It’s almost Christmas.  For restaurant owners in many parts of North America, this means that next week there might be a few good days, then for the next three to four months, there will be gloom.  There will be too many bills and not enough customers.  You’re getting bummed-out just thinking about it. 

This discouragement …it’s part of the ballgame.  It happens.  At this time of year, it’s especially common.  You’re supposed to get bummed from time to time.  The restaurant business ain’t supposed to be easy: if it were, then even more people would do it and it would be even tougher to make a buck. 

So, during the next few months, first you’ll get discouraged because business will suck just like you know it will: then you will be afraid of not having enough money to meet your commitments and pay the bills; then you’ll get pissed because of the weather or the snow plow or the help or whatever.  That’s the winter cycle in the restaurant business (worry, fear, anger).  Unless, of course, you’re in one of the resort areas: then this becomes your summer cycle. 

It’s normal, but be careful; when this discouragement hangs around for too long, it can really sidetrack your business.

When decisions start to be made more with gut than with the brain, they become more reactions than responses.  When worry, fear and anger set in; a lot of negative energy sets in with it.  This stuff is contagious.  The help will catch it first, and then they’ll spread it to the customer.  Quality and service will suffer.  The loyal customers who are around during the slow times will be tempted to go elsewhere.

When we constantly complain about how bad things are, we start to believe ourselves.  We don’t look for anything but stuff that reinforces our ideas about things sucking.  We don’t even look at the good things that are happening because if we do, all that complaining would have been in vain.  Who wants to do all that complaining for nothing?

At this point, our feelings have trumped our brain.  We think, “What’s the use?”   Yoo-hoo …you own/run a restaurant.  It ain’t about your feelings …it’s about your customer’s feelings.  It’s about doing a better job than your competitors of providing a perceived value.  Provide that value and the numbers will take care of themselves.  Yes, there will be tough times; that’s the game we’re in.  No, it’s not easy.  

This stuff ain’t black and white.  It comes down to grey.  It’s probably the grey matter between the ears.  You’re in the biz, you really know this stuff, but yeah, sometimes you forget.  So please, smile, lift your head up and get back into the kitchen and cook some more frigg’n peas.

Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.       - Lou Holtz

Happy Holidays


Views: 12

Tags: Manager, Owner, Restaurant


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Joe Welsh on December 22, 2011 at 7:05am

Good article Paul. Luck is the result of hard work!




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


QSRs squeeze into unconventional locations

Nontraditonal quickservice units are popping up wherever people are, moving beyond street-side and mall locations to military -More

Optimize efficiency with an applicant tracking system

Businesses increasingly are turning to software programs that make applicant tracking more efficient.  -More

Read the NRA statement on NLRB's joint employer decision


All-new pasta dish features Grand Cru® Alpine-style cheese
Roth® Grand Cru® cheeses have a complex and full-bodied flavor that's crafted to achieve excellence in your menu applications. Try it in Manicotti en Croute with Brandied Fig Dipping Sauce. This elegant and inventive dish recently won our recipe contest for postsecondary culinary students, and is perfect as a sophisticated appetizer, passed hors d'oeuvre or savory dessert.


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $50 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Darden Announces Leadership Succession Plan

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) announced that Clarence Otis is stepping down as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Darden's Board of Directors has appointed the Company's current Independent Lead Director, Charles A. Ledsinger, Jr., as Independent Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, effective immediately. The Company also announced that it has amended its corporate governance policies to provide for the separation of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer roles.

National Restaurant Association Statement on NLRB Joint Employer Decision

Today the National Restaurant Association issued the following statement regarding the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision asserting McDonald’s Corporation is a joint employer of its franchisees:

National Restaurant Association Issues Support for Clearer ACA Definition of Seasonal Employment

The bipartisan legislation will align the definitions of seasonal employment in the Affordable Care Act and streamline the applicable large employer determination process.

Rising India, Inc. Announces Acquisition Strategy Toward a Sizable Slice of the QSR Pizza Pie

Rising India, Inc. (OTC: RSII), announces today it will immediately begin work toward the acquisition of up to 5 profitable stores in the popular Quick Serve Pizza Restaurant segment. Current targets are currently earning about $450,000 in revenues per year, per store. Acquisition of targets would provide immediate cash flow identified from profitable longstanding, absentee owner operations with proven model success.

Panera Bread Company Reports Q2 2014 Diluted EPS of $1.82

Q2 2014 Revenue increased 7% to $631 million - Q2 2014 Company-owned comparable net bakery-cafe transactions up 0.4%


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Ze Frank: Are you human? - Ze Frank (2014)

Have you ever wondered: Am I a human being? Ze Frank suggests a series of simple questions that will determine this. Please relax and follow the prompts. Let's begin …

TED: Heather Barnett: What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime - Heather Barnett (2014)

Inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, artist Heather Barnett co-creates with physarum polycephalum, a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. What can people learn from the semi-intelligent slime mold? Watch this talk to find out.

TED: Shih Chieh Huang: Sculptures that’d be at home in the deep sea - Shih Chieh Huang (2014)

When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and perusing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blink, tentacles that unfurl and parts that light up like bioluminescent sea creatures.

TED: Nikolai Begg: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery - Nikolai Begg (2013)

Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what's on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical device, called the trocar, and improve one of the most dangerous moments in many common surgeries.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service