Reto Cantone

Founder & CEO

Consider your origins, you were not meant to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge.
— Dante Alighieri

Reto Cantone, a global thought leader with a natural knack for what is new and what is next, for understanding consumer and market trends before they trend, and for continuously delivering compelling and authentic results, has over 30 years of global experience and vision in the luxury, hospitality and foodservice industries. A formula that offers just the right balance of precision, creativity and dedication to each project, not to mention a keen eye for beauty and a strong focus on the individuality of each client.

Born and raised in Switzerland to an Italian father and Swiss-German mother, Reto Emilio Cantone begins his life in Basel, Switzerland. He attributes much of his personal and professional success to these origins, as well as noting with pride his ancestry in the 16th-century nobility in Piedmont, Italy.

After studying economics at the Wirschaftgymnasium, Basel,Switzerland Reto graduates on to École Hôtelière de Lausanne, the world’s first hospitality management school founded in 1893, consistently regarded as the best hospitality school in the world.

While at EHL, Reto bolsters his knowledge of gastronomy, service, and international hospitality management, through internships at three of the most recognized five star luxury hotels and restaurant chain in Switzerland: Hotel Baur Au Lac in Zurich, Grand Hotel Zermaterhof in Zermatt and Mövenpick in Geneva.

Seeking to continue his professional growth, Reto moves to New York, where he first works for a Swiss Management Consulting Group. However, he finally returns to his innate passion and his roots, entering the hospitality industry, where he invests, develops and operates unique fresh-casual restaurant brands, many of which are foreign ideas to an American audience.

In 1992, he founded The Hospitality Group International, a management consulting and advisory hospitality firm, delivering a broad range of consulting services on a global basis, thus further distinguishing his abilities to identify market opportunities and implement concepts with clients from New York to Seoul, South Korea. 

With the launch of Swiss-based, Cantone Group in 2017, Reto decides to use his cultural heritage and hospitality knowledge in advising foreign brands on branding and brand translation for the North American market, thus unifying his diverse experience, under one unique umbrella.

Reto Cantone maintains a strong reputation as a creative visionary in the hospitality, food services and luxury lifestyle industries.  His international background, combining first-rate European training, as well as expertise with a global client base, and an international understanding of management styles, systems,and trends,as well as fluency in seven languages, are some of his most valuable assets.

In his personal life, Cantone is an active mentor to young entrepreneurs and graduates from his Alma Mater.