While a lot of us are still struggling to pour our first cup of coffee, Steve Palmer is busy crafting notes on how he can motivate his team for the day.
Steve, long-time restaurateur and partner behind The Indigo Road, has been in the hospitality business since his early teens. He knows the hardships that come along with the territory, which is why he feels compelled to motivate his team.
“Our business is high stress,” he explains. “The hours are grueling, but my primary responsibility is to inspire, coach and mentor our staff.”
And, with local (and successful) favorites like Indaco and Cocktail Club under his belt, his Mr. Miyagi tactics seem to be working--though he doesn’t take all the credit, attributing restaurateurs like Danny Meyers, along with his partner, Jeremiah Bacon, as inspiration for his motivational tune-ups.
“Everything I preach is something someone gave to me. It was shown to me about the power of hospitality,” Steve says. “Not just hospitality to our guests, but our first priority is being hospitable to each other.”
Steve admits that the road to Zen and success wasn’t always an easy one. The former Bon Jovi roadie went through his fair share of tribulations to get where he is, but it’s his incredible attitude that’s so noteworthy.
“Everybody's got a story. I got a lot of stuff front-loaded and hopefully that means the latter is easier, but I wouldn’t change any of it,” he says. “None of what’s occurring that’s good in my life today would have happened.”
As for Steve’s future? He assures us that more projects are on the horizon. Of course there are--the man does not sleep. In the meantime, he plans to continue to rid us of the notion that the hospitality industry is something for folks to do on the side.
“I hope that I’m inspiring the generation behind me to make a career out of this business,” says Steve. “For so long, I’ve heard ‘I’m just doing this until I get a real job’, but it’s a very real job.”
Words by: Evans Craddock
Photography by: Andrew Stephen Cebulka