Sunday, May 4, 2008
One of the aspects about restaurants I have always known about but have never put any thought into is the sense of community that arises between the guests with the restaurant, the restaurant with the guests, and the guests with guests. Over the last couple weeks I am starting to see this commonality, a certain bond if you will, developing between all of us. Now I don't for a second think it is special to our restaurant, it's not, but I have never really thought about it until now. It seems to me a restaurant becomes more than just a restaurant when this sense of community comes to be. Not all restaurants have this happen but I would be willing to bet that the long lasting ones do. I don't think it is anything that can be conjured up. It can't be written into the business plan. It can't be forced to happen, but when allow to, it will happen naturally. The Tao teaches us that if we act with out acting, if we let things happen as they naturally will, then we can expect to see the events in our lives have long lasting results. This building of a community of individuals at the restaurant is one of the things we are letting happen naturally. I am seeing this community spirit happen in various ways but the one that stands out for me is we are having our guests call us or email us or put us in contact with suppliers that can help us fulfill our mission. This past week a guest went out and found a supplier of local duck and give us their telephone number. I just received an email from another telling me about a miller down south who mills flour in a 200 year old mill. Both of these leads will be followed up on and hopefully added to our growing list of local suppliers. It's as if our customers are taking a sense of ownership and feeling like it's their restaurant. Perfect. This is what I was hoping would happen, and it is. One side effect of this happening is that I am feeling a sense of responsibility to our guests in a way I had not planned. Sure, I have a responsibility to cooking good food, following health departments codes, providing comfortable and inviting atmosphere, but now I feel like I, we, need to remain true(for lack of a better word) to our guests. I don't know how to put it into words but there is a definite feeling of a higher responsibility toward our guests.