Q: What professional accomplishments are you most proud of since you are Principal at Korgen Hospitality?Ken :
Although I am proud of our repeat clients and celebrate the successful launch of multiple restaurants nationwide, my favorite accomplishment is found in the philosophy of our training. When I was a server, I always resented being told what to "push" on the menu. It was disingenuous, and often merely based on what was about to expire in the kitchen. One of the requirements of our clients is that they foster authenticity in their hospitality. We don't tell our teams what to fall in love with on the menu; we just want them to love something and speak with passion. No robots, no scripts, no "push the salmon" – just an honest conversation between our staff and our guests.Q: What are the superpowers of your team? Ken :
Our greatest superpower is acknowledging our kryptonite – those qualities or skills we each lack. I might be great at managing expenses or building forecasts, but I am not the one to pick the music for our clients' restaurants. There was a time I would have argued that point, but my Dire Straits playlists lean toward "dad rock", which really doesn't work in most modern restaurants. We make a conscious effort to surround ourselves with creative individual who excel in the areas we fail – and then provide them the space to grow.
Q: How would you describe your leadership style? Ken :
The #1 challenge of any leader is effective communication. One must be willing to constantly reevaluate how they interact and modify rapidly given each situation. Every client in unique, so we strive to be fluid and graceful in our conversations. One key is embracing personal interactions. Ever notice how challenging it is to convey proper tone via text or email? Although these are valuable tools for supplying basic information, true connections are made when a dialogue exists.