How did Jonathan Morr get into the hospitality world?
I studied hotel management [at Les Roches International School of Hotel Management] in Switzerland. I went there for college for four years. Right after college, I moved to New York. I had three great jobs in hotels. My first job was opening Hilton Short Hills [in Morristown, New Jersey] as the fine dining room manager under general manager Eric Long. [To date,] Eric has been the general manager of [Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star] Waldorf Astoria New York for the past 20 years; he’s one of the best GMs I’ve ever ran into. Also, opening a hotel, or any business for that matter, is a great experience — especially as a first job.
My second job was as the food and beverage director at The Stanhope [now a residential building known as 995 Fifth Avenue] in New York City. It’s the classiest hotel I’d seen at the time in New York — very European — and matched my background perfectly. The general manager was Guenter Richter from Germany. He’s the most elegant person possible and has an old school management style that you don’t find anymore.
The third and last job was at Royalton Hotel, under Ian Schrager. Ian introduced me to a whole different approach to boutique hotels and the fashion and media world.
These three hotels — corporate, old fashioned and boutique — as well as the three individuals I worked for were better than any college education I could of asked for.
I opened my own restaurant right after [those three jobs] — and the rest is history.