Book Recommendation — Unreasonable Hospitality

the logo for unreasonable hospitality

I recently finished reading Unreasonable Hospitality by Will Guidara, which details his career through the hospitality industry. While the book’s central idea is that the unreasonable levels of hospitality demonstrated at Eleven Madison Park can be applied to any business, the true charm rests in the stories and lessons the book has to offer.

Unreasonable Hospitality is filled with ‘legends’ where through extreme thoughtfulness and resourcefulness they exhilarate their diners with simple, bespoke gestures — such as running out and plating a hot dog for someone who is spending their last day in New York and had not gotten the opportunity to enjoy one. With good sense they then systemise many of these gestures that could apply more broadly, such as offering to top up the meter for any guests parked close by.

The next and more practical lesson from the book is the indefatigableness demonstrated each time a set back is encountered. They came last in the top 50 best restaurants — many would settle to be in the top 50, others would wallow in despair but instead with self-control they confidently identify their faults, improve on them and come back stronger each time. By coming last and improving themselves they built something better for both guests and staff — an example for us all.

While I would not expect this to change your world, there is a lot of wisdom to collect here for those who seek it and there is additional intrigue if you also work in hospitality. I recommend this book for anyone looking to improve their approach to delivering their product — whatever their product may be.