It seems to be non-existent in this hectic world at this time of life. There is never a moment where everything on the to-do list is ticked off. The phone is forever ringing, emails are continually popping up. Demands of our precious time are endlessly relentless.
Being busy for some, is a preferred state of being. Certain personalities (for example, mine!) – thrive in a dynamic environment. There’s a certain thrill to be found in the juggling of many responsibilities. A restaurant is an almost perfect environment for such inclinations.
There is never a moment for reflection in this industry. One moment in time flows through to the next – ordering, preparing, serving, cleaning in its simple form. Then there’s managing staff, updating menus, experimenting with new ingredients, paying suppliers, creating an online presence, dealing with customer requirements … the list goes on.
It never ends, and even when things seem to be ticking along rather nicely, there is always a future that needs to be planned for. The place always needs to be fresh, never tired. And that is something that always keeps us on our toes!
A restaurant is a living, breathing beast which almost seems to move with its own momentum. We can merely steer it in the direction it wants to go in …
As the doors open, we know not what the day will bring … We can be guided somewhat by our trusty reservations book, but at the end of the day – the place morphs into whatever is required of it, at any given time.
Anyone who runs a small business is schooled in time poor-ness. There is no such thing as a day off, even a couple of hours is a stretch at times.
It is so easy to fall into the trap of not rewarding ourselves for our achievements in this game. Lunch service flows through to dinner service in the blink of an eye. Days turn to weeks, turn to months … Before we know it, years have gone by and we haven’t taken a moment to reflect on what we’ve accomplished. Whereas, if we had been employed in the corporate world – we would have had our progress tracked formally via performance reviews, our morale restored through team building exercises, our best efforts rewarded through bonuses …
But we chose to start our own business in order to escape that corporate life – the hierarchies, glass ceilings, inter-office politics and bitching.
The great thing about doing it on your own is that your vision can become a reality and that you can see your hard work pay off. And best of all, you get to be the boss.
But the downside of that is not only the constant struggle to stay on top of it all, but the failure to stop for a moment, take a deep breath and just take a second to pat yourself, and those who are in it with you, on the back.
Problem is, you’ve got to stop in order to do that, and that’s something us Type A adrenalin junkies find rather difficult …