Seated Magazine: Summer 2022

Page 54


Seated | The Summer 2022 Issue


The Future of Hospitality


Tucked in among the maze of renovated warehouses that make up Industry City in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, past the secret Whole Foods, and next door to a building that houses the practice court for the Brooklyn Nets is a kitchen so rare it might just be a unicorn. Spanning 33,000 square feet, the kitchen for Union Square Events, the catering and venue hospitality division of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, has everything a back of house employee and event professional dreams of and more. The ingredients in the walk-ins are neatly sorted, organized, and labeled. There are multiple ovens, stoves, steam-jacketed kettles, and sinks. It has plenty of prep space, as well as special features like temperaturecontrolled butcher and pastry rooms, and a saw to cut pans of freshly baked pastries into single servings. There’s enough room to prepare everything from a small event to a 4,000-person gala. Beyond the kitchen, there’s a research and development kitchen, a tasting room, and a 120-seat family room for Union Square Events staff. During a tour, Anthony Mastellone, President of Union Square Events, navigates between the sections, greeting employees by name and with an enthusiastic fist bump.

“This is all geared towards elevating that workplace experience. We’re providing our workforce with everything they need for productivity and providing some joy,” he said. “I think the high point for us as much as we've got this great kitchen, it's the quality of life measures that we're most proud of here. I feel like it creates differentiation for how we care for our folks. We’re getting the most out of all of our time here, making everyone feel cared for, and that’s been Danny’s philosophy from the get-go.” It’s easy to feel the joy in this space, which opened in October 2021 after Union Square Events relocated from Hudson Yards, a collection of business, residential, and retail buildings on Manhattan’s west side. While Hudson Yards is a new development, space — as anyone who lives in or visits Manhattan can tell you — was at a minimum. The Union Square Events offices, kitchen, and storage were spread out on multiple floors, which isn’t efficient for a hospitality organization. Organizing deliveries was a nightmare.