NYCHG Members enjoyed a comfort food-laden breakfast and some insights on technology and reservations at Melba’s restaurant in Harlem.
This June, the NYCHG team checked out Melba’s, one of NYC’s premier comfort food destinations. The eponymous restaurant was the vision of founder, Melba Wilson. Being born, bred and buttered in Harlem, Melba knew she wanted to stay close to home so she could nurture and provide an exquisite yet comfortable dining experience to the community that raised her. Since opening in 2005, she’s developed a menu including southern classics, fresh seafood, sumptuous mac and cheese, and has expanded her offerings to include catering options.
For our visit, Melba’s team showered us with southern hospitality & a traditional southern breakfast: eggs, grits, fried catfish, and smothered fried chicken (YES THIS WAS BREAKFAST!!). While we dove into this delicious and indulgent meal, Michael Soto, the GM, hosted us & shared some of his insights on our industry from his vantage point of 30+ years in the business.
For a long time, Michael had resisted adopting new technologies to aid in running the business, and it took a lot of convincing by his colleagues to try out methods of digitizing the reservations system at Melba’s. Finally, he caved and gave OpenTable a try, and he is a full convert! Now that he realizes how crucial something like this is to both the day to day operations and the overall success of the restaurant, he’s found himself much more open to learning about all the new ideas and technologies that are continuing to crop up in the restaurant industry. Our takeaway: Experience in the industry is an invaluable trait for a manager or restaurateur, but we should always be careful not to allow ourselves to get stuck in our ways. While newer isn’t always better, it’s important to consider different ways of doing things and being open to suggestions regarding more efficient ways to operate and grow one’s business.
https://www.melbasrestaurant.com/Back to Events
Established in 2009, The New York City Hospitality Group ("NYCHG") is a New York City-centric organization dedicated to serving the restaurant and hospitality industry. NYCHG is comprised of the best in class professionals that act as a resource to each other and the hospitality community.
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