News broke today that restaurateurs Daniel Humm and Will Guidara are divorcing — with Humm buying up Guidara’s shares and taking full control of their national restaurant empire. Staff found out about the split on Monday via email, and in the note, Humm and Guidara blame “different visions of the company long-term.”
It’s a big deal: Their highly acclaimed fine dining restaurants like NYC’s Eleven Madison Park have grown in part due to the allure of the duo’s bromance. But in the note, the duo says none of the restaurants will close, and none of the proposed projects will be nixed either.
See the letter here in full.
The last thing we wanted to being doing today is sending you all a company-wide email.
We wanted to see as many of you face-to-face as we could, and we still plan to later this week, but sometimes, outside factors put events into motion that are out of our control.
In light of an upcoming story that various outlets are about to report on, we figured this would be the best way that you could hear what’s going on directly from us--before you read about it in print or online.
After many incredible years, we have built the company of our dreams – a world-class hospitality group composed of an extraordinary team, all driven to be the best in their field. We couldn’t be prouder of all of you and what we’ve accomplished together. So it may be surprising to learn that, after a long period of careful consideration, we have made the mutual decision to part ways as business partners.
We know that you probably have many questions. We want to make sure you heard the story directly from us, before you read anything publicly.
Over the years, we’ve been together for the greatest highs and achieved so many of our shared goals. But as in many relationships – individuals grow apart. We’ve often referred to our partnership as a marriage and, as you all know, with any close relationship there are bound to be ups, downs and challenging moments. That is where we find ourselves now.
At this juncture, we’ve realized this is the right time to end our partnership because we have different visions of the company long-term. We’ve agonized over this decision and considered a range of options, including potentially splitting different parts of the business between the two of us.
With all of that in mind, the two of us are working diligently toward an agreement in which Daniel will buy Will’s shares of the company and become the sole principal. While we recognize this transition will be difficult, both of us agree this is the best way to move forward. Undoubtedly, you all have questions about what this transition means and when it will be official and we will be sure to let you know once a deal has been reached. Again, we’re trying to make this as seamless of a change as we can, so we will be sharing comprehensive information that is more specific to your restaurant or your role as soon as possible.
We do want to address two immediate concerns you might be having. First, none of our restaurants are closing. Second, none of the new projects that are in the pipeline are going to be cancelled.
Daniel is thrilled to lead Make It Nice into this new chapter and will continue to operate our restaurant group as we always have: from a shared perspective of both the kitchen and the dining room, working as hard as ever in our pursuit of both excellence and hospitality.
To that end, we’re excited to announce that longtime company leader Jeffrey Tascarella has been appointed Chief Operating Officer of Make It Nice and he will begin overseeing the entirety of the company’s operations this summer. Those of you who have worked alongside Jeffrey know that he has been an integral part of the Make It Nice team for nearly a decade, overseeing the development and operations of a number of our ventures. He embodies our culture and values, and is a friend and ally to teams in the kitchens, dining rooms, and corporate office.
This raises the question, what is Will going to do? Once this transition is complete, Will is launching a new hospitality company. In addition to continuing to run the Welcome Conference, he has future restaurant projects lined up with industry veterans he has wanted to work with for some time, and a few other exciting projects in the pipeline as well. He is excited to share more information on that soon.
We feel profoundly lucky for the years we have had. From the beginning, our relationship as partners and friends has been at the core of the company’s culture, but we would never be where we are today without all of you. It’s thanks to you that we have accomplished – and often times exceeded – the ambitious goals we set for ourselves.
We are excited for what the future holds and thankful for all of you who have been, and will be, a part of this continuing journey.
Given the chance, we would do it all again.