That’s what it’s all about in the end, relationships. Who you know, how much you like each other, how well they are connected, how long you’ve been doing business, you get the point. This seemingly universal pattern stands true for the chefs that we interviewed today. However, the types of relationships each restaurant manager focused on seemed to drive the overarching goals of the restaurant.
For example, one chef focused on the relationship with the blue collared customers. To do so he focused on economics to keep prices as low as possible so these men and women could count on low prices and consistent southern comfort foods. He valued the opinions of the customers over all else and strove to create a relaxed atmosphere where customers were comfortable asking for deviations from the menu, to which he happily catered towards, or they knew they could get a greasy sausage biscuit. Family was the reoccurring theme that kept cropping up in the conversation, whether in the form of the restaurant owner supporting his family or whether he took the time to get to know the families that visiting at least 4 times a week.
A different chef focused on the relationships with farmers, the earth and the food itself, which reflected in the values he held for his restaurant. He put in the extra work (not a trivial time commitment by any means) to source food from local farmers. This entailed finding the farmers, assessing food quality, confirming validity of practices, ordering the food and driving up to 100 miles to pick up even the smallest orders. He expressed strong feelings about avoiding food grown with pesticides and that people shouldn’t fear bug bites in food because they represent battle trophies of quality food making it from wholesome farm land to consumer plates.