UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVITY & START MAKING YOUR DREAMS REAL.

X
Michael Bonadies

Michael Bonadies

“the hospitality business is like football, it's not for everyone: you either like to hit and be hit or you don't. You either like providing service to people or you don't. If you enjoy making other people happy, that's the best starting point.”
- Michael Bonadies

Michael Bonadies began his hospitality career as a dishwasher. While this detail might seem trivial when you consider the fact that Bonadies has become a much sought-after speaker, writer and entrepreneur, his humble beginnings exemplify the humble, we’re-all-in-this-together attitude that sets his career apart. He was a co-founder at Drew Nieporent’s Myriad Hospitality Group and helped launch world-famous restaurants Nobu, Rubicon and Montrachet. Bonadies now runs his own hospitality consulting firm, which has clients ranging from the 5-star Mondrian Hotel in Doha to startups that understand the importance of a personal touch.

Are there any distinguishing features you look toward to create a positive hotel experience?

The people, the staff, first and foremost, make or break a hotel stay. A great hello and goodbye are the foundation of a superior hotel experience, and they can’t be achieved via technology, only face-to-face with a real person.

If done correctly, the arrival experience is especially critical because it sets the tone of the care and concern that one can expect through out the remainder of one’s stay. This emotional connection only comes through interpersonal interaction and the staff’s desire to please. The goodbye is equally important because a great one with heartfelt smiles cements a positive impression of your stay, and usually makes you feel pretty good about all the money you just spent.

In between the hello and goodbye it’s comes down to two things: fun, accessible and energetic food and beverage outlets, and the hotel integrating into its location, culture and community.

On the flight or drive home, I want to feel that my time was well spent and that my hotel or resort experience delivered value for my time, which none of us have enough of.

Are there any distinguishing features you look toward to create a positive hotel experience?

The people, the staff, first and foremost, make or break a hotel stay. A great hello and goodbye are the foundation of a superior hotel experience, and they can’t be achieved via technology, only face-to-face with a real person.

If done correctly, the arrival experience is especially critical because it sets the tone of the care and concern that one can expect through out the remainder of one’s stay. This emotional connection only comes through interpersonal interaction and the staff’s desire to please. The goodbye is equally important because a great one with heartfelt smiles cements a positive impression of your stay, and usually makes you feel pretty good about all the money you just spent.

In between the hello and goodbye it’s comes down to two things: fun, accessible and energetic food and beverage outlets, and the hotel integrating into its location, culture and community.

On the flight or drive home, I want to feel that my time was well spent and that my hotel or resort experience delivered value for my time, which none of us have enough of.

What destinations in the world are you the most excited about in terms of developments in the hospitality industry?

The Middle East, Iceland, Costa Rica, Nicaragua…and closer to home definitely the Catskills and Hudson Valley

Advice for a young person ready to dive in to hospitality but just doesn’t know he/she belongs?

Just do it. You won’t know until you try because the hospitality business is like football, it’s not for everyone: you either like to hit and be hit or you don’t. You either like providing service to people or you don’t. If you enjoy making other people happy, that’s the best starting point.

What conversations should hotel managers/owners be having that they aren’t?

  • How we can better tell the unique story of a property through social media.
  • How we can drive more reservations through our own website as opposed to using other channels.
  • How we can, on a daily basis, come down on the side of great service and higher guest satisfaction rather than working for great productivity and higher profits. We need to understand that success on the first side of this equation leads to higher rates and higher long term profits.
  • How we can create and execute a service and hospitality culture that so-called disruptors will never be able to challenge.

What are the most important considerations when selecting a chef for a hotel space/project?

My number on consideration is if they’ve worked in a hotel or corporate restaurant environment before. Hotel environments tend to be far more corporate, with more layers (each with lots of opinions) and are more HR driven. It’s a very different world from even the most organized restaurant groups in the world…so it’s definitely not for everyone.

Your best travel tips for the weary?

Don’t leave home!

This interview originally appeared on Journy, click here to visit

Biography

Highly respected in the hospitality industry as an accomplished entrepreneur, leader, writer, and speaker, Michael Bonadies is currently President of Bonadies Hospitality LLC, an international hospitality firm with projects in the U.S., and across the globe. His projects range from developing the 5-star Mondrian Hotel in Doha, Qatar to creating a fast-casual burger concept for New York City and Beijing to coaching the management teams of emerging brands and start-ups. Among his clients are Grace Bay Resorts, Morgans Hotel Group, Marriott International, Al Hamla Hospitality, Langham Hotels & Resorts, El Cortez Hotel & Casino, Salamander Resort & Spa, the Empire State Building, BuzzTable and WeWork.

Previously, Michael was President & CEO of 21c Museum Hotels, an award-winning boutique hotel company (#1 hotel in Conde Nast Traveler Readers Poll) that proved that art drives commerce; and, before that a co-founder of Drew Nieporent’s Myriad Restaurant Group where he helped create and operate such world-famous restaurants as Nobu, Montrachet and Rubicon. Michael has been a contributor to Food Arts, Food & Wine, Gourmet, Wine & Spirits and Santé and won the James Beard Foundation Journalism Award for Magazine Writing on Spirits, Beer and Wine in 1996. In 1998, he published Sip by Sip—An Insider’s Guide to Learning All About Wine. Michael began his hospitality career washing dishes at Clyde’s, in between rugby games, while attending Georgetown University in Washington, DC, from which he graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

Insta-magic

Send this to a friend