So this morning I awoke to a facebook post of a fellow friend posting a comment of amusement per say of the restaurant dining experience being one of "follow the leader." Like this was something new. Trends, period. This industry is completely fueled by what the general public is trending and "hot" on at that moment. This business is one with so much Risk. I have said this before, One day You are "In" and the next you are "Out". There are those long standing restaurants that don't change with the times and make it. Personally I have no clue how they do it. I think there is something in constancy and people knowing what they can count on, and good food and good service go a long way. But in some ways you must evolve and change with what is going on around you. Yes, I have been here for almost ten years. But everyday is a constant struggle. Are people gonna come in the door tonight? Are they gonna be happy with service and food? Am I staying up with what's hot right now? Am I doing as good of a job as the one down the street? People tell me all the time "coping is the best form of flattery" Honestly I hate that saying. But I guess it is true.
So follow the leader, why yes it is! When I started this business I lent my cafe to start on the wagon of Farm to Table, back then not many were on that wagon. Now it is overloaded and the wheels are about to go flat. I say that because of every Tom, Dick, and Harry has climbed aboard. Claiming there piece of the Farm to Table fame. I struggle with this every day. It was hot but know it has become trivial. Now mind you I wont ever stop doing it because I do truly believe in it. But I have realized in the last few months that maybe I have to find a new model to trend after, or to use as a marketing ploy for the public. Because honestly farm to table no longer has the meaning it once did. Sadly everyone is saying they are but truly so many are not.
Funny I recently had a conversation with a good farmer friend that I buy things from for Cafe. We were talking about where they go out to eat as a family. He said to me I want to go somewhere where they know my name, know what I drink, I can get really full on next to nothing. I don't want to break the bank going out to eat. I asked him where he likes to go. I was totally shocked with his responses. It was not at all what I expected. In fact couldn't have been more opposite than what I thought he would say. Since then My husband and I have had long conversations about what the average household wants out of there dining experience. I'll tell you something makes me think a lot of where to take the cafe next.
People are leaning back to the old supper club atmosphere these days, they want that comfort, that know your name experience. You watch the big cities, Mad Men and Tikki themed dinners are all the rage. Burgers are back! Asian food still trending for the moment, Brewpubs popping up everywhere! Yes it's follow the leader, of course. If you want to stay hot, keep the lights, and pay the bills, you must find your tiny niche in this ever changing industry.
We, as humans are fincky beings. But hey I'm ok with that. Change is good. Coping is the best form of flattery, and well hey you cant keep doing the same thing and expect different results, now can you? So kuddos to those entrepreneurs and chefs just trying to make there mark and stay afloat. I get it and my thinking cap is always on. I'm always trying to stay up with who is the leader!