Nashville Hitmakers: Assembly Food Hall general manager goes above and beyond to make visitors feel at home

Posted at 8:19 AM, Jan 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-19 09:19:56-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation continues to highlight exemplary hospitality employees in Music City with its monthly Hitmakers award. Crowds continue to pour over to booming 5th and Broadway at Assembly Food Hall which sees more than 100,000 guests a week walk through its doors to eat, drink, and play.

General Manager Brett Shane oversees the massive operation and is already receiving high marks for his hard work, and it's why he's a Hitmaker. Shane starts his day by making the rounds hyping his team and greeting guests. It's a routine he's made a habit in his time here, because it's rarely quiet at this corner, especially the night of the note drop!

In late 2021, more than 1,200 were partying on the sold-out Skydeck rooftop for the live CBS New Year's Eve show in Nashville. Shane made his typical rounds and ran into an unhappy father and his family outside the venue.

"I could tell that something wasn’t right. So, I kind of went up to him and said... ‘Hi my name is Brett I’m the general manager… is everything OK?'” Shane recalled. The father and his family, who were visiting Nashville from North Carolina, said he had really wanted to show his family a fun time, but couldn’t get into the event at Assembly Food Hall. Shane responded, “you happen to be talking to the right person.” He brought them in and set them up with their own personal bartender to make sure they have an incredible time.

It was just Shane’s second week on the job. It's who he is, and it's evident by watching him work.

“I grew up in the business of hospitality. My family's had a restaurant in Illinois for the last 47 years. Hospitality has been everything we've been taught," he said.

Despite being a Chicago native, a hospitality hub of its own, now living in Music City has given Shane a bit of southern flair for keeping customers on busy Broadway happy. "What we try to do is take that Nashville culture and put it inside our halls, and make sure that people really understand that they didn't just come to Nashville to see all the great buildings like the Ryman and Assembly Food Hall, but to be able to experience true Nashville hospitality,” Shane said proudly.

Working in the restaurant industry for years helps give him proper perspective and appreciation for visitors selecting your particular spot. "There’s great food throughout this whole entire city. What separates you is, how do you want people to know you as a venue?" he said.

It's Shane’s simple business belief. "[To] make sure [that] my people are trained, make sure they have a great time, and more importantly, make sure that when you walk out of here and say to anybody that they can talk to...’I went to somebody who when I was in Nashville, Tennessee, I had the most incredible time and I cannot wait to go back.' That means more to us than any dollar or penny that could be earned," he said.

If you know a hospitality employee in Nashville that's gone above and beyond, you can nominate them for Hitmakers via the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp website.