Here are all the resources I have found about making yourself a better human, or at least learn to work with what you have (yourself) wherever you are. Some are more ‘scientific’ than others, but hey, trying them out is better than Netflix (or drinking yourself silly after).


This is a real treat, a true blast from the past. Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor that lived through one of the worst pandemics history has known. Yet he remained ICE COLD and held the empire together. . . so he knew a thing or two about stress management.
HOW DID HE DO IT? Well, this is when philosophy comes handy. He was mentored by the finest minds of the time (you may have heard of Socrates) and shown by example what keeping your wits together can do to keep you level headed.

You can lookup #stoicism but the tl;dr: life will happen, how do you think about it is what determines your outlook and outcomes. 

Don’t let these trying times get to you, perspective is everything in life. All these bland meals we are cooking at home, all those wines we are missing out on will be all the more delicious when we finally get to enjoy them! 

We highly suggest listening to what Marcus Aurelius (AKA Marc Anthony) has to say in his book. These were the notes he would write to himself, as reminders. Think of it as the crib notes that Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos would make. Although they are old AF, the content is PURE, 100% PURE WIN. Fresh and still relevant.

If you feel you are having it bad, give it a listen. it’s not preachy, not judgy, super well thought of, you’ll find many jewels of wisdom. And even better : FREE. 

Some choice quotes you may have seen elsewhere:

 “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love”.

 “The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.”

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”


Another useful resource. Can’t sleep? NO PROBLEM! 
The soothing voice of @jasonstephenson will put you out in no time.  I know in these times a lot of us are anxious and our sleep patterns are all over the place. Try these meditations out. I seriously rarely make it past the 15 minute mark. Really, really great soothing guided meditations with soft music, no ads, and no drugs needed. You too can be a fluffy little cloud or dip on a magical soothing pond in the forest with your imagination and a little guidance. I’m not a doctor (though I play sometimes one behind doors) but I can tell you that it even helps with pains and aches. The mind is a POWERFUL ally if you can help it to work with you.
This content comes in all formats, youtube, in insta and podcasts. I have downloaded from itunes as well, so I can always have the tracks even if I don’t have internet. There are also live meditations on Wednesday and Friday 9am EST.

 So shout out to Jason, THANK YOU for your effort, and we hope you continue to help people with your sweet soothing voice. Namaste.


Exiting news! coming soon we will open registration to talent to reap the benefits of having your own transportable record of talent.
What you learn in hospitality is useful wherever you go, but a resume only tells so much. Stay tuned, exiting developments coming on.


Here is a bright ray of sunshine courtesy of @patchoulibrothers bringing solid happy disco beats from Toronto to the world! Give them a listen, if they don’t wanna make you dance or at least tap your foot there is no helping you. Super cool dudes, if you are ever in Toronto when things settle go check them out, they do throw sweet parties.
How is this related to hospitality? well, it’s all part of giving visitors (AKA you) a little something that may brighten  their day, beyond what they would expect.
The album is intended to be a fundraiser for #changeforahundred
which feeds families in hard times, so if you have some $ to spare buy the album, help someone in more dire need.
As always, I am not getting paid for this, not affiliated, not commissioned, etc etc. They are friends and I like to help talent rise.

Here is the link to the charity powering album:

Here is the link to the FREE, full album. May the power of disco lift your heart.

This is more meant for our american brethren, as it is a compendium of the legal questions that have come up as they reopen after COVID and how are they dealing with the legal issues like refusing work, testing staff or not, what happens when someone gets sick?.

Interesting read that can be a guide for Canadian and worldwide enterprises as well. We live in interesting times, and we may as well learn from each other.


Gratitude is more than a hashtag. Gratitude is really the action of being grateful. Doesn’t have to be something earth shattering. We can start by acknowledging the little things that happen to and are done towards us in every way. Even bad times can be a source of gratitude, as we learn to enjoy the good times even more.

Gratitude is also healing, when we share it with others. By  giving thanks to the universe we can find our place with some more clarity. And, even better, takes nothing from us, costs nothing, and will NEVER go out of style.

How do one start? well, writing down the things that makes one happy, the things we are happy for in our lives, the fact that we are healthy and can enjoy what life has to offer, and also what others do for us. You’d be amazed how many things one can find to be thankful for.

The best part is that being grateful will also help heal our spirits in ways that nothing else can. Try it out,’go on, get drunk on the wine of the soul’ as Rumi would say.

Found this randomly on a walkie. There is love in the most unexpected places, and from the least likely sources. I think this whole episode of COVID shows that there is indeed more love behind bars (the real and the imaginary ones) than what we think about. Keep yer beating heart going and don’t despair, this is a hiccup in the big picture and sooner than you know we’ll be reminiscing of the day we had to look inside for meaning. There will be always some kind of hospitality because, as dear friend Adly Gawad says, ‘true hospitality feels like love’. 


I came across an American team that somehow ended in the same place as me: Gratitude is the way of the future and a more humane and efficient tool for management. And not only for work, but for life in general.  Here are some of their findings:

We both agree on this: how do you make people feel valued? show your gratitude.

 But expressing gratitude needs to be authentic, they say:
Offer details (why or what was done), offer specific praise, as it triggers an emotional connection; it also shows that you were paying attention to what others (your staff or coworkers or service workers) do around you. As a company, “When you show gratitude it shows what you value as a company”.
Make it personalized, find a connection, make sure they know that the leader cares about them. Then you can instil the values and targets of the company. 

It will be weird at first do do, but with practice it gets easier. Its little things you can do every day that helps you build up your ‘gratitude battery’. They have a nifty suggestion: put 10 coins in your pocket. As you go about your day, every time you express gratitude shift one coin from pocket to pocket. 
As the day goes on you will be surprised how easy its to do, and with practice you will do it without even thinking much. And by the end of your day you will have tangible proof that you made a difference in how we interact with each other.

FREE PODCAST (30 min in case you don’t wanna do the seminar):

(as always, Im not getting paid for this, not affiliated, I don’t know them, etc. They sound like good people with their heart in the right place)

Another thing you can do, of course, is voting for the people in customer service that you come across. Its not much to you, but it makes a huge difference to the staff. Its simple, it works and it will feel you much better than you imagine. We think this can change the world, a little positive action at a time.  Know someone great at their job? tell us about them. We will have their efforts recognized.

Who will vouch for your for the reopen? We can help. Your peers and your customers will have a way to help you reach your goals, if you let us help you.

Register and have the advantage of collecting reviews for you, wherever you go. Let’s face it, places open and close, managers move on and change numbers. But the one constant thing is YOU. So wherever you go, and do good work, that is value that gets lost without a vote. Your reputation can now be made real, whenever, wherever. We’ll help you reach the stars.


Are you tired of having your eyes feeling like they are fried?
After spending too much time in front of a screen I was!

Then in the wonders of the webs I found this nifty free plugin. It basically inverts colors on websites to make them kinder to your eyes. So instead of a white background you can have a black background that is just as easy to read, but much easier in the eyes. I promise I’ll try to add this feature to Agaru, but for now you can surf the web in much more ease. Also, it is FREE.

So don’t put off working on your next great thing because your eyes feel like crying, with this you can work in much more comfort and worry about your ideas and not frying your eyes. Check it out here:


One of the challenges for meritocracy in hospitality is access. 
Colleges have tests, trades have specialized benchmarks, but hospitality in North America lacks that. Instead we get arbitrary and subjective criteria to promotions and access to opportunities.
As society progresses we will find that in order to have real  growth and change we ‘ll have to apply and encourage merit based promotions. 
Just like democracy,  change begins with YOU being willing to participate and be willing to extend a chance to others. Participation is crucial for a civilized society, and recognizing the talent of others will bring about real change.
How, do we propose? Vote on our platform recognizing talent you find.

Help us help them establish a record of their skill, so that talent can rise beyond politics and other -isms at work. Your participation is rewarded as well.
Together will bring people what they deserve: Respect and dignity.  Cannot be bought or sold. It will be built by the talent and effort of the individual. We will make it tangible


Good news for kitchen staff: you can challenge the Red Seal certification if you have enough hours. This is great because this certification can open doors to better pay and opportunities. If you are laid off I would really consider this chance! A nice subsidy (AKA FREE MONEY) really helps in these challenging times

From OTEC’s Site:
Red Seal Equivalency Course Details

Cost: Subsidy Available
Duration: The Trades Equivalency Assessment takes 10-15 weeks to assess following submission
Method of Study: Self-Study
Age Requirement: 18 years and older
Eligibility: Resident of Ontario, eligible to work in the province. 6000+ hours of experience as a professional cook.

Course Description
This program is for anyone with experience, but no formal training or formal apprenticeship in cooking. 

If you have 6000+ hours of work experience as a professional cook, this program can help you collect the documentation, pay for the assessments, books and exams needed to apply for Red Seal Equivalency Certification and take your career to the next level.

We will assist you with:

  1. Direction to get proof of your 6000 hours of work experience.
  2. Assistance with the Trades Equivalency Assessment(TEA) application process.
  3. Funding up to 50% of the TEA application costs,  Red Seal Exam Fee and study materials.

Start Dates

Ongoing intake

Your career starts here. Prepare to succeed. 
 Contact Nicolette at 437-994-6490 or by email for information about registration.

Any questions? Call 1-888-777-HWTC (4982)

Please share with colleagues and talent out there!
#hospitality #hospitalityindustry #restaurant #gastronomy #hospitalityjobs #chef #cook


I came across a really neat idea from a hotel in #Montreal from the team of @Hotel Rive Gauche – Refuge. Why not bring the Sommelier and the waiter to the room? much safer for the diner, staff  can keep distance and they have a more personalized experience (it also helps navigate the MASSIVE wine collection the hotel has).

This could be a way to entice people to come back to hotels and use the facilities in novel ways. . . seems that families are booking rooms and thus avoiding potential crowds in restaurants. Would it be more effective at containing COVID? Who knows, but at least is an alternative. (opens in new tab)

What do you think? Would you do it in your property? 

Let me know, we’d love to help you get metrics of the customer experience, while getting the staff a better, digitized resume. 

#changehospitality #hospitality #hotel #restaurant #bar #respect #winetraining #hospitalityservice #wine #attitude #gratitude #recognition #qualityservice #makeitnice #agaru #hospitalitytraining #guestsatisfaction #aptitude #stafftraining #hospitalityindustry #truehospitality #COVIDdining #serviceexcellence #hospitalityconsulting #restaurant #hotel #sommelier #gastronomy

October 27, 2020

Picture credit: Wordsmith


The time will come when we can look for jobs again, perhaps in a different way or in a different trade. 
A resume only tells so much, but your abilities and skills learned in hospitality can easily translate to other fields. How can you make sure that people outside can understand what you do and what you have done before? 

Here is where a good resume coach can really help you. We gotta keep in mind that a human will read your resume and they are looking for the answers they expect. What I mean is that people look for answers that fit their considerations. In larger enterprises, chances are your resume will be first put through a computer program to sort out if you are a good fit. They can miss your resume if you do not have the right words in the right way. Crazy, I know. But this is the timeline we are living. 

Here is the meat of the article: 

” Look at the job description. By reviewing what a hiring manager asked for and how they asked for it, you can get an idea of which words they’ll plug into the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) after applications have been collected.

Carefully read through the job description or use Jobscan to determine which keywords (in whatever tense or style) are used the most. Work them into your resume exactly as they appear. “Simple enough right? it is just like hospitality: Pay attention and give them what they ask for.

here is the article

(I do not know these people, I am not paid to post this, I am not a marketing affiliate to them, I do not work for them. Just hope it can help you find your dreams).

STRESS MANAGEMENT: Personal lessons

CRUSHED! A.K.A. When Rubber Meets The Road


You are thirsty. Things move slowly. You feel like you are walking on molasses. Table 22 wants more mustard. Your heartbeat is racing. Your hair feels like it is on fire. Some get hungry. Some get horny. We all face the monster at some point. What to do? How do you manage it? Ah, that is one of the hardest lessons to learn. Fear not, Ol’ Adrian is here for you. I’ll go with a list to make it easier to remember. The most important lesson is preparation. With good preparation  most chaos can be  avoided. Or at least it feels that way. . . Anyway:


Though it feels like you are being chased by a bear, chances are you are not. Nobody will die either. You are not saving lives. It’s easy to say but having perspective in difficult moments  helps a lot.


Deep breaths tame the fear. It seems silly but it works. Just a few deep breaths is enough.


Keep in mind that it’s here and now and it feels like the world, but this will end. You will go home and have another day tomorrow. 


As long as you are honest and show that you work hard people can forgive mistakes. The key is to recognize errors and  correct them. Nobody will snap your neck or hurt you physically. So breathe!


Adrenaline and stress do funny things to people. What you perceive as a long wait is likely no longer  than a few minutes. On the other hand, time can fly as well. Which is why  monitoring yourself is important. Having a watch helps. Your senses may trick you. I have seen people that write down the time they punched in orders, or what time they took the order. That can be a big help.


As mentioned before, if you keep yourself smiling and positive the burden will feel much lighter, and the good vibes  will rub off on colleagues and guests. Keep perspective. Plus negativity ages you faster. No thanks.


Think of a song or a little tune that makes you happy. Or a phrase that helps you focus. It will make your mind more at ease and let the autopilot of your mind do its thing. It helps immensely and I am not sure why. But most people I’ve worked with, both FOH and BOH, do it at times. Again, simple but it works. 


All life is a series of stresses. I got that from Blue Planet on Netflix. Without stressors here and there you would be stressed. Weird but true. Learn to ride the wave and you will be unbeatable in life (or so used to say Marcus Aurelius, dude that ruled the Roman Empire. Worth reading! or listening to, its just above ^^ ). ALSO, LEAVE THE STRESS AT WORK. No need to bring it home.

A lot of stress will come from not knowing things when you need to know them. If you are ready to go and know all the things people could ask for, your job will be much easier and your mind will also be calmer. The beauty of this is that it is probably one of the few things actually under your control. . . So take life by the horns.

How do you do this? GET LEARNING.

Here is one borrowed from Buddhism. Learn to recognize that you are stressed, embrace it, acknowledge. Tell the screaming monkey inside your brain you are ok, you noticed you are under pressure, but tell the monkey you will be ok. And then let it go. This one takes much more practice but its GOLD. I love that monkey.