New Kompot is one day old.
We opened it yesterday, without fanfare.
We had a lot of guests: those involved, concerned and living nearby.
Many of them congratulated us on the opening, and that made me think on the following: Why does our mentality tends to congratulate on opening?
I understand why people congratulate on a childbirth: a human being comes to this world which is definitely an achievement of a mother and even a bigger achievement of a father. The family has increased.
However, wouldn't it be better to congratulate on proper parenting, inculcating good values, teaching how to act in different circumstances and then on letting a child float freely.
Sometimes parents get this acknowledgement when their child reaches the age of majority or even later — on their child's wedding day.
But never at a maternity hospital.
A restaurant, especially 5th one in the Kompot family, is one more child in fact. Its parents already know that congratulations and excitement about the mere fact of them becoming parents again has nothing to do with values and challenges the newborn is going to face.
The only difference is that a child is already a human being, small, but with a beating heart and the path already predestined, or, if not predestined, then predefined by him or herself.
A one-day-old restaurant, however, is only a building with equipment, furniture and personnel.
The building and equipment – decorated walls, a cooker and sofas with pillows – are all we have so far. A monkey could pay for a construction, if it has a credit card with a good balance.
There's a world of difference between paying for a building and establishing effective business.
A few had destroyed the business of their life at the stage of construction or choosing pillows, but a lot had their fingers burnt when they faced reality and tried to answer the question 'Why?'
A team fills a restaurant with spirit and makes its heart beat, while guests define its destiny and future.
Restaurant always starts with an idea, optimism of the team and strong belief in success. A restaurant is always about breaking a lance and arguing about values and deadlines until you are blue in the face. This is a perfect place to change plans overnight. This is an eager desire to mix coffee with ice cream and a year-around need to work out and to work through to turn regular into something new.
No matter how long managers plan and dream about a restaurant packed with happy guests, or how many times they rewrite a menu before opening, or how hard they wash tiles and how often they quarrel – all these activities are almost theatrical. They can face up to reality and make sober self-assessment only after having first visitors, because for them we embark on this journey after all. For restaurant critics, bloggers, foodies, instafoodies and finally Guests – the ones who really come for food.
It is important to understand all of them. To find out hidden meaning behind words and identify real needs to meet them.
To understand it's okay if mashed potatoes looks unappetizing through magenta filter, while it's not okay if mashed potatoes is really tasteless.
To realise it's okay, if a social media marketer of a next-door café left negative feedback, while it's not okay to miss an opportunity to improve in respond to guests' criticism and to lose one more possible ambassador by offended idleness.
It's okay if someone doesn't like sofa colours, but it's not okay if sofas are empty.
It's important to understand that the colour has nothing to do with it.
There is some time needed to test the idea: the child is still to learn how to get a lungful of air.
Therefore, please, wait a little with congratulations.
The main work has just started.
We plan to make the 5th Kompot number one in Kompot family this summer, setting new standards for all Kompots.
Meanwhile, the doors in 15 Leontovych Street are open.
You are more than welcome.