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Be the best you can be

There is something very hopeful about starting over, or just doing things right

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It’s hard to believe that Christmas 2007 has come and gone already. I hope you at least enjoyed yourself a little bit. So much to do, so little time. In a small way, I am glad to see it over. There was lots of celebrating and visiting with family and friends for me, but there was also a lot of stress about money and time. How little of it that there is, of course. I try to do the best I can with what I have.

The holiday season is probably one of the busiest times of the year for those of us in the restaurant business. Unfortunately for me, two key employees, including one that covered two shifts, decided it was time to move on to other jobs. This put me in a very tough spot.

Fortunately, I was able to fill two of the positions just after they left. The other position has not been filled, and I must cover it until I find someone. Merry Christmas.

The position I have to cover is in the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook and don’t mind being in the kitchen. I even get to save a little money on labor, but why oh why did it have to be Christmas time? Thankfully, the holiday fell when it did in order to give three full days off to recuperate. I have burned my arms and hands so many times, my limbs are starting to look like Freddy Kruger’s face.

I have always told my employees to keep going forward, and if someone offers you a better opportunity, go for it. Please give me the chance to counter their offer, but if you must leave, there are no hard feelings. Who am I to hold anyone back, especially in this business where good pay and decent hours are hard to find. Man, sometimes I wish I could have other options!

So with one week left in the year, I think it is time for me to contemplate the future. Where do we go from here? I have mentioned previously what type of restaurants I would like to see and thankfully many of those ideas have come to fruition. Personally, I see the trend leaning toward restaurant focus. Being in business for myself, I have learned you cannot be all things to all people. Figure out one thing and do it really well.

Here some new places around town that seem to follow this philosophy. For example: The Red Hot, hot dogs and beer, baby. Infinite Soups, just good soup and lots of it. Hello Cupcake, mighty fine sweets and cute as a bug’s ear. Remember Planet Burrito? It’s too bad they went out of business. I LOVED that place. Best burritos EVER. Do you get my gist? These folks strive to make the best product they can.

It’s a fact, the more time and energy you put out to offer diversity in a menu, the more money you will spend. And quite frankly, people SAY they want lots of options, but they really don’t. Many a time I have gone to a restaurant and have been completely overwhelmed by the menu. Sometimes too much of a good thing, isn’t.

I hope you also have some great visions for the New Year. I do. There is something very hopeful about starting over, or perhaps just getting things right. This is my desire for Tacoma in general. Let’s use 2008 as an opportunity to get things right, and let’s do a little better than we did the year before. One thing I need to do is buy one of those crazy oven gloves before I sear something important off. See how easy it is?

Eat out Tacoma. We need your love.

Sandee Glib has worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry for more than 12 years as a server, bartender, cook and owner. Her opinions are expressly her own and she is always right.

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