When I blog or write articles about my restaurant career, I will too often seek this same “Title.” It is one of my favorite sayings.
With two successful restaurants, in an industry “boasting” a legendary failure rate, I am asked with great regularity; “What is the key to restaurant success?” And, if I ever decide to write a book about that exact subJect, it’s success will be predicated on my having many answers, and chapters to fill. But the simple truth that I offer at cocktail parties is “My people”.
Two weeks ago, the assisant manager at Cobblestones asked if I would “fill in” for a management “floor shift”, so that all other managers could have that Monday night off for a birthday celebration. And, since the birthday girl was 17 year employee and Cobblestones General Manager Robin Dupell, I agreed without a 2nd thought. Robin is the engine that drives Cobblestones great success day in and day out.
And, when the limousine pulled up at Cobblestones, and 6 or 7 key employees and friends piled in for a night out in Boston to honor their boss/friend/mother, Kathy (who was meeting with me at that time) remarked “Is this a special birthday?”
To all those who planned and participated, the answer would be “yes”, because it was Robin’s. And although Robin hires, fires, trains, reminds, hounds, demands, disciplines and sets high expectations, she goes way beyond the call of duty whenever a staff member is in need. (Which is plenty!)
My simple answer to Kathy’s question was “They really love her.”
And yesterday, on Mother’s Day, Peg McFarland, moonstones General Manager and the mother of three, including one who celebrated his 15th birthday on Mother’s Day, worked most of the day, following a Saturday double because she granted TWO managers the weekend off to attend one of their post-wedding-celebration-for-local-friends-and-family parties in Maine. She didn’t have to do it, but she did. She “took one for the team” and worked a ton of hours over three very busy days. And when I left a sold out Cobblestones and arrived at a sold out Moonstones yesterday to offer my assistance as needed (I wasn’t) I found Peg slightly red eyed from lack of sleep, and maybe a tear or two, touched by the dozen roses and a card that the staff bought her, in appreciation and love, as she spent “her day” managing so others could have the morning off.
Two successful restaurants, two amazing women in charge.
Chapter One; Love Makes the World go ’round