Appointed Chief Operating Officer
At 21c Museum Hotels in Louisville - KY, USA
An energetic advocate for 21c's culture of 'yes', Sarah leads the company's efforts in building and developing an inclusive team, environment and philosophy. Inspired by the boundary-breaking nature of the museum's contemporary art collection, Robbins challenged her own thinking about the notion of team building and corporate culture by encouraging and empowering the 21c team to say 'yes' first to each other, and then to guests. This simple tenet transformed both the team mindset and the guest experience, leading to employee loyalty and high guest satisfaction scores.
Robbins, along with the 21c Museum Hotels team, will oversee the hotel and restaurant development process from design to operations - while ensuring a seamless relationship between each hotel and its restaurant. Under her leadership, the company's restaurants have earned numerous accolades, as 21c's chefs are among the best in the country. Chef Matthew McClure from The Hive at 21c Bentonville is a five-time James Beard Foundation Semifinalist for "Best Chef: South." Proof on Main at 21c Louisville was named to Tasting Table's list of the "Best Hotel Bars in America" and The Hive was listed on Eater's list of "The South's 38 Essential Restaurants" in 2017. She is an active member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, a James Beard Foundation Women in Culinary Leadership mentor and serves on the board of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau. In 2015, she was a featured speaker at The Welcome Conference, and at the 2017 and 2018 FAB Workshop - a series of educational and inspirational workshops created by women, for women in the hospitality industry. Sarah will support Women in Hospitality United this September by taking part in the Solution Sprint project, where stakeholders from across the food space will convene and form teams to tackle some of the most challenging issues facing the hospitality industry today.
Robbins began her career working for Myriad Restaurant Group at the famed Tribeca Grill in New York City, where she served in a variety of management positions. Robbins eventually left New York to return to her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky while staying on with Myriad. She continued her role as a project director and lead trainer for opening teams consulting with Noble Hospitality, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Destination Hotels and Interstate Hotels & Resorts, amongst others. Robbins was a part of the team that opened Proof on Main, ultimately accepting a permanent role with 21c in 2006. Sarah Robbins is a Captain (Ret.) in the Army Reserves and a graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband and two sons.