Restaurant Staff Bonds over a Passion for Running

Working in the restaurant industry can be exhausting — mentally and physically. It’s a fast-paced, demanding environment that often requires long hours and endless passion. When most restaurants close for the night, the wait staff and back-of-house employees go out for a drink or simply go home and veg out.

That isn’t the case for the staff of Make It Nice, an NYC-based restaurant group behind the Eleven Madison Park, the NoMad and NoMad Bar in New York City, and the NoMad in Los Angeles.

After the dinner rush, and after closing tasks are completed and the lights are turned off, the employees meet up for a nice late-night run.

They call themselves the Make It Nice Running Club.

The group is led by Daniel Humm, chef and owner of Make It Nice. He started the club in 2015 to bring his staff closer.

Of course, they don’t just go for nightly jogs. For the past three years, the Make It Nice Running Club has also run the NYC marathon.

We reached out to Humm about how he and his staff balance the demands of their industry with their passion for running.

When did you get into running?
I’ve always been active, as maintaining a healthy mind and body is something that has always been important to me. Running takes me, physically and mentally, to a different place. I’ve run 4 NYC marathons thus far.


Why do you think restaurant work may not allow for a healthy lifestyle?
We try to make it as balanced and healthy as we can for our team, but inevitably, we work long hours and eat at odd times.


What establishments are a part of Make It Nice?
Make It Nice is our restaurant group, which includes Eleven Madison Park, NoMad Restaurant and NoMad Bar in New York (along with NoMad Los Angeles and NoMad Las Vegas) and Made Nice.


What is the Make It Nice Running Club?
Make It Nice Running Club is something we started about 5 years ago. Running is a passion of mine – it has always made me think and feel better. For me it is a great way to decompress. I wanted to share it with my team. When we’re on the job, we’re focused, so there isn’t much of an opportunity to hang out or catch up. The runs allow our team the opportunity to connect with each other outside of the kitchen or dining floor. We are currently at about 92 runners strong and growing.


How has Garmin helped you and your staff in your fitness endeavors?
We use Strava to help our team track one another. Conveniently, a lot of our staff have their Garmin linked to their Strava account.

The staff just completed the NYC marathon with about 30 staff members, which has been a great stress reliever for them as they are about to open another establishment called Davies & Brooks in London.