The pinnacle of success in this new world economy is completely different than ever before. And in order to experience success, or feel as though we are successful, we may need to develop new standards by which to judge that incredible flexible milestone.
Success is defined as “the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors“. This is very different from the way I define success when it pertains to the restaurant business. Mainly, if success triggers the termination of attempts to obtain success, will one still be successful after his past success is history? I think not. I live by the theory that you are only as successful as your last dinner service. I believe that success is the continual and constant fine tuning of exercises and procedures leading you closer to obtaining a goal. And, I also know that when the fringes of success are crossed, most people raise the bar just a bit so as obtaining the goal is pushed further away. One never achieves their goal if they continue to strive for success.
That being said, success may only last for a fleeting moment, before the bar is raised and the standards change. The same holds true with the way we view new successes compared to the old ways with which we used to view success.
Remember when we couldn’t remember a slow Monday night? Remember when Drew Nieporent of Myriad Restaurant Group fame said, “If you are not doing at least two turns a night, you’re only playing restaurant”? Well, from the way things are shaping up, many proprietors may be just paying restaurant – by the standards set during the last extraordinary culinary decade.
I don’t know if Nieporent has changed his view in order to adapt to the new economy, but I know many on
The same holds true for
We all may need to reevaluate our idea of success in order to move forward with a brighter outlook for the future. If we tend to judge our success by yesterday’s standards, the future may look bleak and less profitable for a long time to come. However, if we were to change the way we judge our successes, possibly looking at customer satisfaction, return customer trends, compliments from our clientele and the fact that we can analyze our costs, trim them to fit this new economy and still survive and make a living that may be what success is all about.
Years ago my goal was to build a restaurant chain that made me wealthy. I came close, and once I sold it, I certainly didn’t work for free, however looking back, my success really was made apparent just last month.
I was at the San Francisco Gourmet Food Show and a dear friend from
When I first met Lloyd, he was a neighbor and supporter of one of my ventures, The Cottagewood General Store. The location in
Yet when Kranston and I ran the store- using it as a foundation for our future ventures we managed to pull all of the ingredients – marketing, passion, vision, concept development, toil and long, stress filled hours together, to make it a pleasurable, successful picture book adventure.
We developed a business from scratch, learned how to listen to customer’s needs, and became capable of turning on a dime, while making something as simple as a neighborhood spaghetti night a weekly feast.
Lloyd asked me at the show what our secret was, claiming that nobody since has been able to achieve the volume, the feel, the fun, or the ambiance and personality in that space that we achieved.
As simple as it may seem, that was one of the best compliments a restaurateur can receive.