I was in a meeting the other day, enjoying lunch with five other people who had all just recently met. When the meals arrived, the presentation of some looked better than others. Immediately, the critics of food as we know it surfaced and began freely passing out comments on how good some plates looked and how mediocre others appeared.
By the end of the discussion, we all agreed that everyone at the table, with the exception of myself, wanted to go into the restaurant business some day. I opted to not have those desires because I had already travelled that road and hoped to never turn in that direction again. Yes, for ten years I struggled with a career as a restaurant owner. And, the word is struggle. But the turmoil that ensued my entering the profession, by mere happenstance I might add, had nothing to do with my abilities to own and operate a restaurant.
I was your typical home trained chef. After a long week at the office, I would entice my wife to join me in the kitchen and follow what we thought was a hobby. Cooking. Until one day, I decided to write a story about a grocery store in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was only after that story was published and the owner of The Crocus Hill Market realized how much I loved his store did he entice me to buy it. With the passion of a premier chef who garners great raves at a dinner party for relatives, I jumped behind the butcher counter and began my trek to restaurant stardom. Not knowing what would appear on the road ahead, I coaxed my then girlfriend, now wife ( which is a testament of her love for me), into joining me in the business.
Oh, how wonderful, you say? This has always been your dream? Don’t let a day go by, then, that you do not tune into this Blog. For it is here that I will attempt to share the facts of the journey. I will not try to disuade you from following your dream. But I will be offering bits of knowledge, some shocking, some obvious, that you will need to know if you, too, are going to travel the road to restaurant stardom.
Consider that you are preparing to go on a trip that you have never been on before. And, as the journey takes you into uncharted waters you will need to be inoculated so as to not be inflicted with various diseases that you come across. That scenario is very similar to the restaurant business.
Anyone that has ever received a compliment on a bowl of salsa, and then turned the recipe into a product, complete with a home produced label, and a circle of plaid fabric on top of a jar, and given it to family and friends as a Christmas gift has visions of opening their own Salsateria. Unfortunately, some will.
This blog is basically an inoculation process which if read will open your eyes to the bumps,potholes, and obstacles that appear before you.
By the time we had finished our luncheon meeting, my associates had been bitten by the bug. Their course in culinary inoculation had just begun.
You may want to join them.