David Beckham and David Grutman Talk Inter Miami CF and Entrepreneurship
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For David Grutman, the past year, like everyone else, had challenges and rewards.
The entrepreneur, once known as the king of the nightclub, continues to diversify his portfolio to include the hotel owner with the upcoming opening of his joint venture with Pharrell Williams, the Goodtime Hotel. His Trifecta restaurant in the Firestone Garage on Alton Road is due to open at the end of this month and will combine Winker’s Diner, Sushi Fly Chicken and Toothfairy under one roof. Nevertheless, his nightclub LIV remains closed.
Grutman has also returned to Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management to teach his entrepreneurship course, The David Grutman Experience: The Class.
COVID-19 has changed the way the course is presented. There are five sessions instead of seven, and social distancing guidelines have reduced the class capacity from 200 to around 140. All participants must complete an online COVID questionnaire before entering the campus.
Oh, and the classes are outside.
Grutman and his team have managed to turn the roof of the university’s Kovens Conference Center into a stage with colored spotlights and a pink step-and-repeat. Velvet ropes – as seen in a nightclub – create areas for social distancing. Students sit six feet apart and wear masks during class.
David Beckham addresses FIU students.
Photo by World Red Eye
Even on an unusually chilly evening, students warmly greeted the man who promised to teach Miami’s next generation of nightlife restaurateurs and impresarios how to be successful.
Step one: build a brand. “I sell a lifestyle to people,” said Grutman.
Building your own brand is as important as building your stationary endeavors, he explained, but the key to that isn’t just about posting glamorous selfies. Grutman, who posts so many Instagram photos of himself cuddling his daughters and hanging out with Pharrell, said, “My cool is that I’m uncool.”
He emphasized the importance of public relations. “If I were to start a car wash, I would like a PR team to share all of the crazy cars that I’ve cleaned.”
Then he quipped that he hoped the students had taken notes, “Because if I bring out my guest, David Beckham, you’ll forget everything I said.”
Beckham, who has been in Miami since Christmas preparing for the kick-off of his Inter Miami CF soccer club, asked questions about everything why he chose Miami for his team (“Have you seen this place? It’s a lifestyle! It is Passion! “) To what he misses about London (” I sometimes miss the gray days. I miss the weather “).
Beckham said the eight-year road to finalizing his Miami soccer club wasn’t always easy, but he pledged to build soccer in the United States when he was a soccer player. “Two days after I retired from football, I flew to Miami. There have been a lot of obstacles since then, but getting things done sometimes takes time. It was always about building a legacy for me.”
One of the toughest transitions for Beckham when moving to the US? Called his sport “soccer” instead of “soccer”. Beckham said, “I’m still forgetting and people here have to ask me to clarify which game I’m talking about.”
When someone asked about the stopping process of his planned Miami Freedom Park soccer stadium, he quipped that he shouldn’t have asked “just one more question”. Beckham did not comment on the status of his plan to build a 25,000-seat football stadium on the grounds of the municipal Melreese golf course, but said he would make it.
Then, in a city characterized by lazy days at the beach and bad nights, he emphasized that there was no shortcut to success.
“It’s about hard work and dedication,” Beckham said. “When I was 14 my co-workers were hanging out. I didn’t have many friends. I had to sacrifice.”
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Laine Doss is the food and liquor editor for the Miami New Times. It was featured on Eat Street by Cooking Channel and in the Great Food Truck Race by Food Network. She won an Alternative Weekly Award for her contribution on what it’s like to wait for tables.