Summary of the interview at the 2017 Stay Boutique Leadership Conference with
John Terzian, co-founder, The h.wood Group
“Exclusivity isn’t about being ‘too cool’, it’s about knowing who your regulars are.” says John Terzian co-founder of the h.wood Group. As the man with a pulse on Hollywood nightlife, John is the creative mind behind hot spots like Bootsy Bellows, The Nice Guy, and the members-only club Shorebar. John started out in the exclusive nightclub business when he noticed that there was a need to cater to a certain group of friends (including David Arquette), and friends of friends. The h.wood Group eventually moved from nightlife to bars and restaurants, and hotels are next on John’s list with their first venture opening soon in Chicago.
“Boutique sometimes gets a bad rap,” John says. “I cherish it and I believe what we do evolved around boutique and servicing customers. If it gets too big or appears to be, you lose the hands-on. You can have that big voice and still be small.” John believes. A lot of hotels forget about the management side because they get so focused on the numbers. Every aspect of the hospitality business must be looked at as a separate piece of a very large puzzle.
For a venue to stay relevant in any city, requires that it view itself as an organism that has to keep living and breathing. “If you’re not the best of the best, people are going to move on.” John reminds us. “You’ve won if you are drawing in people that have no need to be in the hotel; then you’ve done something special.”