All Posts by Stefan

Being Yourself When You Serve (Part II)

This article stands alone, but also serves as an extension of themes discussed in of part I. The Case of the Two-Faced Server. One of the most prominent bits of restaurant industry lore concerns an idea that the servers that are the most gracious, sweet and beloved by their guests are the vile once they […]


Being Yourself When You Serve (Part I)

Powerful Ways The Service Environment Reveals & Tests Our Ability to Be Our Authentic Selves Probably the most played out bit of wisdom we get from people of all positions and disciplines is encouragement to “just be you” rather than whatever you think people expect of you.  It’s something we always do well to be […]


Welcome To The Family: Hospitality As A Spiritual Practice

Originally written for the Be Here Now Network.  Check it out here. A 2007 study by political scientist RD Putnam discovered that people are more likely to socially retreat when in ethnically diverse environments.  Our tendency to hide away and avoid connecting to those that seem different than us was the focus of Grace Rodriguez’ […]


Overcoming Impostor Syndrome

In different stages of life, we all have holes in our game that we hope others don’t see.  “Impostor syndrome” is the belief that we are riddled with deficiencies. That we are fundamentally lacking in something (i.e. reliable skills) that makes us the useful, valuable human we are somehow obligated to be – and we’re just around the corner from being found out.  The most successful people on the planet continue to get struck by this feeling every time they put themselves out there in a big way.  But, everyday, even the smallest interactions can trigger it.


The Ego Is Not What You Think It Is: 3 Ways To Make It Your Friend

The ego is often misunderstood as something you need to get rid of. It’s more like a part of you that needs to be kept healthy. Those mystical experiences where the ego “dissolves” is more of a chokehold being released from your true self – the ego’s still there, just non-attached, not defining and limiting your experience. 

I discuss the unexpected ways that “enlarging” it helps you break out of its limitations. And provide some useful techniques that you can use to strengthen your ego so you can serve everything better and just generally live your full potential.


One Encounter, One Opportunity: How Modern Bartenders Realized That It’s Not About Making Great Drinks.

My first love affair with service and restaurants was with bartending just as it was becoming a highly respected craft in the Western world. However, the eastern approach revealed how much we were missing. How the Japanese Way of Tea and the one-pointed path of the Shokunin is just beginning to reveal the possibilities of serving as true hospitality people.