Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 05/10/2021
I read in the Boston Globe that about a quarter of all Boston restaurants closed during the past year. My reaction, both there and elsewhere, was to think about why so many survived and now have reopened. Others have complained that they can’t reattract their employees because stimulus payments give them reason not to work. Yet other establishments are fully staffed.
My observations are that the successful restaurants kept their people at work for as long as they could and didn’t immediately go to “bare-bones” staff. They stayed open whenever possible, even while losing money. When employees had to be laid off, the owners kept in touch with them and showed concern for their well-being. They also talked to other employees out of work in case they could be used as “backup” for regulars who didn’t return. And most of these places had positive “vibes” and regular customers, which made them attractive places for employees to work.
It has occurred to me that the same dynamics applied to arts groups, retailers, service firms, and others.
Many establishments closed because they had inadequate cash reserves, illnesses, and other understandable reasons. But others closed because they never took the time to think about people and customers, just themselves. Small business success requires big thinking.
I was in another jammed restaurant last night. It wasn’t so much a “return to normal,” as it was a different attitude. It was the confidence of knowing that people were smart enough and resilient enough to first survive and then prosper again. It wasn’t just the “luck of the draw.” It was intelligently playing the hand that was dealt.
Tough times don’t last. Tough people do. —Julian Edelman (and many others)
Tough times call for tougher decisions. —Probhas