Not Your Everyday News

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Diner Life....

Being a small business owner is tough in any business, but I just have to believe that the restaurant business just might be a little bit tougher. Staffing is always an issue. The fact of the matter is that this business often attracts folks who live paycheck to paycheck, people who might be able to have a retail or office job but need the daily cash money waiting tables brings, rather than having a paycheck direct deposited every two weeks. Heck, most of my staff don't even have a bank account for that matter, in fear of having any funds in it seized by some state or federal agency for unpaid fines, child support etc..  Restaurants also attract folks who need that 2nd (or maybe 3rd) chance in life after going through personal problems, addictions, even incarceration. You feel sorry for most of these people, people who were simply dealt a bad hand in life, people who made poor decisions in that 'young and dumb' stage of life, or who just don't have the capacity of others for whatever reason. You are pleased when one starts to separate themselves from the others, to move a step or two ahead, and can move on to a career where advancement, even success,  is a real possibility. But too often you are disappointed with those who seem to revel in personal drama, who enjoy that baby step forward, only to take 2 or 3 giant steps back, who get paid on Monday and are broke and asking for an advance on Tuesday, who are willing to sacrifice their job, even friends and family, for a 'good time', whatever that may be. Is it all worth it? Well, for me personally, it is, because I love food and I love my customers - I cherish my friends and regulars, the lifeline/backbone of this business, the ones you know by name and celebrate birthdays or other special events with. And yes, there are those staff members who you do become proud of, those who overcame the bad hand or the poor personal decisions, are appreciative of the chance they were given, and have become great at what they do, whether it be waiting tables, cooking, or doing delivery. So while some of my staff frustrates me and makes me just shake my head, others step up and pick up the slack to ensure that things run as smoothly as possible. I refuse to name names here, but there are 4 of my staff members in particular who simply are there when needed, becoming jacks of all trades, stepping up to the plate, most times without me having to ask. Other staff members might accuse me of favoritism, but I take care of those who take care of me, and that's just how it is!


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