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Puccini Group announced Bob Puccini passed away on Oct. 9.

Since founding Puccini Group over 20 years ago, Puccini’s passion for restaurants, design, and operations helped the firm become a market leader for hospitality projects around the world. He was a trusted advisor to hospitality groups across the globe. During his career, he was responsible for the concepting, design and renovation of over 1,000 restaurants worldwide. An industry veteran and an internationally sought-after speaker, Puccini graced hotel investment conferences from Berlin, Macau, Mumbai and Dubai to Istanbul, Beijing, and beyond. He touched the lives of countless peers.

As his wife Niki Leondakis, fellow hospitality visionary, described, “Bob approached restaurants with a deep understanding of how people want to feel. While food, design, and service were all critical, he would absorb, in a way that no one else could, the desires of a population and translate them into dining experiences that would fulfill people’s dreams of being comforted, loved, important, and awed.”

In a joint statement, the partners said, “We have been blessed to have worked with Bob for many years. We share his vision for the business, and plan to do him justice by running things as he would have done. Bob was well-loved and is fondly remembered by our team as well as by our clients. It is due to his entrepreneurial spirit, unconventional approach, deep generosity, and love of mentoring others that Puccini Group is where it is today – a global leader in the hospitality industry. We will miss him dearly and are honored to build on his legacy.”

Puccini served on the Board of Directors of the California Restaurant Association and the Board of Advisors at University of San Francisco’s Hospitality Management program and was a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants, the Foodservice Consultants Society International, as well as the World Travel and Tourism Council. An accomplished business leader and respected industry voice, Bob’s accolades include being named the Anti-Defamation League’s Food and Wine Industry Person of the Year, and he was awarded the prestigious Platinum Circle designation from Hospitality Design magazine in 2009. He graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Political Science and Economics and served in the Peace Corps in Brazil.

The firm will retain its Puccini Group name and will move forward with its current team to continue Bob’s love of delivering world-class hospitality experiences.

Services will be held on Saturday, October 20th at the San Francisco Columbarium & Funeral Home. Donations can be made in his name to the University of San Francisco School of Management Hospitality Program.

Photo courtesy of Puccini Group


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