BOOK REVIEW | Unreasonable Hospitality

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The remarkable power of giving people more than they expect

By Will Guidara


Learn the surprising power of delivering beyond your customers’ expectations.

Essential lessons in hospitality for every business, from the former co-owner of legendary restaurant Eleven Madison Park.

Radical reinvention

Will Guidara was twenty-six when he took the helm of Eleven Madison Park, a struggling New York City 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 cancelled 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.

About the author

Will Guidara is the former co-owner Eleven Madison Park, which under his leadership 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. He is the host of the Welcome Conference, an annual hospitality symposium that brings together like minded people to share ideas, inspire one another, and connect to form community.

A graduate of the hospitality school at Cornell University, he has coauthored four cookbooks, was named one of Crain’s New York Business’s 40 Under 40, and is the recipient of WSJ Magazine’s Innovator Award.


  • PUBLISHER | Penguin Random House SA |
  • ISBN | 9781529146820 |
  • Recommended Retail Price | R420.00 |
  • Classification | Hospitality |



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