Day three into the closure of restaurants and despite the record low sales (as expected) there is only one other thing that has been bothering me, the rest is all positive. Most of us if not all do not get into hospitality for the money. For those who have spent their lives in the industry certainly nobody stays there just for the money. Long and strange hours, difficult shifts and meager paychecks are definitely not the hallmarks of a lovable job, however it is usually all worth it to hear the buzz of a busy restaurant. Lately every Saturday or Friday night no matter how difficult the shift was I would take comfort listening to the noise coming from right in front of me in the dining area. As tables left and complimented the food and service for the first time in my life I could truly feel proud of something that I had poured every ounce of my being into. The last 3 days have been soul crushing as we cook in silence with only the music and inane chatter between the three of us who are here. I am however very lucky that my chefs who have stayed have been in great spirits, and we are all part of a great team who all get on with each other very well (or as far as I can tell being the owner).
The positives that I have discovered today are that innovation and drive are products of necessity and hardship. At most restaurants I have worked I have always tried to go that extra mile and drive business forward, but only once before have I truly believed I was at my best. The last three days have without a doubt been the most productive and innovative of my life. Day one I set up a blog and online shop in a matter of hours, day two has been making multiple calls to services to really cut down our spending to the bare minimum. Today I managed to almost completely set up our online ordering system with no assistance, and I believe when it released on Friday will be easy to use and will still reflect the values that we hold close in this restaurant. I have also set into motion multiple different avenues that will hopefully allow us to sustain ourselves and if we make it through should make us busier and more profitable than ever. It only saddens me that I could not find this level of drive earlier, as we were always hitting each target that I had set for us since we opened (though that is not a negative thing). I try to stay humble and am rarely proud of my work as I usually take the belief that I could always do better or could have always done it better, but today in particular I can say without hesitation that I am proud of the work I have done in the last two days.
I am growing more confident by the day that we can make it through this no matter how long it lasts, and my positivity is at an all time high since I have had the restaurant, despite what is going on. That being said I will also be more disappointed than ever if I cannot make this work, with the only advantage being that I will be able to truly say I have done everything within my power to succeed. I only hope that a week from now I can maintain this same level of positivity and productivity to continue to drive us forward for the next 12 months, no matter what additional hurdles come our way.
I also hope that our customers will stay loyal over the coming months and that the many things that I put in place over the coming weeks will be well received and appreciated by both new and old customers.