Tag Archives: restaurant

A Toast to the Best Boss Ever

12 Dec

Nearly two years since I was his employee, I still look forward to going home and visiting the old stomping grounds to say hello to the staff and chat with my former boss. The place is like a time warp instantly bringing me back to those careless summer days and crazy summer nights when all that mattered was good friends, good money, and cheap booze.

So my heart broke a little when he informed me that he’s a different man now and so is the business. “Things are just different now,” he said to me this past November. “I’m getting older and I’m not as close with the staff,” he said reluctantly. This is the man who could out-party all of his 20-something staff and still get up and open up shop the next morning. Frozen with disbelief, I let him go on.

“I don’t go out and party like I used to and business is insane so I stay busy.” I understood, of course. A married man with two growing children, two-time business owner, and revered community member who recently lost his beloved mother is bound to take a different perspective on life.

My friend, your eventful past is not to be forgotten and your successful future is to be anticipated. Here’s to you, bossman, because you were the best boss I’ve ever had.

Most people look back on their younger days and shudder at the thought of waiting on tables filled with hungry and sometimes cranky patrons. Not this gal. I dream of those days when my coworkers were my best friends and when my boss was someone I could talk to about anything. Now I find myself desperately censoring my answer to “Did you do anything fun this weekend?”

This boss is a restaurant owner; a leave-home-early-come-home-late restaurant owner who pours his heart and soul into this place and easily made it the best job I’ve ever had. And here’s why:

Recognition

It was no secret to him that recognizing employees for a job well done could make a significant impact on the morale of the team. After a successful, busy night of serving, he’d surprise us with chicken wings or come through the kitchen like he was in a high five tunnel with his contagious grin and tell us all what an excellent night we had. Those small things were incredibly rewarding and kept us excited for the next shift to do it all over again. We knew he was proud and appreciative of our time and effort and that made it worth every second. Free t-shirts when we sold a certain amount? Hell yeah!

Accountability

On the other hand, he was well aware of our mistakes and was quick to hold people accountable. To me, this was essential because there’s nothing worse than watching someone get by on doing the bare minimum. He wanted everyone’s participation and had rules in place that helped to ensure full team participation in all areas. When someone failed to do their part, oh it was going down. So you better check off your name by the “Bathrooms” box in the clean-up chart.

Support

The restaurant business requires pristine customer service in order to build a brand, develop a customer base, and make a profit. He knew this. But he also knew that the customer was not always right (cue the shocked look on all business professionals’ faces). It’s true! Customers can be awful like the time that lady stabbed me in the back with her plate because her shrimp wasn’t fried. I’m sorry, honey, this isn’t Long John Silver’s. Anyway, when it came down to making some tough decisions, he always had our backs. Get it? He trusted his team and had faith in us and that always meant a lot.

Fun

Okay, this isn’t a necessity in a boss. Consider it a perk of working for him. He was a blast to work with and for. He played music the staff wanted to listen to, he threw us company get-togethers, and did what he could to make the work day an eventful one. And when I got a little too drunk at the summer party and acquired a ride home, he greeted me the next day with a snicker and a simple, “how ya feelin’ kid?”

So while you feel like times are changing, and maybe you aren’t as wild as you once were, I want you to know that your unconventional leadership style, one that I will try to mimic someday, is one that I will forever appreciate, that and your endless amount of visor hats.

Cheers to you!

Who is the Average Honey?

29 Oct

Many of us read blog after blog after blog without knowing the expertise or personal background of the authors. I decided to open my book just a little bit more! Feel free to ask more questions!

What is the best job you ever had?

Server! During summer breaks as a college student I worked at this small mom-and-pop seafood restaurant built from the ground up by my boss and his wife. Their son, my manager, was an excellent leader who really knew how to brand the restaurant and make it a great experience for the employees and the patrons. Those were awesome summers full of great food, cheap beer, and lots of laughs!

What is your aim for this year?

That’s easy! Become a better blogger! I realize my blog seems a bit scattered in topic so I really want to zero in on a few major ideas and develop my thoughts on those while also developing and engaging with my audience.

What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?

When a group of my friends decided to rent a beach house in North Carolina for a week, I was devastated to find out the week they reserved was the week AFTER my spring break from college. Spontaneity got the best of me and I skipped a week of classes and work to hang out by the beach in an enormous house with awesome people. I didn’t miss much.

Who in your family are you most like?

I am my father’s daughter. Just like him, I am a people-person, I love telling stories and am very money conscious. We also share our loud laugh and inner control freak. He is my best friend, my biggest fan and an all-around great person.

How did you rebel as a child?

My rebellious attitude toward my mother began at an early age when I used to slam my door in order to make a statement. As a teenager, I used to sneak out just to hang out with my friends who were allowed to stay out later than I was. We never did anything mischievous, it was enough of an adrenaline rush just to have made it out without getting caught! Those days are over and my mom and I are closer than ever.

Which was the last restaurant you went to?

Pizza Hut! Pepperoni pan pizza is the usual!

What’s something that can always make you feel better?

This is an easy one. Cozy pajamas, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and hot vegetable soup!

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