Photo courtesy of Muy Yum at

Photo courtesy of Muy Yum at

When I was growing up and while I was in college I worked in a few restaurants. It was funny trying to figure out who really ran a restaurant. It was a lesson in perspective. It seemed to depended on what time of day it was…

  • Early in the day, like in the morning, the owner ran the restaurant. He signed the paychecks, and brought it all together.
  • Later on, the restaurant manager ran the restaurant. He answered the phone, booked the reservations and big parties, and dealt with any customer complaints or issues.
  • At night, the chef ran the restaurant. Ultimately, the chef controls the flow in the restaurant at night. He’s the one making the food and striving for perfection with each dish prepared. He also figures out how to deliver 4 different meals to the same table at the same time.

My point in this post is this: In any restaurant, there are at least 3 key players… the owner, manager and the chef. No one person can fulfill all three of these posts at any one time, unless the restaurant is very small.

So who is running the restaurant? If you thought it may be someone else, you would be correct. Ultimately, the customer drives business, right? They’re the ones who flock in to order the Dover Sole when it’s offered as a special, request a certain waiter and table for a special occasion year after year, and tell 2 friends… who tell 2 friends… and so on… and so on… whoa, wait! That was a shampoo commercial, right? Anyway, I think you get the picture…

The restaurant business is demand driven and service oriented. It’s all about the right location, menu and vibe. A recent survey of the success rate of startup restaurants suggests that one in four is going to fail. That’s high enough to make bankers hesitant to lend to these operations. Their experience tells them that, as a whole, restaurants are risky business. They’re saying that 25% of the loans they make go south.

The 3 key people involved with running the restaurant look to each other for support as a team to make it happen. If they nailed down the location, menu and vibe they’ve got a chance. A solid business plan and financial backing gives them an ever greater opportunity. Then, imagine the customers came too! Yep yep yep, that’s success! But even with all of that there aren’t any guarantees. The bankers have found, like we all know in life, that sometimes our greatest disappointments come from expectations that aren’t met. In our world that continually changes we can count on one thing with absolute certainty:

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

Yesterday I paused to focus on all of the people and blessings that I have today to be thankful for. I’m so thankful for my family; a strong, healthy relationship with a beautiful, loving woman; the gift of writing; and many more. I’m most thankful for what Jesus did for me so I can have a relationship with Him. I’m thankful for the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, and for His guidance. God’s word is as relevant today as it was so long ago when it was written.

Who’s running the restaurant? Ultimately, it all comes back to Him. Praise God for another glorious day! And so many excellent restaurants to choose from 🙂