Ben Fileccia comes from humble Steak and Ale beginnings. It was his first restaurant job before he got his start in Philly's restaurant scene in '99, at the eternal Rose Tattoo Cafe, where he worked for ten years. Then, he moved on to the Vetri Family, where he opened and managed Amis Trattoria before fresh-off-a-Top-Chef-win Kevin Sbraga brought him into Sbraga three months after it opened in 2012. Four years later, he's embarking on a new venture with Reserve, now the newly appointed GM of Reserve Philly.
"They're really hospitality-focused. For a reservation company to be, A. focused on hospitality, and B. focused on taking care of the restaurant partners, and taking care of the guests at the same time — having a combination of all that was rare to me. I was immediately drawn to them."
Fileccia opened The Fat Ham, the short-lived Juniper Commons, and Sbraga & Co. in Jacksonville, FL. The dude is an all-pro GM, an industry socialite with friends and colleagues far beyond our city limits, well-versed in all things food, drink, and restaurants. As president of the Philadelphia Restaurant and Hotel Alliance (previously Philadelphia Chapter of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association), he helps promote, protect and improve the hospitality industry in Philadelphia.
So is he going to miss working the floor at Sbraga's restaurants? Sure. But Reserve isn't a huge leap from what he's doing now.
"I'm still dealing with guests and reservations, and I'm still dealing with people in restaurants. It's something I'm very comfortable with. I love Philadelphia, and I love Philadelphia because of all the relationships I've built over the years, and how everybody helps each other out. It's a cool city to be a part of. There's been opportunities over the years for me to do something else, but this was the first time I was like This is really cool. This is going to help the restaurants in Philadelphia."