Owning a Restaurant: The Pressure of Being a Leader

It’s not my intention to scare you away from owning a restaurant. In actuality, I want to encourage you to do it. But I’d like to encourage you from a realistic point of view as well as present some real problems you may face.

In the past, I’ve asked you to dig deep within yourself to make sure you have the desire, drive, and follow through to weather the chaos involved with getting to opening day and all that follows.

The problem.

In my past, I’ve worked with hundreds of talented, personable, and customer service first individuals who all had the dream of one day owning their own bar or restaurant. But when they move from being the guest to an employee they’ve quickly found that the service industry was not all they thought it would be.

It takes a strong person to keep their composure while being berated in public for getting an order wrong or some such guest complaint. You cannot have an ego. There will be many situations where the guest in front of you tells you how to do your job, even though you’ve been doing it day in and day out for years. But the guest is always right… right?

On top of all the feedback you’ll receive, you’re also in a life or death struggle daily to compete with hundreds of restaurants and bars in your city, sometimes within a stone’s throw from your front door. Whether proprietor or employee, it never seems there is enough money coming in so the competition for the consumer dollar is fierce.

All of this pressure exists and can and will get to you. Here is an article on Benoit Violier, a chef who felt the pressure at the highest level. Of course, this is a worst case scenario.

One important factor I’d like you to take into mind as you read the article is that you will be working with many individuals that have the same mindset and possible mental illnesses that these chefs were plagued with.


How to solve it.

It’s important that you recognize your role as a leader and as the head of the family you are striving to create and maintain. You will be looked up to. Your advice, words, and attitude will bear weight in other’s lives; whether at work or outside.

Take some time to get to know your employees and yourself to make sure you are mentally able to handle the daily pressure of life in the service industry.

Please share this article with anyone you think may find it helpful. As always, Serviceable is always available to help or answer questions.

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