Always answer your phone. I’ve learned that good things can happen when you do so.

An amazing opportunity came my way several weeks ago when I was asked to join a local nonprofit team dedicated to supporting the beleaguered hospitality industry. We’ve all seen the empty dining rooms, bars, cafes and catering venues. Operating these businesses was hard enough. They needed a pandemic like a tooth extraction! Such a challenging time to be a foodservice operator.

Taking the lead on engagement, and leveraging 30+ years of industry experience, I started knocking on doors. 46 of them to be exact!

Have you ever cold called on someone in the foodservice biz? You better be quick, clear & to the point. And forget about showing up during service time! It was both humbling & insightful to hear how operators are coping with reduced traffic, lower sales, increased demand for services they never planned for (takeout/delivery). Stories about staff reductions, menu engineering and pivoting on a dime really ran the gamut. I also heard a lot of OPTIMISM, and recognized the GRATITUTE of an industry that’s thankful for every delivery that’s gone out the door this year.

We’ve raised +$30K in just 3 weeks’ time and are devising a strategy to begin dispersing need-based grants. AWESOME.

I’ve gained so much perspective supporting Friends of Ridgefield Restaurants & Small Businesses. Here's our link if your in my local network and interested:

I’ve heard that the more you give the more you receive… Here’s what I’ve learned. Let me know about your experiences. Share a comment and thanks for helping brighten someone’s day and please support your local hospitality workers.

1. Have a BIG goal that feels out of reach. BIG goals fuel inspiration which leads to action.
2. Avoid life & death scenarios. Perfection is a tough standard to continually achieve. Learn from, and don’t repeat mistakes.
3. Be prepared to course correct. The hospitality operators I spoke to have EMBRACED CHANGE. Adjusting your plan first, not your strategy.
4. Collaborate with bright, motivated & POSITIVE people.
5. Be prepared to receive critical inputs. That’s how you’ll know your goal is worth fighting for.
6. Tell your story- far and wide. IGNORE DETRACTORS. Achievement creates positive energy.
7. STAY GROUNDED IN MISSION- Unless you are truly trying to solve for world hunger keep your scope tight
8. Rely on people.  My biggest learning.  Again.  
9. Remember to smile when you succeed.

I’m so glad I answered the phone and said YES in support of local foodservice workers.

I'd love to hear about YOUR successes as well!