Haley Fortier & Kristie Weiss bring over a 20 years of restaurant experience combined. Haley came up through the Laundry Group and the Barbra Lynch Gruppo. Kristie by way of the Yard House, Blue Ginger, Alta Strada, and No. 9. Park. In 2016 the two came together by fait, a broken ankle, and coffee. Haley was in search of the perfect partner and Kristie was looking for a change. The two joined forces to open their first restaurant, haley.henry, located in Boston, MA, to much acclaim. Their most recent project, Nathálie Bar, is salso located in Boston, MA.
Favorite success quote or mantra:
"Work smarter, not harder."
In this episode with Haley Fortier & Kristie Weiss, we discuss:
- How the corporate scene values of focusing on the bottom line, didn't jive well with Fortier.
- How to handle stressful situations.
- How tempers no longer flying in the professional restaurant environment.
- Stripping the pretension from the dining experience.
- Going above and beyond to care for your staff. Up front, it might be more expensive and inconvenient, but it always pays off in the long run.
- Creating extreme standards food "allergy best practices". Also, how going to extreme standards to make sure your guests are safe, translate to your guest how much you care.
- Doing your research before taking a job at a restaurant. Does the tone of that restaurant match your tone? Will the owner be a hands on owner? What matters to you? Ask questions during the interview.
- Things Fortier and Weiss did right before opening their restaurant: planning details ahead of time, cultivating relationships, and starting small.
- Why you shouldn't start the build out of your restaurant until you are fully invested.
- Being patient and having high standards on who you higher, especially in leadership roles.
- The impact you can make when you stay small.
- Why it is so important to let your staff be themselves.
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- Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
- Haley: Humor.
- Kristie: Reliability.
- What is your biggest weakness?
- Haley: Being a Libra, she likes balance, but sometimes she needs to be better about taking charge and setting the tone.
- Kristie: Anxiety.
- What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
- Ask if they have a weakness. If they can't admit that they have a weakness then
- What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
- to overcome this challenge they're doing their best to make sure the people on their team stay by making them feel like family.
- Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
- What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
- What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
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- What's the one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
- What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your four walls restaurant and how has it influence operations?
- If you got the news that you'd be leaving this world tomorrow and all memories of you, your work, and your restaurants would be lost with your departure with the exception of 3 pieces of wisdom you could leave behind for the good of humanity, what would they be?
- You're never going to know as much about wine (or the restaurant industry) that you think your know, so never stop learning.
- Be kind to everyone.
- Listen to your staff and have their back; the guest is not always right.
Thanks for listening!
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Huge thanks to Haley Fortier & Kristie Weiss for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!
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