Thursday, January 15, 2009


Hard decisions have been made RE labor and other costs at The Old Town Café. Toward that end, I cut staffing hours by 25% last week, and made up the difference with *TA DAAAA*… myself. Worked thirty-six hours in three days.

I remember being this tired. Vaguely. It was during the first eighteen months of owning the business.

I recall being so chronically exhausted that I felt as if I was functioning on about 60% power all the time.

I remember despising that feeling with all the passion I could muster at 60% power.

And with all the passion I can expend at the roughly 80% power to which I am presently reduced, I hate it all over again.

Hard. The last thirty days have been hard. Hideous weather. Disappointing (to put it mildly) sales. Coming to terms with the reality that, yes, indeed, the hard economic times are going to bite us in the ass after all. I so hoped that we were going to dodge that bullet. What was I thinking?

I told a customer today that we were going to have to hold on by our fingernails until things get better. We're not out of business (yet.) We're not even really in danger of going out of business (yet.) But we're not making the progress I was so hoping to see by now. In fact, I realize anew that entrepreneurship is so much a back and forth dance. If you are very lucky, you can take two steps forward before you have to take that backward step.

But take it you will.


Am I too old for this?


  1. I hope not. But the restaurant business is like the presidency, it can age you real quick! Our local eateries have cut back so far that employees all over the communty are very upset- May we all survive this economic avalanche. Dannelle

  2. Oh Lisa! I can't imagine your struggles in this blasted economy. As one who USED to eat out nearly every day, I had to change my ways as well. We're eating at home MUCH more considering the cost of going out. Even here on vacation, I am actually cooking for me..ME all by myself. Unheard of previously. I've gone out once to a very expensive, but thoroughly enjoyable Japanese meal that cost me nearly 50 bucks with the teppan bar dinner, one glass of wine and the tip! YIKES! The few times I've had "fast food" like fish from Captain D's or a roast beef sandwich from Arbys, it's been nearly ten bucks for my meal. At the LV airport during my layover on the way here, I got a meal of blue corn enchiladas @ 9.99 which wasn't bad. I ordered a margarita to go with it and when I got the bill, the margarita was $12.99! I about had a fit!!! That's ridiculous!! wishes to you my dear! I am sending you positive thoughts and prayers for success. And...I wonder why you are having trouble commenting? I haven't heard that from anyone else. Email me at my AOL address...Cw2sMom at........ and let me know your thoughts as I can't find your email addy right now. Blessings dear one! Lisa

  3. I don't think you are too old for this, and also, consider the alternative. That sucks worse. :-0
    I have family friends who own a couple of very successful eateries, but NOTHING is all that successful right now. They are hanging tough.
    I've lost about 75% of my $$ worth(which isn't the most important worth, btw) and I am feeling too old for that at times, but again, the alternative sucks.

  4. Of COURSE you are not too old! But I know it's tough - Gregarious Son is waiting tables and watching business decline. Regardless, I gave you an award at my place.

  5. Unfortunately, eating out falls into the category of "extras" that everyone weighs when money gets tight. While I'm sure you're not too OLD for this, it has to be both frustrating and exhausting none the less. This economic disaster is finding it's way into everyone's life one way or another. Tuesday cannot come soon enough. At least then, we'll be rid of the "leader" who got us in this mess in the first place. I do hate to think that you're back to working yourself to the bone.

  6. came by way of Gannet Girl. think I have done that before. when I read your writing it takes me back to some favored places to eat while we were living in Eugene. If your customers are anything like I am feeling towards the places I favor these days in Pennsylvania, they are hoping for your survival.

    Peace and Hope