Today we’d like to introduce you to Mathieu Massa and Michael Ridard.
Mathieu – Born on the glittering shores of the French Riviera, Miami-based entrepreneur Mathieu first fostered an appreciation for the hospitality business in the South of France where dining and nightlife continually attract the elites from around the world.
He had the opportunity to travel around the globe and develop a strong understanding of its varied cultures while honing his passion for the hospitality business. His travels included stops in Shanghai (China), Dubai (UAE), Tokyo (Japan), Florianópolis (Brazil), Havana (Cuba), Moscow (Russia), Istanbul (Turkey), Berlin (Germany), Milan (Italy), London (United Kingdom), and Ibiza (Spain). Mathieu studied at the prestigious school H.E.C in Paris and received his MBA in 2007 from Babson College in Boston.
In 2009, he settled in Miami and founded Mr | Hospitality along with partner Michael. The company functions as a food and beverage management group that owns and operates several restaurants and nightlife destinations. In 2014, after the immense success of Bâoli Miami, Mr | Hospitality’s flagship restaurant and lounge, El Tucán was born.
Michael – Originally from Cannes, France, he started from the bottom.
Through hard work and determination, he learned all aspects of the restaurant business and quickly became respected in the world of hospitality.
He gained exposure working in some of France’s finest establishments such as Sky Beach, Tantra and Le Bâoli in Cannes.
Following his passion in hospitality, he made his move oversees to work at Bâoli Miami, quickly learning the ins and outs of the restaurant and entertainment business.
Over the years, he has developed an exceptional aptitude at learning the American culture and meeting the needs of the continuous demanding clientele.
His strong leadership and passion for the industry has inspired many others, which has allowed Mr. Hospitality to build a team of great talents.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Matthieu: Initially, our biggest struggle was understanding the expectations of the clientele and understanding the industry. We also learned that consistency was key. We had to make sure to provide a high level of service on a daily basis. Thankfully, we were able to bounce back from our few mistakes early on.
Michael: Initially, when I first moved to United States from France, I did not speak English. It was quite the challenge to go to school to learn English while running a business. There was also a high turnover of employees at the very beginning and it has taken us a long time to build the fantastic team we have today. Also, getting out of comfort zone to meet the demands of our clientele was also a struggle at the beginning.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the El Tucán and Marion story. Tell us more about the business.
Mathieu: El Tucán is more than just a dinner and a show experience. It is a modern-day cabaret that pays homage to Cuba in the 1940s, transporting revelers to the bygone era of glitz and glamour.
Located in the Brickell neighborhood of Miami, the venue features a range of musical styles from Afro-Latin to Parisian pop, bringing international bands, as well as renowned and emerging DJs from around the world. In addition to an eclectic musical lineup, El Tucán houses a resident 11-piece Latin orchestra, curated by Two-Time Grammy award-winning pianist, composer and producer Marlow Rosado, that is reminiscent of the big bands from the jazz eras of the 40s and 50s.
Food is also a mainstay at El Tucán, featuring luxe libations crafted by Bar Lab, the brilliant minds behind Broken Shaker, while serving up Latin American inspired tapas to share. The intimate, theater-style venue is also open late night on the weekend so partygoers can continue fêting after-hours.
I am most proud of being able to attract several generations simultaneously. I once had a grandmother, a mother, and a daughter dancing the night away at the same time. Where have you ever seen three generations celebrating together in the same venue?
Michael: Bringing New American flavors with a touch of Asian influences to Brickell, Marion’s chic and upbeat atmosphere offers a wondrous and celebratory experience to its guests.
Marion is famous for its Thursday Soirée’s dinner party, its champagne bar and world renown DJs. Its cozy and energetic setting paired with quality service caters to each of its guest’s needs. Marion’s rich, quality spices and approachable prices offer delectable dishes for all guests. Its unique character showcases culinary wonders that will please your palate.
Enjoy a pleasurable rendezvous at Brickell’s most sophisticated lounge where you are sure to find an epicurean love affair and an exciting vibe.
I am most proud of being able to have built something completely from scratch. We worked around the clock to make sure to have the successful business we have today. We strive for exceptional customer service and hospitality over everything else.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Mathieu: Good luck has always helped me, my team, and my suppliers improve and progress to bring the very best service to our customers.
Michael: Good luck has always on our side. Thankfully, we have been very blessed.
Courtesy of El Tucán