While on my weekly cycle with my father this week he was talking to me about values, in particular those values held by a business and how to create these and ensure that every new staff member shares them. This got me thinking about my own values, and how they are reflected in the business so far. Despite having worked consistently for the past 10 years I have had to go into very few interviews, and as such have rarely considered this. However after some thinking today I believe that the values I hold most dear when it comes to this industry are loyalty, hard work and pride in that work. I am very lucky to have found staff members who share some of these very early on, and will definitely be discussing with them in the future about their values so that we can settle on what values we hold as a business, although I can only imagine this will be in the future.
The only reason I bring this up now is because after 10 years in the industry it makes me wonder as to how many people share these values, in particular as I hear more and more stories coming out about staff taking advantage of their current situation, or owners taking advantage of their staffs current situation. I believe we have come to a sad point of the pandemic where many businesses and owners are now attempting to make a profit throughout this period rather than simply support their team, make it through the other side together and come out stronger than ever on the other side. I recently spoke to a chef I used to work with and was saddened to learn that they have had to lay off almost their entire workforce, something that it was clear hit him hard as he kept his job and only 1 staff member to assist him (though it was not the lack of help that hurt him but more so the lack of compassion for what would happen to the staff who have been so loyal to the business). I can only imagine how these people feel, and how difficult the coming months for them will be, and only wish I was further down the track in my plans for this restaurant and any that may follow so I could be of more help and support to great chefs and people with whom I have worked alongside.
As I get closer and closer to releasing something that I hope will give my staff security for at least the next 12 months I can only hope that the public are as excited in what we will have to offer as we are in offering it to them. Though i cant release many details I will say that we have been planning this since the shutdown, and due to the desire to do it correctly we have seen one delay after the other. I only hope that this coming plan will be successful, and that coming out the other side of this pandemic we will be in a position to grow our business and support not just the staff who have helped get us to where we are, but many more people who will be desperately looking for work.
Below is a photo of a table we set up to remind us of the good old days of when our big open restaurant space was more than just an empty shop front for people to pick up their takeaways.