One BentoBox staffer who grew up in the restaurant business shares a holiday memory about the true spirit of hospitality
As told by Daniela Momo
Hospitality comes first in the restaurant industry, and it drives everything we do here at BentoBox, too. We’re proud to give some of the most accomplished restaurateurs in the world, as well as family businesses who know the names of all their regulars, the tools they need to bring hospitality to life in the digital space.
The holiday season in particular is a great time to reflect on the true spirit of hospitality, and the role that restaurants play in creating a sense of community. For those without family nearby, a restaurant can truly become a second home. Here, one BentoBox staffer who grew up in the restaurant business shares a personal memory of what hospitality over the holidays means to her.
"Luca’s* not in tonight?"
My father took a deep breath as he got up to speak with the general manager. My heart sunk a little as I saw the same concern cross the manager’s face. I knew that Luca had never missed a shift—he would often show up even on his days off. He liked to mingle with guests, charming them with his unmistakable Italian accent, surprising them with amuse-bouches, and remembering the tiniest details about their preferences. He entertained the staff with rambling anecdotes and constantly assisted everyone—it didn’t matter if it was the busboy, the chef, or the manager—no task was too small. To Luca, being a Maitre D’ wasn’t just his job—it was his passion.
In that moment, I realized that Luca had never spent a holiday alone, despite his family being overseas and his recent illness. The restaurant was his family. He had dedicated his entire life to the restaurant, which dedicated itself back to him. Luca was an integral part of the restaurant’s community, and when it came time, that community rallied around him, being there and attending to his needs.
That’s why, despite having several restaurants and over 200 employees on payroll, my father went to visit Luca that Christmas Eve. That’s why, despite setting aside time for his family during the busiest season, my father made room for Luca that evening. That’s why, despite all the other excuses my father could have come up with as the owner of a restaurant group, in charge of hundreds of intricate details, he took care of Luca that night. And that’s why there is so much beauty in hospitality—you don’t have to worry about taking care of yourself, because everyone takes care of each other.