:00] and that, and because of, you know, being insecure, having confidence issues at certain stages of life, I don't feel like I lived.
I don't think I, like, I got as much out of certain seasons in my life as I could have had I been more sure of myself. And so once upon a time, my answer would've been like, go back and tell 13 year old will, like, Hey dude, your life's gonna be awesome. Like, get over yourself. Like, just believe in yourself.
Go out there and like, like shift into fifth gear and enjoy the ride.
But in hindsight, I mean it's like in back to the Future, if you go back and change anything, who knows what, how it would change what's happening now. And so
one of the things that I love saying to people, and I love hearing from people more than [00:39:00] anything, is, Hey, you've got this. Just like the simple, subtle vote of confidence and belief and affirmation of the person. And so I'd probably just keep it that simple. Just go back. I'd buy 13 year old me something nice because I'd more money than I did now, so I'd like, I'd buy 13 year old me, like a new drum set or a bike or something.
And then I feel like you've got this ,
Dan Ryan: I feel like 13 year old. That was when Back To the Future came out. So now I'm like thinking Marty McFly, um, and the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. Hmm. I need to watch that with my kids. That's a good one. I don't think that, I think that one's aged really, really well.
Um, but Will, as you get this book out there and all of your new projects, I'm gonna just tell you, which I think, you know, from the, just the confidence that I've. Experience from you is you got this . [00:40:00]
Will Guidara: Um,
Dan Ryan: where, where can people, where's the best place? And I'll put it in the liner notes, but where's the best place for people to a, buy the book, uh, for, for you?
Uh, and b uh, how can they learn more about your, your upcoming projects and things, if they want to experience your version of hospitality?
Will Guidara: Uh, um, I mean by the book, wherever. Obviously, like support local bookstore. or just go on Amazon if you don't care about doing that. Um, but I think the local bookstore is the dying arc, and I think any opportunity we have to support them is a cool one to,
Dan Ryan: I a hundred percent agree and I will put that above the link to the, to where to buy,
Will Guidara: um, as Aer And then for me, I mean, Instagram's the best way to, to stay up with me w Guera on Instagram and I'm working on some fun stuff.
Um, I am. I'm excited about my next chapter. I, you know, I do have an a two month old daughter, and so I don't feel like I'm in a rush right now. [00:41:00] Um, but, you know, I, I spent years deriving significant and genuine pleasure out of creating these little magical worlds and inviting people into them for 2, 3, 4, in your case, six.
And I want to try my hand at doing that same thing, but inviting them in for 2, 3, 4 days. Mm. Because I'm pretty excited about the experience I could create if people trusted me with that much of their time.
Dan Ryan: That's incredible. And we had to take that conversation offline because of all these amazing guests that I've had on.
There's really been this cool community that's been built, and I'm trying to think of like what's next There. But I'd, I'd love to pick your brain on that one. Um, anyway, I, I know you gotta go. This has been really wonderful for me and [00:42:00] I just wanna say how grateful and appreciative I am of your time at this very busy time.
And also, one other thing, we'll put in the line of your notes, the welcome conference, you gotta check it out next year. Um, it's really incredible, uh, incredible speakers, great thought leaders all come through there, but we. I'm so grateful and appreciative of your time. Thank you. Thank you,
Will Guidara: man. I look forward to staying in touch
Dan Ryan: and also to Britney and Skyler, wherever you are.
I hope you hear this too, because like you're such a part of, you're like the kind of the thread that you're
Will Guidara: part of our story now. Britney and Skyler. Yes.
Dan Ryan: So this has to find their way to them. Um, and then also I wanna thank our listeners because every week we've grown. It's so humbling. Because of that growth, we're able to get amazing guests like Will.
And um, if this has changed your idea of what it's like to give or receive hospitality, the impact you wanna leave, culture values, please pass it along. It's all been word of mouth and we thank you. Thank you. Thank you.