Will Guidara Headshot

Will Guidara

Will Guidara is the former General Manager and co-owner of Eleven Madison Park – named the best restaurant in the world – and bestselling author of Unreasonable Hospitality. In his keynotes, he imparts the lessons in service and leadership he has learned throughout his career to show anyone can use excellent hospitality to improve their business outcomes.

Meet Will Guidara

Will Guidara’s career in hospitality, specifically restaurant management, is nothing short of astounding. He turned Eleven Madison Park into a 3 Star Michelin restaurant that ranked #1 on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. He is also well-known for his keynote and motivational speaking. Will Guidara is available to be booked for corporate and private events. Contact the Mollie Plotkin Group today to inquire about Will Guidara’s fees.

Want to book Will Guidara for an event?

Contact the Mollie Plotkin Group at 215-510-6607 to book Will Guidara for corporate or private events, keynote speeches, workshops, fireside chats, motivational speaking, or virtual appearances. Our agency will work directly with your organization and our keynote speakers to create an unforgettable event.

The Mollie Plotkin Group is the leading keynote speakers agency and entertainment bureau bringing excitement to audiences, clients, and employees. We represent subject-matter experts in every possible field, so whether we’re your partner in creating a memorable meeting, or your meeting planner’s secret weapon in securing the perfect keynote speaker, we’re in this with you.

Biography

The Start of Will’s Career

After graduating from the renowned hospitality school at Cornell University, Will Guidara began his dining room career at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in Beverly Hills. He then went on to hold various roles in the Union Square Hospitality Group, including at Tabla, Café 2, and the restaurants at the Museum of Modern Art.

Eleven Madison Park

In 2006 Will became the General Manager of Eleven Madison Park. By 2011, Guidara purchased the restaurant from Union Square Hospitality Group with chef Daniel Humm. Under Will’s leadership, Eleven Madison Park 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. The restaurant also received two James Beard Awards for Outstanding Wine Service in 2008 and Outstanding Service in 2016.

Continued Success and Awards

Along with Eleven Madison Park, Will and Daniel also opened NoMad New York In 2012 and the separate NoMad Bar in 2014. NoMad has since received a Michelin star and a James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program. Additionally, in 2016, Will even earned the Wall Street Journal’s Innovator Award. He was also named one of Crain’s New York Business’s 40 Under 40 in 2018. Following their success, Will and Daniel also opened three more restaurants: Made Nice, NoMad Los Angeles, and NoMad Las Vegas. Then in 2019, Will and Daniel mutually agreed to a buyout, allowing Will to pursue writing, keynote speaking, and other business ventures.

Unreasonable Hospitality

In 2022, Will wrote the National Bestseller Unreasonable Hospitality which chronicles the lessons in service and leadership he learned throughout his career as a restauranteur. This book is the basis for Will’s most requested keynote, which shares the same name.

Will also hosts the Welcome Conference, an annual hospitality symposium that brings together like-minded people to share ideas, inspire one another, and form community.

How to Hire Will Guidara

Find out how to hire Will Guidara to appear at your next event. Contact the Mollie Plotkin Group to inquire about Will Guidara’s availability and cost. When booking Will Guidara for an event, we need to know the type of venue and location the event will take place. Will Guidara is a popular choice for corporate events, private events, and virtual events. So, you can click the Check Availability button or contact us and an MPG Will Guidara booking agent will get back to you within 48 hours.

Will Guidara Booking Price

How much to book Will Guidara depends on the type of event. So, the cost to hire Will Guidara for corporate or private events is available by contacting a Mollie Plotkin Group Agent. Notably, Will Guidara is available for conferences, festivals, private parties, and events. Just contact the Mollie Plotkin Group and tell the booking agent the proposed date, time, and location.

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Fill out the form to find out when Will Guidara is available.

Upcoming Engagements

Our speakers are in high demand! View their upcoming events.

May 29 2024 - Jun 30 2024

The Enigmatist – Magician David Kwong – Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
May 29 - 31 2024

iMEdD Media and Democracy Summit – Featured Speaker Jessica Yellin – Wilmington, DE

The Queen
May 30 2024

Oslo Business Forum Webinar – Featuring Will Guidara – Virtual Event

Virtual Event
No event found!

Key Audience Takeaways

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.

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. In fact, more than three-quarters of our GDP comes from service. So, whether you’re in retail, finance, education, healthcare, computer services, or 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 people 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.

Why Hospitality Is Today’s #1 Leadership Skill

We know that people and teams excel at a high level when they feel aligned and connected – part of a community. In the corporate workplace, this used to happen organically. But in today’s post-pandemic world, the conditions of the game have changed – which means leaders must change how they’re playing the game. Today’s leaders need to be skilled at very intentionally creating the conditions for their teams to come together – to genuinely connect. That’s what is at the heart of hospitality.

Leaders who know how to take a collection of individuals and make sure they operate as a team will create more connected, inspired, effective, and happy employees. By applying ideas honed from his career operating the world’s #1 restaurant, Will helps others do whatever it takes to be better hosts, and thus better leaders.

Giving More vs. Less: Why Hospitality Is The Greatest Tool In Problem-Solving

Too often, when we’re faced with a pernicious problem in business or our lives, we fall back on the tried-and-true: push harder, be more efficient, and cut back. Imagine that, instead, you asked yourself: what is the hospitality solution? What if you forced yourself to be creative, to develop a solution that worked because of—not in spite of—your dedication to generosity and extraordinary service? These are usually harder to execute, and coming up with them will call on your creative side. But they’re almost always a win. During times of struggle – particularly in today’s economic climate – people tend to operate from a place of fear.

In this talk, Will makes the case for why this is the perfect time to root your decisions in hospitality and give more, not less.

Client Testimony for Will Guidara

Books

Unreasonable Hospitality Book Cover

Unreasonable Hospitality: The Remarkable Power of Giving People More Than They Expect

Will Guidara was twenty-six when he took the helm of Eleven Madison Park, a struggling two-star brasserie that had never quite lived up to its majestic room. Eleven years later, EMP was named the best restaurant in the world. How did Guidara pull off this unprecedented transformation? Radical reinvention, a true partnership between the kitchen and the dining room, and memorable, over-the-top, bespoke hospitality. Guidara’s team surprised a family who had never seen snow with a magical sledding trip to Central Park after their dinner; they filled a private dining room with sand, complete with mai-tais and beach chairs, to console a couple with a canceled vacation. And his hospitality extended beyond those dining at the restaurant to his own team, who learned to deliver praise and criticism with intention; why the answer to some of the most pernicious business dilemmas is to give more—not less; and the magic that can happen when a busser starts thinking like an owner. Today, every business can choose to be a hospitality business—and we can all transform ordinary transactions into extraordinary experiences. Featuring sparkling stories of his journey through restaurants, with the industry’s most famous players like Daniel Boulud and Danny Meyer, Guidara urges us all to find the magic in what we do—for ourselves, the people we work with, and the people we serve.

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