Juliana Stone, Vice President, is based out of the New York office. Juliana’s interest in the hospitality industry was piqued at a young age by a family full of adventurous diners and travelers. Prior to joining The Elliot Group, Juliana worked in the non-profit sector, organizing an international conference of small scale, sustainable food producers, educators, cooks, and students. At Elliot, Juliana partners and interacts with emerging brands and major corporations throughout the U.S., bringing a strategic and marketing eye towards identifying great executive talent.
We spoke to Juliana about the current state of the hospitality industry.
How has the restaurant/hospitality world evolved since you started working in the industry?
There are three areas that I think have evolved since I’ve started working in the industry:
1. Consumers are more educated about where their food comes from, how it was raised, and the sustainability initiatives of brands they give business to. Therefore, restaurant groups have had to look at their own sustainability practices and make important, meaningful changes to their business practices.
2. Tech, tech, tech! Every restaurant company is trying to optimize their technology whether back of the house systems like an HRIS (Human Resource Information System) or consumer facing, like mobile ordering.
3. With countless resources around metrics and analytics, all functions from operations, finance, marketing, and HR are able to use numbers to create strategy accountability measures.
In your opinion, what is one quality that makes a successful C-Suite executive?
Aside from the obvious quality of a proven track record of driving results and profitability, I would say compassion. People inherently want something to believe in. As an executive who shows compassion and inspired leadership, teams grab onto that and have a vested interest in the success of the company when there is meaning behind the work.
At Elliot, you engage in work with emerging brands as well as major corporations. What different qualities do you look for in each segment when identifying great executive talent?
Surprisingly, the qualities we look for in executive talent does not differ much based on if our client is an emerging brand or major corporation. The constant we always look for in talent is if they have the ability to work at 50 feet and 500 feet. That ability to work in the trenches and at a strategic level is another key to success we often identify.
How do your experiences at Elliot contribute to the work you do for The James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program?
I have the privilege of seeing the industry as a whole, from emerging trends, to identifying successful executive talent. That influences the work I do for the WEL program at JBF as I am able to identify the next generation of great restaurant leaders in our industry.
We are a family at Elliot. It starts with our team’s mentality and trickles into the way we treat clients and executives. We have a great responsibility to influence our industry and impact people’s lives, which we take seriously while still having fun.