stay to it-ness

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To succeed in the restaurant business you have to have stay to it-ness.  Stay to it-ness means setting standards and holding up the integrity of those standards day in and day out.  Restaurants can fail for a bunch of different reasons but one important element of success is never giving up on your ideas, your standards…your restaurants raison d’etre.

I recently visited a pizza joint called Juliana’s in Brooklyn (DUMBO to be exact).  The owner’s name is Patsy Grimaldi.  Patsy was the original owner of Patsy’s in New York.  He had to give up that name some time ago to another owner after a legal battle.  Afterwards he opened the famous Grimaldi’s.  After many years of success and accolades as one of the best pizza places on the planet (accolades that I completely agree with) he promptly sold the name Grimaldi’s to a restaurant group BUT he kept the original building in the sale along with the coal brick oven.  He renamed the place Juliana’s after his mother and continued making the best pizza on the planet.  His restaurant stayed packed even though the new owners of Grimaldi’s chose to open up right next door to him.

When I was there something occurred to me.  Juliana’s was successful not because of the name but because of the standards that Patsy had built in to the restaurant and his ability to stick it out in the restaurant business.  His pizza is still made the same exact way, which is why people come to eat at his place.  On most nights Patsy can be found at the front door greeting people and taking pictures.  I have read enough about Patsy to know that he expects his restaurant to be run a certain way and he demands his pizza be made one way…his.

The point is…know why your restaurant is successful.  If you’re just starting out have a vision, have standards that will turn into tradition, and stick to it.

(If you want to know a little more about Patsy’s journey check out this article on Grub Street)


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