Business in the Age of Empathy
Podcast Series
July 11, 2024
Build Empathy and Success in the Restaurant Business with Darden

Restaurant enterprise Darden serves over a million guests every day, and its number one priority is human interaction. In this episode, we uncover why they reject the idea of replacing restaurant staff with robots and why the restaurant industry needs to be humanized.
We’re joined by Ali Charri whose journey begins as an immigrant in the US who didn’t speak English to becoming the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Insights at Darden Restaurants

You will hear from:

Ali Charri, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Insights at Darden Restaurants
Shad Raouf, Show Host

You will learn:

Importance of humanizing business
Why to preserve human interaction
The role of spontaneity in life and career

3 Key Takeaways

The world applies too much business logic to humans and should instead apply more human logic to businesses. When we humanize business, we bring more empathy to the world.
Technology should be used to enhance service standards rather than replacing service staff. Industries must strive to maintain a balance between humanity and technology.
Over food – feelings, emotions, ideas, and thoughts are shared. Therefore, restaurant businesses should never stop preserving the human experience that is so central to its existence.

What we discussed:

(00:09) Who is Ali Darden?
(01:42) Moving to the US without any English
(05:14) Leaving engineering for business Or Applying to 200 jobs, with 0 interest (good news?)
(07:25) From 0 to top of the corporate ladder
(12:59) The believer’s pyramid
(15:14) Humanity controls everything
(16:47) Should robots replace restaurant staff?
(18:20) Do we ever find our passion?