Two Chicks, Three Seats: Hospitality Industry Experts Roundup


Throughout the existence of Tripleseat’s podcast, Two Chicks, Three Seats, we’ve had various hospitality and event industry experts on as guests to discuss industry news, trends, marketing tips, and more to provide the best relevant information to our listeners. Let’s take a look at some of the experts we’ve spoken to and the insights that they shared with us.

Andrew Rigie, Executive Director at New York City Hospitality Alliance

In Episode 40, we were joined by Andrew Rigie to discuss the past, present, and future of the New York City hospitality scene. Rigie has many years of experience working in the hospitality industry and launched the New York City Hospitality Alliance in 2012 to deliver education, services, and representation to the NYC restaurant and nightlife scene in government and media.

Rigie has been a major advocate for all types of policies to support the hospitality industry through the COVID-19 crisis — from city legislation to suspend personal liability on restaurant leases to capping third-party delivery fees, enforcing the now permanent Open Restaurants program to allow outdoor seating on the city sidewalks outside a restaurant, and most recently the Restaurant Relief Fund, which is included in the recent $$1.9 trillion dollar American Rescue Plan.

Rigie discussed all of these experiences in this episode, along with what measures need to be taken to get restaurants back on their feet, other pre-pandemic challenges in the hospitality industry that should now be addressed, and the overall power of the hospitality industry.

Natalie Thomas, Founder & Event Director at MTG Hospitality

Looking for an expert on COVID-19 safe weddings? Natalie Thomas, Founder and Events Director at MTG Hospitality, is your person. Thomas works as a third-party event planner and saleswoman for venues in the Washington, D.C., area creating their event programs, one notably being the United States National Arboretum.

Thomas has successfully created beautiful weddings at the Arboretum throughout the pandemic by embracing the concept of minimonies and microweddings. Thomas shared her expert creativity, marketing knowledge, and experiences with incredible vendor partners, and much more with us on Episode 39. And trust us, take a look at the MTG Hospitality website for yourself because these weddings are stunning!

Arianna Favia, Director of Restaurant Event Sales at Boka Restaurant Group

The pandemic has clearly forced the hospitality industry to drastically pivot the way that restaurants operate over the past year. Arianna Favia, Director of Restaurant Event Sales at Boka Restaurant Group, and her team at the Boka Restaurant Group found a way to drive business while working remotely. BRG created wonderful virtual offerings during the holiday season and has continued on with virtual wine tastings, cooking classes, cocktail classes, charity experiences, and gift guides.

In Episode 29, Favia explained the creative process that her team went through to create this “pandemic-proof system” while restaurants were fully closed in Chicago for a while. Virtual experiences have been an extra revenue generator for many restaurants — even once their doors reopened — so Favia’s tips are helpful for anyone working in hospitality.

Megan Long, Marketing and Private Events Manager at Bostonia Public House

When it comes to social media marketing, Megan Long, Marketing and Private Events Manager at Bostonia Public House, knows what to do. Long handles the engaging Bostonia Public House Instagram account that has more than 8,000 followers and constantly promotes the latest features from Bostonia’s menu. Long also has impressive experience working with restaurant influencers in the Boston area to drive business and action to Bostonia.

In Episode 30, Long discussed partnering with influencers, creating specials, events she has hosted duringe the pandemic, and strategies for 2021. If you have ever considered partnering with food influencers to drive social media engagement, Long’s advice will certainly be useful.

Katie Perkins, Owner of Kaper Design

During the pandemic, restaurants had to completely change up the physical flow of business inside their establishments. The style of food service, the paths to the bathrooms, the spacing between tables, and the check-in process had to be re-evaluated to abide by brand new distancing guidelines. Luckily, Katie Perkins, owner of Kaper Design, is an expert in this field and provided wonderful insight to our listeners. Kaper Design helps restaurants create functional, unique, and curated restaurant and cafe spaces.

In Episode 17, Perkins shared the design process that she goes through when working with clients, easy tips to consider when adjusting a restaurant, and insight on other ways restaurants can still bring the hospitality experience within the restaurant. While guidelines have become a little bit looser since recording this episode, we are still not at max capacity yet. Pandemic or not, Perkins’ insight could be useful if you have ever considered restructuring the flow of your restaurant or venue.

Sarah Chrastecky & Tracy Rutherford, Event Professionals at The Annenberg Presidential Conference Center

Do you work with a local event center, perhaps on a college campus? Sarah Chrastecky and Tracy Rutherford, event professionals at The Annenberg Presidential Conference Center on Texas A&M’s campus, join us to share their experience pivoting during the pandemic. When events could no longer happen in their venue, they were tasked with hosting college classes in their event spaces.

In Episode 36, Chrastecky and Rutherford gave insight into setting new safety standards, provided advice to other conference centers during this time, and educated our listeners on new event terminology. The duo also shared virtual networking tips, advice for combatting virtual event fatigue, and a new look at hybrid events.

Amber van Moessner, Senior Director of Communications at Upserve by Lightspeed

If you need to tap into your analytical side for an episode, check out Episode 31 when we chatted with Amber Van Moessner, Senior Director of Communications at Upserve by Lightspeed. Van Moessner provided our listeners with valuable information about restaurant trends during 2020 that are important to consider in 2021. This data is part of an incredible report created by Upserve called the 2020 State of the Restaurant Industry.

During the episode, Van Moessner described the menu trends, sales trends, restaurant growth, and success stories during the pandemic that the report provides. Upserve is constantly creating out new reports featuring trends that they see from their restaurant customers and can be useful to all across the hospitality industry.


Want to share your expertise?

We are always looking for more guests to share their hospitality and event industry expertise with our listeners on Two Chicks, Three Seats. If you are interested in sharing your experiences, send us an email to