Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

Hospitality Legend Richie Romero on Making NYC The City That Never Sleeps…Again Interview with New York City Hospitality Legend Richie Romero about putting relationships at the forefront of business, the changing celebrity economy, and how he embarked on a career in making people happy.

By Shawn P. Walchef

Key Takeaways

  • Hospitality After COVID - Richie Romero has been in the hospitality business long enough to see it evolve more than once. Post pandemic lockdowns, the nightlife scene changed and he has to work even harder to build relationships with its patrons. Luckily, he loves it.
  • Putting Relationships First - Over the years Richie Romero has obviously made his fair share of money. For him, however, the power of the relationships he's built come second to none. Not even money is as important as building connections.
  • Return of The City That Never Sleeps - It's not secret that New York City saw a huge flight of residence during the Pandemic shutdowns. Richie Romero, a born-and-bred, proud New Yorker, is on a personal mission to return the city to the thriving epicenter of entertainment it once was.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

"I love creating and I love creating with other people. I love building relationships."

This quote summarizes Richie Romero, a hospitality legend that has played a major role in a number of New York City entertainment staples. Being a native New Yorker has given him a sense of pride that permeates his purpose.

Richie Romero's hospitality endeavors began at an early age. At just 12 years old, he would throw parties in the local McDonald's play area. Legally or illegally, these types of early entrepreneurial endeavors became the precursor for a career of providing consistent memorable experiences.

Creating what he labels "decentralized casino" experiences throughout the city is something near and dear to his heart.

"We don't have casinos here [in NYC]. We don't have resorts. So I have to do it the deconstructed, decentralized way." Richie Romero points out to host Shawn P. Walchef of CaliBBQ Media on the Restaurant Influeners podcast. "I want to give and put a smile on and have an imprint on anyone's life from any age."

Though the business has evolved, and that evolution has been accelerated by COVID protocols within New York City, Richie Romero has been able to remain atop the hospitality scene and continue to formulate and nurture relationships with notable clientele.

When asked about his approach, he says, "I think relationships are more important than anything. To me, it's more important than money."

His love for entertainment and building sustainable relationships is only matched by Richie Romero's love for his New York City.

"I love my city and I want to see New York thrive again."

One thing is for sure, Richie Romero will spend days and nights doing everything in his power to make sure that happens.


NOMINATE A RESTAURANT INFLUENCER — Do you know someone who is killing it on social media? Let us know by emailing influencers@calibbq.media or sending the @calibbqmedia team a DM on social media.


Restaurant Influencers is brought to you by Toast, the powerful restaurant point of sale and management system that helps restaurants improve operations, increase sales and create a better guest experience.

Toast — Powering Successful Restaurants. Learn more about Toast.

Restaurant Influencers is also supported by DAVO. Never worry about sales tax again. Try DAVO and get your first month free. And AtmosphereTV - TV to Enhance Your Business. Try AtmosphereTV.

Shawn P. Walchef

Founder of Cali BBQ Media

“Be the show, not the commercial.”

Cali BBQ Media Founder Shawn Walchef helps brands and leaders leverage the new Business Creator Economy with strategic Smartphone Storytelling and Digital Hospitality.

His Cali BBQ restaurant company has generated more than $35 million since opening in 2008. They operate numerous locations in San Diego and beyond.

Shawn’s weekly video series Restaurant Influencers (published by Entrepreneur Media and produced by Cali BBQ Media) has been seen by over 25 million people.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

More from Restaurant Influencers

How Do You Start a Successful Restaurant? Obsess Over the Tiniest Details, Says This Entrepreneurial Chef.

The Scrappy Origin Story of Toast, the Game-Changing Restaurant Tech Company

If You Want to Make Millions, Ditch Your Polished Pitch and 'Own Your Crazy' Says This Legendary Branding Guru

This Chef Fled a War-Torn Country as a Child. Now She's Helping Other Refugees Rebuild Their Lives.

Business News

More People Are Exploring Entrepreneurship Because of This Unexpected Reason

More new business applications were filed in 2023 than in any other year so far.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

TikTok Reportedly Laid Off a 'Large Percentage' of Employees as the App's Fate in the U.S. Remains Unclear

Laid-off TikTok employees were notified Wednesday night through Thursday morning.

Personal Finance

This Investment Bundle Includes a Trading Course and Stock Screener Tool for $150

Approach the stock market with an increased understanding.

Business News

Four Seasons Orlando Responds to Viral TikTok: 'There's Something Here For All Ages'

The video has amassed over 45.4 million views on TikTok.