#095 – Amy Falbaum: The Invisible Backbone of the Hospitality Industry

  • December 11, 2018


Amy Falbaum is the founder and president of Amy Falbaum & Associates (AF&A), a global hospitality recruiting firm based out of New York. This is a very different side of the industry than we usually talk about on the show, but Amy has a fascinating story and fills an often-overlooked role for the often-underappreciated people who make our meals and trips truly special.


“In recruiting, before even the skillset, we look for that cultural fit and that citizen, that human being with integrity.” –Amy Falbaum


AF&M also serves a unique clientele: pretty much any venue that isn’t your typical restaurant and hotel. So that means everything from sourcing an executive chef for a single-unit restaurant to finding multiple key positions for an international company getting their first foothold in the U.S. to placing a general manager with restaurant experience in a new car wash in Denver.


“Be hospitable in everything you do. Lead with integrity and make good decisions. Learn from your mistakes and look for solutions. No regrets. Be transparent and grateful. Appreciate and grasp those tiny moments in life, and try to laugh even in the most trying times.” –Amy Falbaum


We also discuss:

  • How a bad hire who turns into a fire can hurt the culture of an organization and cause things to spiral downward
  • Amy’s rich and colorful experiences in the restaurant world
  • Almost giving birth in a kitchen
  • Who AF&A works with and for: small restaurants, collaborative work spaces, and even a carwash
  • How recruiting works
  • The process of sourcing and placing talent
  • How the New York City market is changing
  • Amy’s tips for hospitality workers looking for a job
  • The honeymoon stage for new hires
  • Two incredible recruitment success stories




Amy Falbaum’s Bio:

At Amy Falbaum & Associates, “We search. We find. We place.” is more than a catchy slogan. The slogan also is our pledge that we will fulfill our obligation to pursue assignments with the highest level of confidentiality because we understand the sensitive nature of our work. Indeed, we are flattered and gratified that clients, by asking Amy Falbaum & Associates to assist them, are expressing their appreciation for our high standards. 


We are proud of the faith clients have in us; we worked hard to earn it. Our record speaks for itself as does the feedback we have received from clients who have lauded our efforts in achieving their employment objectives. We look forward to many more years of searching, finding and placing.


After working in top managerial positions in the restaurant/hospitality industry for more than 20 years, Amy switched gears and decided to enter the industry’s recruitment field. Amy’s knowledge of the industry as an insider and ability to “speak its language” resulted in immediate commissions and assignments from upscale hotels and high-end restaurants in the U.S. and overseas. Major and well-known hotels and restaurants recognize one of their own and knew Amy would have the right focus when fulfilling their interests. 


In addition to several notable achievements on the front lines, Amy has served the industry as executive manager for the kitchen at the ’21’ Club, and she has also held other top managerial positions at Sarabeth’s Kitchen, American Renaissance, and Gramercy Tavern. She is a part time instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in its Culinary Management program.

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