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Will Guidara        

Restaurateur, Eleven Madison Park, The #1 Restaurant in the World, Entrepreneur, Bestselling Author of "Unreasonable Hospitality"

Will Guidara is the author of the National Bestseller "Unreasonable Hospitality," which chronicles the lessons in service and leadership he has learned over the course of his career in restaurants. He is the former co-owner Eleven Madison Park, which under his leadership received four stars from the New York Times, three Michelin stars, and in 2017 was named #1 on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants

A native of Sleepy Hollow, New York, Guidara has been immersed in the restaurant industry since the age of thirteen. A graduate of the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, Guidara began his dining room training at Spago Beverly Hills and attended culinary school in the north of Spain. He then went on to various roles throughout Union Square Hospitality Group, and from 2006, to 2012 acted as general manager of Eleven Madison Park. He is also the co-founder of the Welcome Conference, an annual hospitality symposium that brings together like minded people to share ideas, inspire one another, and connect to form community.

In 2011, Guidara and Daniel Humm purchased Eleven Madison Park, and under their leadership, the restaurant has received numerous accolades, including four stars from the New York Times, three Michelin stars, and in 2017 was given the highest ranking on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. EMP has also received seven James Beard Foundation awards, including Outstanding Service and Outstanding Restaurant in America.

In early 2012, Guidara went on to open the food and beverage spaces at The NoMad Hotel. At The NoMad New York, they have received a three-star review from The New York Times, one Michelin star, and a James Beard Foundation award. In 2014, Guidara and Daniel opened The NoMad Bar, which has earned a top spot on the World’s Best Bar list. In 2017, they opened Made Nice, a counter-service restaurant located in the NoMad neighborhood.

While running the restaurant Eleven Madison Park, Guidara discovered the remarkable power of giving people more than they expect, and used this idea of Unreasonable Hospitality to turn a struggling two-star brasserie into the #1 restaurant in the world. This radical reinvention was a true partnership between the kitchen and the dining room, creating memorable, over-the-top, bespoke hospitality. Today, every business can choose to be a hospitality business—we can all transform ordinary transactions into extraordinary experiences. In his presentations, Guidara urges us all to find the magic in what we do—for ourselves, the people we work with, and the people we serve.

Guidara has co-authored four cookbooks: "Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook", "I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes", "The NoMad Cookbook", and "Eleven Madison Park: The Next Chapter". He was named one of Crain's New York Business's 40 Under 40, and is the recipient of WSJ Magazine's Innovator Award.

Speech Topics


How To Build A Brand Centered On Unreasonable Hospitality

For most of America’s history, we functioned as a manufacturing economy; now, we’re a service economy—more than three-quarters of our GDP comes from service. So, whether you’re in retail, finance, education, healthcare, computer services, communications, you are in the business of serving other people. Making good products is no longer enough, serving efficiently is no longer enough – now, it’s how you make the people you work with and those you serve feel that matters most of all. In this talk, Will will share why he believes our world is on the precipice of becoming a hospitality economy, and how every business can choose to be in the business of hospitality, by transforming ordinary transactions into extraordinary experiences.

Unreasonable Hospitality: How Giving People More Than They Expect Can Get You To #1

Will Guidara took Eleven Madison Park from a middling Brasserie to the best restaurant in the world when he realized something revolutionary – in a restaurant, the food, the service, and the design are simply ingredients in the recipe of human connection. When Will encouraged his team to be present with their guests, take what they do seriously without taking themselves too seriously, and employ a “one size fits one” strategy, magic happened. In this talk, Will shares why these lessons took EMP to #1, and how an unreasonable approach to the pursuit of human connection can help you win – and give people an experience they’ll remember forever.

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