Hope and Where Your Fork Is

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“ONCE YOU CHOOSE HOPE, ANYTHING’S POSSIBLE”

Ever since Superman, my crush on Christopher Reeve was a big one. Then I read this quote – and my love for him was solidified. His gallant fight was incredible and he fought against all odds until his body couldn’t fight anymore. So how does this impact what I am supposed to be writing about you ask? I will explain —

Most restaurants come from the dreams of the people who create them. They put their hearts and souls into these projects, raise capital and put their asses on the line. For true restaurateurs there is a passion that fuels the fire of opening a restaurant. When you dine in your favorite places you love them because someone cared enough to understand what each guest wants and respond accordingly. A couple seeking a romantic dinner doesn’t want a chatty server while a group of gathering friends might be open to some specially concocted cocktails.
But hope only goes so far; while I know most restaurants hope every time they open their doors their guests will love the experiences they create. I am here to tell you that it’s so much more than hope that makes a wonderful night on the town. There is passion, skill, commitment, craziness (especially in this economy) and a whole lot of heart. In my book, restaurateurs are supermen and superwomen – and I salute them. So the next time you’re in your favorite restaurant give the owner or your favorite manager a kiss and say thank you. If it wasn’t for their dreams, and a whole lot of hope, you wouldn’t be having your favorite chicken dish at your favorite cozy booth with your favorite group of friends.

About The Author

Prior to opening Andrew Freeman & Co., a full service boutique consulting agency specializing in hospitality and restaurants in 2007, Andrew started his career working with several legendary New York venues including The Rainbow Room, The Russian Tea Room and Windows on The World. In addition to running the day to day marketing/public relations activities at these famed New York restaurants, Andrew was also responsible for the creation and management of their special events and catering departments. At all three venues, he also launched and then oversaw successful outside catering businesses. Andrew left New York in 1997 and departed for San Francisco to join Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants. He spent ten years with Kimpton, launching over 40 hotels and restaurants as well as the global brand. For his first five years with the company, Andrew was first Director and then Vice President of Restaurant Sales and Marketing. In this role, he worked with the restaurant team on the creation, launch activities and marketing/public relations programs for the group’s chef driven restaurant concepts and private dining venues. He was then promoted to Vice President of Public Relations and Strategic Partnerships for both the hotel and restaurant divisions. In this role, Andrew was responsible for strategic development and execution of all public and media relations activities. During his tenure Andrew also spearheaded several programs with industry and community partners including Kimpton Cares, a social responsibility program and Kimpton Hotels LGBT travel program which has garnered numerous awards and positioned Kimpton as one of the Top Companies for LGBT employment. Andrew also contributed to the launch of Kimpton’s highly successful Women in Touch program which became the spring-board for their national partnership with Dress for Success, an organization which helps low-income women enter the workforce and excel in their new jobs. Today, Andrew Freeman & Co. is busy consulting hotel clients, Hotel Shattuck Plaza, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, The Lodge at Sonoma, The River Terrace Inn, and Bay Area restaurant clients, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, Barbacco, Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar, étoile at Domaine Chandon, ETO, Fifth Floor, Grand Café and Poggio. Andrew Freeman & Co. is also proud to be an intricate part of SF.Chefs.Food.Wine a food and wine event that celebrates the unique flavor, diversity and bounty of Northern California. The annual event incorporates tasting tents, classes, seminars and an array of activities while supporting local charities such as the San Francisco Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, The Golden Gate Restaurant Association Scholarship Foundation and Project Open Hand. Andrew is honored to have also worked with JW Marriott/Marriott, Larkspur Hotels, Magnolia Bakery, Personality Hotels, the Palm Restaurant Group, and W Hotels. In 2009, Andrew Freeman & Co. launched a New York City office and is proudly serving clients including Pranna, Incentient and David Burke Restaurant Group. Andrew also works with a variety of clients on sales and service training, as well as concept development and operations refinement.

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