How it Started!
This blog is such a cool way to reach many with wisdom gained through experiences in an industry that can make or break you. The Restaurant/Food/Hospitality industry or like I call it THE PEOPLE BUSINESS is what I know. The goal is to share with you what I have learned through choices of my own and others. This blog is a way to share my stories. The stories that have molded my life for the past thirty plus years. Here it goes, my first blog of many and I hope those who read will find some entertainment and enlightenment.
I started in this industry when I was 18 years old. Let us just say that has been a LONG time ago. At the time I was a new mom, single, going to school and working two jobs. My first job in the restaurant industry was a hostess at Applebees. I loved being around people and it was fun. I am not a “sit at a desk” kinda person. I enjoyed the fast pace and the good-looking servers. I was in Nashville close to Lipscomb University and Belmont so let me tell you we had some good looking servers. Obviously being a new single mom hindsight tells me that I needed to stay away from them, but give me a break, I was 18. Oh, I digress! Let’s get back on track. I was young and full of life, but naive at the same time. I learned three things during this period, how to cuss like a sailor, how to wipe tables really well, and how to fend off the kitchen cooks with their dirty hands and off color comments. I started my calluses early, and when I say calluses they were the ones you develop with your mind and heart so you are not as offended by each word. Line cooks can be quite harsh if you have a nice ass and are young. There were days I would sit in my car and cry because people could be so mean, but I LOVED this industry. Maybe I am a bit off, but I truly loved the excitement and satisfaction of serving others. At 18, I did not know that this was my path, I actually wanted to be a Lawyer. This was a way to make fast money and pay daycare for my son while figuring out life. The joys of being a mother at this age are different than most, it was hard, it was unknown, and it was fun. I was completely unaware that I needed my son to keep me on track. When I would start to go in a direction that was unhealthy, he was there to remind me that he was more important than me and it was about choosing him first.
Thirty years of working in the People Business. Everything I have done in this industry revolves around food. The love of food, the taste, the smells, the colors, and most of all the satisfaction of seeing others enjoy something you have created. I have not always been the creator of the food, but I have been the one who has served it, prepped it, managed it, washed the dishes after it, and sat you at the perfect table. I learned every part of this industry from the ground up and through it all I have developed a pure Love/Hate relationship and that brings passion. Passion gets you up in the morning. It drives you to do better each day with the hope that you help others find that same kind of passion. I had a previous employer tell me that he knew more about the restaurant business than I did. I sat back and looked at him in the eye and said, “I find that quite humorous, you purchased a franchise five years ago after working in logistics am I correct? “ He shook his head yes. I continued, “I have worked, really worked every crevice of this business, I learned to be a line cook, hostess, serve, wash dishes, trained myself to read P&L’s, created scheduling systems, unloaded and ordered trucks. I held employees when they lost loved ones, celebrated their engagements, marriages, pregnancies, and graduations. I even held their hands as they filed a police report after being abused by their spouse I have worked 70 plus hours a week getting up at 3:00 am after getting home at midnight. I have endured tongue lashings from General Managers, Customers, and Employees. Knowing this business is not sitting behind a desk and pushing paper, knowing this business is not riding around in your car and visiting a location for thirty minutes, knowing your business is not watching them on the cameras from your home. Truly knowing your business is investing in the people. Knowing your business is creating relationships that carry a lifetime of experiences.” “So Mr. …. you do not know this business better than me, you know logistics better than me, you just own a couple of franchises.” I was fired from that job three weeks later.
I look forward to sharing more stories and experiences with the hope that when you go somewhere to get food be thankful to those who are there doing the work because it is not easy and most do NOT love it, but you just never know who may.
My life of servanthood!