Sunday, April 19, 2009

Consume the Luxury of Hanna's & Casa Bella!

Many of you know that Lefty and I are partners in a great restaurant ~ Hanna's. For 4 years we have been proud to help in selecting talent, working on menu's, handling conflict between employees and sharing in the passion of our partners Dave Hanna and Beth Coppini. Saturday night clients of ours from the UK flew over to visit us (MCA) and we took them to our restaurant for cocktails and dinner. This is always tricky when entertaining clients in the first place but even more so when you are treating them at your own restaurant.

We couldn't have been happier with our team and partners. Dave pulled out all the stops and Kat our server who has been with us for years blew our clients away. These top echelon clients dine at the finest restaurants in the world and couldn't believe the food, service and ambiance. These clients are more than customers to us ~ they are our friends and believe in true feedback. I know for a fact that they would tell us the truth, and the truth is that we are on the right track.

I love the hospitality industry, I love the hotels I work for and stay in, the restaurants I dine in and I love each and every employee in every one of these places. It is the real "authentic" person who can get up everyday in this environment and come to work with a smile on their face and a will to please and serve others that is unbelievable. Why can't everyone do this?

When my daughter was 12 years old, we built a new home in Coto de Caza. She was not happy to move from her house that she had lived in for a long time to a new house. We involved her in the design of the house and she named our new house "CASA BELLA." She created an ad campaign for the house called "Consume the Luxury of Casa Bella." She designed a story for each room with the tag line "Consume the Luxury of Casa Bella" on each story. She did this with zest, energy and a new found passion for her new home. Now everyone that enters our home sees her passion and work ~ and more importantly "Consumes the Luxury" of our passion for hospitality.

It amazes me how some people don't even care about those around them, whether in their family or with friends. So stop and think about the next time you are having friends or family over ~ let them feel your love, passion and desire to show them a good time. Apply this at work tomorrow. It only takes a few minutes to make people want to be around you. We are proud that our employees both at MCA and Hanna's like their jobs and their surroundings. Do you?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Be Unrepeatable!

Create your own magic and try not to copy others. That is all very nice, but it is amazing in the world of competition how many people really do try and copy each other. Now this is not about benchmarking - this is about losing sight of what is real and what is made up. I have had the opportunity to work with many different types of people, both in my company and outside. All of these individuals brought something unique to the table, but when push came to shove, some of them could not stand up to the test of being an individual with their own ideas.

Please note - this is about some people...not all! How can you really excel if you are not authentic? How can you deliver excellence to your customers, co-workers and your company, if you have nothing original to bring to the table. Remember, we are not talking about inventing the next cool tech toy - I am merely speaking about making things happen. In some cases, it isn't even about being different - it is simply about making things happen - all by yourself.

In a world where everyone seems to be hunting for new business, canvessing the sea of prospects and looking for a new way to add value to their cusomers and cash to their bottom line, it is time to live life with some "juice."

Start with stamping out conformity, form letters, emails with no meaning. Amaze yourself by trying something new. Don't set back and say "later." If not now, when? Delight those around you by transforming negativity into a new thought. Confront someone who is driving you crazy, challenge your peers to step it up a notch, and turn your personal life upside down - have fun by living each moment with a smile.

Being unrepeatable means that you truly bring something to the table. You are not a phoney, fake or trying to be something you are not. Just try to experience each day by participating in life in your own shoes. You will be amazed at what you can do. Stop hiding behind what others think you should be, and share what you are. This is the life we chose, therefore let's accept it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The "AIG" Effect - All is Good!

It is April 1 and no fools are rushing in. We have all taken the past several months very seriously, and now it is time for a wonderful second quarter. I was in a meeting last week, when everyone agreed that we need to focus on the positive - "All is Good." Instead of "the AIG effect."

People are back to work - business is humming - I notice it everywhere. I was in NYC with my daughter shopping over the weekend, and I am NOT exaggerating that there were lines in the stores like it was Christmas. People were not just browsing - they were shopping, dining, drinking, laughing and spending money.

So here is my hit list for all of you to start of the second quarter:

1. Reach out to every one of your customers and find out what you can do to assist them in areas you may not have provided before - make your business a one stop shopping experience for them.

2. Re-look at your organization and find weak areas that need to be polished, strengthened, fine tuned and improved for quality and efficiency. After finding the gaps - create a plan to close those gaps and improve how business gets done.

3. Create a positive energy campaign in the office - the 3 E's - energy, enthusiasm, and energy. Look at everything - the way the phone is answered, the smiles on the team members face (or lack of), the creativity in the proposals, the honesty in the feedback, the development of the team and the ability to find new business.

It is so important to keep on a high - keep things rolling. Business will continue to get better as we in business get stronger. Strength comes knowledge, honesty and a clear vision of the future - so April Fools Day for me - this has all been a bad joke and it is over!