The H.Wood Group’s John Terzian On How They’re Safely Opening Back Up To Los Angeles

John TerzianPhoto Credit: John Troxell

Los Angeles is finally permitted to start slowly opening its doors back open for business, meaning the hospitality industry can welcome back diners to eat in their establishments. While this will be a slow process to getting back to a “new normal,” hospitality powerhouses like h.Wood Group—which boasts celebrity-beloved venues throughout the city including The Nice Guy, Delilah, Petite Taqueria (now all open for business)—are making sure that diners want to return to their venues and feel safe in doing so with new safety and sanitary protocols and training put in place.

Below, we chat with John Terzian, Co-Founder of The h.Wood Group, who gives us some insight on why guests should feel safe dining-in with them again, as well as what lessons he’s learned over the past three months of shutdown.

John TerzianPhoto Credit: John Troxell

HL: Being one of the leading hospitality forces in Los Angeles, how is The h.wood Group looking to set an example for Los Angeles restaurants to safely open?

JT: We are trying to just lead by example. This whole experience has brought the Los Angeles restaurant operator community together in a great way and all of us are navigating this together. We are following all of the guidelines set out and went even further by spacing out our openings of venues to really help guests ease back into the dining out experience.

HL: What are some of the protocols you are following in your venues?

JT: Overall, our goal is to have the guests feel extra safe and assured that when they are in an h.wood group establishment, it is the most sanitary and up to the guidelines. All staff is required to have masks/shields, temperature checks and training on proper protocol when handling guests. We are spacing the tables to be over 4.5’ apart and anywhere we feel necessary we have plexiglass dividers. We are also being strict about the number of reservations and being careful about the groups arriving for check-in so that they are not clustered together. We also have a designated person sanitizing and wiping all public surfaces during operations.

The Nice GuyPhoto Credit: Elizabeth Daniels

HL: Why should diners feel safe coming to one of your popular establishments?

JT: We view ourselves as leaders in the hospitality community and want to always uphold that standard.

HL: What are some of the permanent effects of COVID-19 that you will be implementing into your restaurants/nightclubs when they can open?

JT: I think we are really going to try to continue contactless payment and as little person-to-person contact as possible.

HL: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned throughout this time?

JT: How to adapt and innovate. I think this whole experience has taught me that you can never truly predict what life will throw at you: it is all about how you react and adapt to those situations.

The Nice GuyPhoto Credit: Elizabeth Daniels