To Our Hospitality Blog

Pre-shift was the highlight of my day for the entirety of my restaurant operations career. 

Whether I was leading it or attending it, those minutes before service when we all came together to name a shared vision for the evening, talk about what it looks like to get 1% better than the day before, celebrate the meaningful moments we’d co-created with our guests and each other, and anticipate where things might get sticky or weird over the night to come felt cathartic and deeply connecting.  

If trust is the heart of a high-performing team, pre-shift was my main artery.

As a leadership coach for hospitality people, I no longer host this sacred gathering in the middle of a dining room or around the bar top. Now, my partner Kimberly and I host it here. This blog and our newsletter (sign up below) is a space we’ve carved out for values-based hospitality leaders to gather round to receive heartfelt connection, mutual support, and expert guidance as we all reach for growth we can see and feel.

Leadership can be a profoundly lonely place, and we hope that by welcoming us into your inbox and joining this virtual huddle, you feel like you’ve got a pair of wise big sisters (who happen to be restaurant whisperers!) and a community of like-minded hospitality people walking with you.

Welcome to Pre-shift, a blog for hospitality people. We’re so grateful you’re here.



Actionable insights
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How to Improve Decision Making Skills in Hospitality Jul 12, 2024

Photo of Alison Arth & Kimberly Belle, captured by Julia Ngo of Eloquent Co. 

A significant source of drama within teams is rooted in decision making. That drama can look like personal or organizational stuckness, a sense of apathy amongst team members, anger or frustration between...

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Restaurant Location Strategy: How to Choose the Right Spot  Apr 29, 2024

Photo of Alison Arth and Chef Daniel Boulud. 

There’s a reason that we’ve all heard the phrase “location, location, location” more times than we can count: choosing the right location for any food business is a critically important decision that can quickly turn a...

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What is the Purpose of a Pitch Deck? Apr 15, 2024

Photo of Kimberly Belle and Alison Arth, courtesy of Julia Ngo of Eloquent Co. 

If you’re thinking about opening a restaurant, I bet you’ve already heard someone say the 4 most common words you’ll hear in your fundraising process….

"Send me your deck."


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Business Pain Points in the Restaurant Industry are a Very Particular Beast Mar 11, 2024

Photo courtesy of Spoon and Stable

The majority of my media diet consists of leadership podcasts and personal development books. (And the rest of it consists of binging Love Is Blind). 

I learn so much from reading the work of thought leaders like Brené Brown, Gabor Mate, and...

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Hospitality Industry Challenges: Our Top 5 Tips to Help What's Hurting Your Business in 2024 Jan 15, 2024


2023 was a hard year. Hospitality industry challenges were abundant.

To compile this post, we read through hundreds of client agendas and call notes, reviewed text exchanges with our friends, reflected on our own personal experiences, and collected end of year reflections from our...

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Why are Boundaries Important in Your Personal Life? Dec 18, 2023

I got boundaries wrong for years, and fully expect to be honing this essential leadership practice for the rest of my days. 

What helped me most in the beginning was to remember what a boundary IS NOT, and I wonder if it might help you too: 

  • A boundary is not a demand of someone...
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