Service and Culture Expert
Jim Knight delivers presentations that rock. After cutting his teeth in the hospitality industry, starting out as a restaurant staff-level employee for the Olive Garden and the Hard Rock Café, he eventually became the head of the School of Hard Rocks, running all global training and development functions for Hard Rock International. A training and development veteran for more than 30 years, Jim speaks and facilitates on a variety of topics, including organizational culture, world-class service, employee branding, performance management, philanthropy, facilitation training, and leadership skills.
Knight’s role at Hard Rock involved many facets of organizational training, including creating and managing all staff and management training materials and programs, facilitating its corporate university, overseeing management training locations, producing training DVDs, directing company e-Learning initiatives, facilitating leadership transitions, and traveling to property locations to deliver on-site classes and measure standards.
During his time with the Hard Rock brand, Knight’s team won the coveted Telly Awards in 2000 for their guest service video; took top honors in 2007 for their menu roll-out video; garnered Training Directors Forum’s 1998 prize for “Re-engineering Training;” and won Brandon Hall’s “Gold Best in Class Award” for their “Service Recovery” e-learning course. Jim Knight was also recognized by Training magazine as representing one of the “Top 125 Training Companies in the World” out of all industries and businesses.
Knight has been featured in Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, Business News Daily and Fox Business News. In 2015, PCMA recognized Knight as one of the “Top 5 Speakers to Watch.”
Knight has a music degree in Vocal Performance & Education and taught in the Florida public school system for six years, before shifting his career in hospitality. He is a long-time member of The Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers, previously sat on the Certification Governing Board of the National Restaurant Association, and started a local networking group (The Training Summit) with over 100 active members to share best practices and discuss common issues with other industry professionals.
Jim Knight is also the author of Culture that Rocks: How to Revolutionize Your Company’s Culture, recently featured in Entrepreneur as one of the Top Business Books to Read. A portion of Jim Knight’s book and speaking proceeds goes to the No Kid Hungry campaign to eliminate childhood hunger.