In my last post entitled The Kiss of Death, I spoke about a restaurant owner with tons of money and no experience, whom I believe is about to lose some of his financial poundage, because of ego driven pride and lack of experience.
As a result I received a comment wondering if I was going to be working with this gentleman to help restore the hope. The answer is no, for a couple of reasons. First off I was very straight forward with him concerning the changes I thought should be made in order to turn his business around. As expected my suggestions were not well received, because nobody likes hearing the bad news, especially when some suggestions involved spending even more money to fix a situation that is already hemorrhaging cash.
Frankly though, I have been in this industry for so long that I personally do not have the time or inclination to expend the enormous energy required to turn an operation around if the principle is not interested.
In the course of my career, like the captain of a ship, there have been times when I have had to stay on board while the business sank slowly into the depths of ruin. For me there is nothing more stressful than cooking night after night for an empty dining room. Or fielding calls from creditors for owners that have a knack for vaporizing when the going gets tough.
Owning a restaurant is somewhat like gambling. Once you sit at the slots and the money keeps getting sucked up into the machine, it’s almost impossible not to shake the belief that just one more push of the button will bring on the jackpot. Sometimes you get lucky but more often than not, you’re busted.
I take my work seriously and I have spent my entire adult life gaining the experience I need to make things work. If the truth be known I am fed up with the well to do amateurs of the world who insist on getting involved, without heeding the advice and expertise of seasoned professionals. Unfortunately I have no pity for someone who insists on digging their own grave. We make our own beds and have to sleep in them.
I love this industry and I have great respect for the many talented, hard working people who have dedicated their lives to expanding the palates of our nation. But let it be known that owning and operating a restaurant is a serious commitment and one of the most difficult undertakings imaginable.
It takes courage, perseverance, expertise and most importantly enough intelligent humility to allow others to collaborate, in order to be successful. Money and ego are of no real use in this industry, certainly not for there sake alone.
In the long run I will simply sit back and watch the ship sink from a comfortable seat on the shore, happily nurturing a deep feeling of gratitude that this time it’s not me bearing the burden.