When I come in, she always starts with "Laura, I need more people in here. Can you do more marketing?" My answer is always the same. It doesn't matter how many people I get to come in here, you need to make better quality food and exceptional customer service to keep them here. You are never going to make money if employees are stealing food or money from you. Advertising is not what is going to save your business. It's your reputation that is going to save your business. I can go on and on, but nothing changes. I have been very honest with her about that also. I told her I can only give her as much as she gives to her business.
After many many problems in the restaurant, things finally came to a head this week. One of Rene's best friends, who she trusts immensely, came in to help her with some organizing (organizing that me and four other people have helped her with previously). While she was there she really saw the laziness that goes on there with the owners and employees. It's so evident that the owners are not managers. Rene is passive aggressive and Bob just wants to be everyone's best friend. Neither are running that place. Rene's friend, Marie, really got a good look at what could be and what should be going on there. And after many hours of some hard core honest talking, Marie told Rene that she needs to hire a manager and I should be that manager. Um...great.
So, somehow I have been suggested for this role. I agreed to it only under certain conditions. That I have power to make changes and she backs those changes. I will absolutely run every thing past her and Bob, but that if we choose to do it, I need back up in them. I don't mind being the hard ass at all. But the only way this business is going to make it through the year, is if they make serious changes.
They've even been taking advantage of Mario's culinary schooling. Mario has taught the cooks how to make an amazing fresh marinara and also a meat sauce, instead of canned sauce. He also taught them how to cook fish this week. They don't cook a nice fish. The over-cook am unseasoned hockey puck. It was great to see some of the cooks interested in the cooking and learning. One of the cooks even said that he enjoys cooking, but finds it discouraging when no one else there gives a crap. We'll be using Mario more this week. He's been assessing the kitchen and it needs a complete reorganization and cleaning, plus we need to do a full inventory of food. It's going to be one long week, but it has to be done. Bob will probably be the biggest problem with the kitchen. He built that kitchen and thinks it's the only thing running well in that restaurant.
So, I have a long road ahead of me. I am only going to work part time. My business will still absolutely come first. I really don't want to do this for more than a year. I feel like these changes can all happen in a year. If no changes happen, I really don't see how they can stay open for more than that. Wish me luck! I am very positive, but feel like I have a big fight ahead of me.