More About The People Who Make Us Succeed

Welcome back to part two of our feature on Nathan Normand, Chief Operations Officer of Portobello’s Grill and P-Beau’s Quality Food and Drink’s parent company, Grace Hospitality Group. If you missed our previous blog about Nathan, click here to catch up.

Today, we dive a little deeper with Nathan, discovering some of his insights into different positions in the restaurant, and learning who he gives the credit to for all of his success.

What has been your greatest professional success and biggest setback?
My greatest professional success has been surrounding myself with the best restaurant family imaginable. Kiva and Candice are, unquestionably, the best restaurateurs in the
industry. Their family values resonate through the brands and are the basis of our culture. Thank you both! Our management team; Todd, Josh, TJ, Rich, Gabrielle, Brittney, Toni, Heidi, OJ, Tad, Nathan, and Kendrick are the hardest working managers I have worked with, and are an integral part of the success. Our Commissary Chefs Brian and Danielle are the heart of the entire company. Our support staff, with their guest-centric mentality and understanding of team before self, are the drivers of "my" success. Without this family, I would not be where I am today.

My biggest setback...

It doesn't happen often, but when a guest leaves dissatisfied. I take it as a personal failure. Our creed is "Every Guest, Every Plate, Every Day!" If I fail to provide that, I take it personally and I will make it my priority to correct every contributing factor so it does not happen again.

You’ve worked in all areas of the restaurant, from the kitchen to the floor. What insights can you share about the differences and the difficulties?
The main difficulty is the literal wall between the Kitchen and the Floor. Our service teams interact with our guests and get to see first-hand the “WOW” moment while our guests enjoy their brunch, lunch, or dinner. Our bartenders get to witness when a guest enjoys their first sip of our craft cocktails. The kitchen team does not get that experience. In our newest concept, P-Beau's Quality Food and Drink, we tore down that barrier. We opened the kitchen up to the floor so that our kitchen team has the opportunity to share in those moments. We believe this increased engagement of our team with our guests only fuels the pride they take in their craft. It has proven to be very successful, and we will implement in our future ventures.

What are some of the challenges of being in the restaurant business?
Comfort! There is nothing more detrimental to a restaurant or any other business than comfort. When a team member gets comfortable, they miss the small details. It's those small details that differentiate an average business from a great business. If at any point you feel everything is perfect...you are already failing. GET BACK TO WORK!

Is there anything else you can tell us about yourself, your career, or the profession that would be interesting or helpful to others aspiring to enter and succeed in the restaurant business?
If you are in the restaurant industry, you probably don't know this, but you are slightly insane! This industry isn't for the mentally stable. LOL! I am fortunate to have an amazing family that supports me through the long days, late nights, and missed family functions. Thank you to my wife, Rebecca, and my son, Harrison, for always being there, understanding the industry, and allowing me to follow my passion. I couldn't do it without you both. I love y'all!

My advice...
  • Stay grounded.
  • Don't lose sight of faith and family.
  • Don't stop trying.
  • Always improve.
  • If it's your passion, jump head first and own it. If it's not your passion, find another pool
  • to swim in.
  • Lastly...DON'T SUCK!
Thank you Nathan for taking the time to sit down and give us a quick look into your life with Portobello’s Grill and P-Beau’s Quality Food and Drink! Keep checking back for more features in
our series, The People Who Make Us Succeed.