Nationally Acclaimed Chef Amy Brandwein Kicks Off Season; Says Culture is Organizational Oxygen, Details a Collaborative Pivot to Survive COVID-19

 

Arlington, Va., June 8, 2020 – Eagle Hill Consulting has launched Season Two of its podcast, cultur[ED], which helps business leaders create a winning and resilient business culture. Episode One features Amy Brandwein, chef and owner of Centrolina and Piccolina, two of the most successful and acclaimed restaurants in the country.

During the podcast, Brandwein says she knew that a dramatic shift away from the traditional restaurant culture would be critical to success of the restaurants. She instinctively established a culture in which employees at all levels are supported and valued, feel comfortable, and are empowered to share their opinions.

“Culture equals profitability,” Brandwein says. She explains that culture is oxygen for  customers and employees, and that culture has been one of the roads to the restaurant’s success.

Under her leadership, the restaurants have earned many accolades, including four consecutive James Beard Award nominations since the opening of Centrolina in 2015. Piccolina, her sophomore restaurant, is an all-day café featuring a menu cooked over a wood fire alongside fresh baked good inspired by her travels through Italy

“Amy offers critical culture insight for business leaders,” says Melissa Jezior, the host of culture[ED] and CEO of Eagle Hill Consulting. “She understands that building a strong culture is inextricably linked to creating magnificent food and an experience that keeps customers coming back. Her culture strategy is designed to create longevity and sustainable profitability.”

Like the entire restaurant industry, Centrolina and Piccolina have faced unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But a resilient culture has played a key role in helping survive the crisis. The team quickly pivoted to carry-out and delivery. When an employee tested positive for the coronavirus, the team faced yet another high hurdle. But instead of throwing in the towel, the team rallied to shut down operations temporarily and then re-opened after a deep clean.

“It was frustrating and I was scared,” Brandwein said about navigating COVID-19. She was worried about her team, but the team’s resilience and desire to keep working lead the way.

When reflecting on the past several months, Amy said she has “learned a lot from this. We aren’t working as many hours as we were before, and I think that makes for a better team. There’s a space for trying to try to make things different, and this industry needs to change. Healthcare, obviously, and trying to figure out how to give the staff more time off so that they can feel more balanced,” she said

Since the webinar recording, Centrolina and Piccolina again were closed temporarily because the restaurants are located in CityCenter, which was damaged during the ongoing protests in Washington, D.C.

Listen to the interview and subscribe to the podcast here.

cultur[ED] features conversations with top culturemakers in the world today from a variety of industries and backgrounds to unpack the visible and not-so-visible forces that make up this often overlooked super power of an organization.

Season One provided insight on how business leaders apply culture and mindset practices implemented by top athletes and coaches. Episode One featured a powerhouse—two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Abby Wambach. Episode Two provided insight from top NCAA coach Anson Dorrance on how real-time performance metrics and core values are essential in leading teams to victory. Episode Three offered insight from Cathy Reese, Hall of Fame coach of the University of Maryland national championship women’s lacrosse team. Episode Four featured former professional  women’s soccer player Lindsay Henson’s views on creating business teams with a “refuse to lose” mindset, while Episode Five discussed with Victoria Blake her experience on the University of Wisconsin’s volleyball team that shaped a new culture to climb from the bottom of the Big Ten to winning the NCAA championship game.

Eagle Hill Consulting LLC is a woman-owned business that provides unconventional management consulting services in the areas of Strategy & Performance, Talent, and Change. The company’s expertise in delivering innovative solutions to unique challenges spans across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, from financial services to healthcare to media & entertainment. Eagle Hill has offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Boston, MA and Seattle, WA. More information is available at www.eaglehillconsulting.com.

Media Contact:  Susan Nealon | 703.229.8600 | snealon@eaglehillconsulting.com | @WeAreEagleHill