I walked into the kitchen as my wife and daughters were getting dinner ready. I heard my wife ask one of the girls if there were any bacon bits for the salad.
I decided to chime in. “If we don’t have any I’ll drive to that new Italian restaurant and borrow some Baco’s.” Got a smile of recognition for that one.
It was the darndest thing! We decided to try a new Italian place in town a couple of weeks ago. I’m a believer in trying any new local restaurant once, just to give them a fair shake at making it.
This place falls in the “one and done” category. The food was OK, not worth the prices they were charging. The service was decent (although I’ve never been asked for my menu as soon as I was done so they could give it to another customer). The decor was uneven. It wanted to be an upscale restaurant, but they kept the soda cooler from when it used to be a take out place.
But the kicker was the Baco’s.
The food came out. The girls’ macaroni was OK. Hard to ruin a marinara sauce. My scallops and bowtie pasta was decent. Wife’s dinner salad looked pretty good.
Then she noticed the bacon bits. They seemed to be decomposing in the oil and vinegar. She took a taste.
It was hydrolized vegetable protein, a.k.a. imitation bacon bits, a.k.a. Baco’s.
Clearly there was something strange going on here. I’m not opposed in principle to fake bacon in a salad. It’s probably healthier than the real thing.
But that’s something I’d do in my own kitchen if I was making my own salad. I wouldn’t write on a menu I was using bacon when I was swapping out the real stuff for the fake stuff. And if I were opening a new restaurant and putting my best foot forward, I’d overwhelm my customers with the best I’ve got.
If I were opening up any new thing, I’d give it my best. It’s a representation of who I am. And it wouldn’t matter if I were on a shoestring budget. I’d either wait until I was ready to bring everything that was important, or I’d prioritize what is most important. I’d make it a point to come from a place of integrity regardless…NEVER misrepresenting myself.
Like I said – one and done. I’ve gotta believe there’s a day count going on that place.
And of course I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t go after the “deeper meaning” in the whole experience.
Integrity. If you say you got bacon, give ’em bacon. If you say you’re going to help someone, you’ve got to be qualified. If you’re not, get qualified first. Then hit the marketplace.
Congruence A match between what you got and what you’re asking for. If you’ve got great stuff, charge accordingly. If you’ve got good stuff or average stuff, ask for what your stuff is worth.
You’ve got some goods. We all do. Make what you’ve got the best you know how. Keep getting better. And keep it real. If you’re the genuine article, they’ll keep coming back for more.