CHIEF HOSPITALITY OFFICER, 21C MUSEUM HOTELS
Sarah Robbins, a founding partner of 21c Museum Hotels, oversees food and beverage operations and HR. A natural leader with an innate understanding of the art of gracious hospitality, Robbins draws on her exceptional experience in restaurant management and consulting as well as her time in the Army to lead people and process for the company.
Robbins and the 21c Museum Hotels team oversee the development process from design and construction to branding, chef selection and menu development. With direct oversight of food and beverage operations, she ensures the seamless relationship between each hotel and its restaurant. The company’s growing portfolio of restaurants has earned numerous accolades and 21c’s chefs are peers with the best in the country. Chef Matthew McClure from The Hive at 21c Bentonville is a four-time James Beard Foundation Semi-finalist for Best Chef South. Proof on Main at 21c Louisville was named to Bon Appétit magazine’s list of the 10 Best Food Lovers Hotels in America and Metropole at 21c Cincinnati was listed on Bon Appétit magazine’s list of the 50 Best New Restaurants.
Robbins’ other passion is people. An energetic advocate for 21c’s culture of YES, Robbins leads the company’s efforts in building and developing 21c’s team and culture. When Robbins joined the 21c team, the company’s innovative contemporary art exhibitions inspired and challenged her to think about managing the team in a new way, to break the rules. Recognizing that 21c was a place where things could be done differently, she started experimenting with the word ‘yes.’ Robbins encouraged and empowered the 21c team to say ‘yes;’ first to each other and then to guests. This simple tweak transformed both the work culture and the guest experience, leading to employee loyalty and high guest satisfaction scores.
Prior to joining 21c, Robbins was a Project Director and Lead Trainer for Myriad Restaurant Group; she also managed New York’s Tribeca Grill. During her time at Myriad, she worked with a number of clients including Nobu Vegas, Starwood’s W Hotels, Interstate Hotels, Boca Raton Resort & Club and Destination Hotels & Resorts. Robbins is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and a retired Captain, U.S. Army Reserves. She is an active member of the James Beard Foundation and Southern Foodways Alliance and serves on the board of the Greater Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau. She also spoke on leadership and building a culture of YES at the 2015 Welcome Conference in New York.