Wes Lambert, the 117th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, is saving hospitality one venue at a time.

Partly, Wes is helping the hospitality industry through his role as chief executive of the Restaurant & Catering Industry Association, which represents the interests of more than 47,000 restaurants, cafés and catering businesses across Australia.

And, partly, Wes is helping through his new book, which he’s written during COVID: Saving Hospitality, One Venue at a Time: The 7 Pillars to Pivoting Your Business Through a Crisis.

Wes is an incredibly smart, forward-thinking person, who’s led a rich life and enjoyed tremendous business success.

He’s lived in 35 different cities, served as a combat medic, opened the biggest nightclub in America, founded several businesses and held executive roles in several others.

So I couldn’t resist asking Wes how he’d improve the Vietnamese restaurant where we met for lunch.

He suggested three changes that he estimated would increase revenue by 20% – reduce the number of dishes on the menu, encourage the staff to be more communicative and upsell time-poor workers into more convenient, higher-margin meals.