Brian Canlis: Leading and Learning Through Vulnerability

TAOP Staff

" Learning in front of people is inspiring. Learning in front of people is strong. It's courageous.

It’s not everyday we get to connect and learn from a 3rd generation family restaurant owner. In this episode, Brian Canlis, co-owner of 70 year old restaurant Canlis, a Seattle fine dining institution that opened its doors in the 1950’s by his grandfather Peter Canlis, sits down with us for an open and honest conversation around hospitality. He shares his approach to up keep the legacy he inherited while staying relevant, and how he leads by example with vulnerability and empathy.

Brian along with his family has had a reputation for setting the bar for hospitality through their restaurant. Since its’ inception, the restaurant has won multiple awards including their most recent James Beard award for Outstanding Hospitality.

Today, Brian and his brother Mark are at the helm of Canlis. Bringing a fresh perspective, they’ve made changes to keep the restaurant evolving and in the last year they’ve steered the restaurant through the pandemic with quick start-up like pivots from turning the restaurant from a fine dining institution to a burger joint, among many other concepts.

This is an eye opening episode on how leading and learning with vulnerability is absolutely a strength rather than a weakness.

Mark and Brian Canlis working on signage to advertise the restaurant’s community college open enrollment on October 5, 2020.

Canlis Team

Canlis team at their pandemic drive thru burger concept.

Canlis TV Dinner

Canlis TV Dinner concept created during the pandemic.

Canlis Yurt Village, a pivot during the pandemic.

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