When I was in New York last January, I planned some time either side of the conference I was attending to walk around and make friends with the city.
Something unexpected happened: I fell in love .
It was the week before the Northeast would be buried under crippling storms and snowfall. The skies were blue, the air was crisp – every cabbie horn and hammer strike rang clear and sharp.
I took the subway, strode the sidewalks, grinned at furniture-moving-men, and snacked on slices of the best gluten-free pizza I’ve ever had (more on that later).
On my last day, I headed toward 7th Avenue to catch the 1 train to Penn Station, passing Madison Square Park on the way. I was taken with the park – wrought iron railings surround the green space, squirrels and birds nibble on found treasures, and this – Shake Shack.
It was 7 deg F – damn chilly for a Seattle-girl – and folks were sitting outside, chatting and gnoshing, enjoying the space. I was full of pizza and no longer had time to stop, but this looked special in a way I couldn’t define.
I knew I would put this on my list of places to visit next time.
Now, I have a better idea why.
I noticed today that registration is open for GEL 2011. On their home page is a link to Randy Garutti’s talk from 2010. Randy is COO for Shake Shack. He has some very cool things to say about food service, hospitality, and what makes Shake Shack work.
My favourite quote:
Make the charitable assumption.
You’ll have to listen to the talk to find out what he means by that. Here it is: