Where to start. Again I find myself having less and less time to contribute to this, though this is most likely a positive thing as I am kept busy with ensuring we stay up to standard. Our goal to become one of the best Italian restaurants on the Northern Beaches, and in Sydney continues, and arguably is making progress. It is just over a year since the first lockdown, I keep finding myself wondering if I would have opened a restaurant had I known what was coming shortly after, but even after what has been one of the hardest years of my life to find we have made very little progress, I don't think I would trade the experience in for anything.
The difference between where we are now and where we were a year ago is night and day. We finally this week went back up in capacity, and are now at close to 52, though we will never again see the 60 capacity fulfilled, we hope the decision to sacrifice this for comfort and to better the customer experience will pay off in the long run through increased loyalty. We are much busier than I ever imagined, but balancing looking after the staff and keeping the business profitable is a challenge, though one that is worth it when seeing how we can help so many of our staff, and seeing what they provide us in return. On this note we lost our very first staff member last week so that they could move onto other things, and though it was a sad time for us both I strongly believe that we will both look back on it as the right decision for each of us.
The business awards have also reopened for nominations, and we have started campaigning for votes yet again. It was incredibly disappointing last year to be the only team who showed up for the event, only to miss out to a much wealthier and more established restaurant, especially one that had closed for almost 3 months throughout the year, however this is only fair as they are judged on quality and not relatability or accessibility. Since then we have put a lot of work into improving what we offer, and hopefully this year we will be able to not only reach the finals, but win with enough luck. Only time will tell, though even if we do not win or even become a finalist we will continue to improve what we offer and will reach the goal eventually.
Finally I have found my passion reignited, perhaps due to the support of my family and partner, or perhaps due to the shared passion of all our staff. Either way the love for hospitality that brought be to opening up this restaurant has resurged and will hopefully take us into a new era, allowing a final push to get us to where we need to be to expand and fulfil the potential of this business and what it can achieve for its staff and customers. Only time will tell, but I look forward to the continuation of what has been an exciting journey.