US Foods Shares Tips On Balancing Work and Home Life
ROSEMONT, IL - Running a successful restaurant, not unlike running a produce business, takes hard work. Which is why, time and again, restaurateurs struggle to maintain a positive work-life balance. However, walking the line is crucial to a thriving business.
A recent US Foods Food Fanatics article, Learning Where to Draw the Line by Ashley Green Bernick, addresses this issue and taps four successful industry veterans to weigh in. These are the four takeaways.
Make time, even if it's not on time.
This is the sentiment of French-born Thierry Rautureau, Chef-Owner of Loulay Kitchen & Bar and Luc in Seattle. He won the 1998 James Beard Award for Best Chef in Pacific Northwest.
“To make a relationship work, you have to know that it’s a lifetime commitment," Rautureau says in the article. "Just like running a restaurant, marriage is work. To get, you have to give. If your wife says, ‘We need to spend more time together,’ you obviously need to work on it. And you both have to be reasonable. You can’t expect a chef who’s working 13 or 14 hours a day to be home every night at 5.”
Channel your drive—and ditch your phone.
Sage advice from Nancy Batista-Caswell, Managing Director and Proprietor of Caswell Restaurant Group, who opened three restaurants in four years.
“A couple years ago, I blew out my knee. I remember my staff surrounding me, trying to help, and my executive chef telling me what had happened and getting me ice," Batista-Caswell explains. Then, regarding recovery, she shares, "I cold turkey ran my first 5K with one of my managers. Then I started to enjoy the run. I needed the escape. I couldn’t connect to my work world on my smartphone when I was running. As I ran more, I became healthier about my work-life balance."
Delegate, delegate, delegate.
A gem of wisdom by Rob Katz, Co-Founder of Boka Restaurant Group in Chicago.
"It was this aha! moment—we needed a director of operations in each restaurant, an executive director, a vice president and assistants," Katz contemplates in the piece. “Even if you don’t have the luxury of that kind of infrastructure, you have to learn to delegate. Whatever you can afford, bring people in so you can have a life outside of the restaurant. If you’re training people the correct way, you’ll have faith in their abilities. You have to work hard, but you have to find balance, and you need an outlet. It’s made us better leaders—more productive and more patient.”
Carve your own path.
A solid suggestion by Ron Siegel, Executive Chef at Rancho Nicasio in Nicasio, California.
"I didn’t want to be at a business that was always extremely busy and relied on a staff of 80 or 90 people," Siegel shares. "Rancho Nicasio has a more casual atmosphere; my kids can work here, and it hopefully teaches them something. Being a small restaurant doesn’t necessarily make it easier—if I want to plan a vacation with my kids this year, we’ll likely have to close. Everyone takes a different path. Some paths require less and give you more freedom."
For a more in-depth examination of the crew's work-life balance tips, read the full article here.
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