Is hospitality or food more important? Should we be right, or rich? Learn about the hospitality philosophies from the Owner of the successful Smoke Shop BBQ.

Alex Canter Blog Pic

Share This Podcast!

Give An Ovation is the number one resource for ad-free, bite-sized interviews with restaurant experts. For advice on how to build your brand, hire better, navigate COVID-19, and more, SUBSCRIBE! Available on all major podcasting sites.

Imagine treating every diner like Grandma – with warmth, affection, and a genuine concern for their experience. That’s the philosophy Andy Husbands, the acclaimed chef behind Smoke Shop BBQ and the author of Pitmaster: Recipes, Techniques, and Barbecue Wisdom [A Cookbook], who brings to our table an eye-opening discussion about the transformative power of hospitality in the restaurant world.

We tackle the essentials of guest care, from refining a takeaway order to leaving a lasting impression that turns first-time visitors into lifelong patrons.

Here are some highlights:

What is the most important aspect of the guest experience?

“It’s always been hospitality. And I think what happened is in the 80s, late 80s, early 90s, people really started to understand that it was more than just eating food or good food even that. It was an experience, like it was a night out, understanding why guests come and what kind of experience they’re looking for.”

What are some successful tactics you’ve used in creating a great guest experience?

“We’ve had big success in our packaging, which is really neat, so that’s one of our..We want the Uber and the DoorDash drivers, we want them treated really well because they’re part of our business. And we want to make sure that everything in that bag is really good and looks good.”

Who in the restaurant industry deserves an Ovation?

– Garrett Harker of Eastern Standard Kitchen and Drinks in Boston, MA. “These guys are top of the game of hospitality. I think he’s really great and it’s just a cool place.”

– Chef Jeremy Sewall of Row 34, also in Boston. “If you come to Boston to get some seafood, this is the place. Again, they’re all about hospitality. It’s just phenomenal what they do.”

For more from Andy, look for @andyhusbands “pretty much everywhere!”, or visit

Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out the whole episode, as well as other interviews with restaurant gurus by checking out “Give an Ovation: A Podcast For Restaurants” on or your favorite place to listen to podcasts.

More Episodes