Watching the mistake

Maitre d'

Very Fancy!

Guess who is selling his bar and buying a 5 star restaurant” Tommy, my Sales Manager said to me. I was the General Manager of Deasy & Co at the time, a subsidiary of Guinness.

Oh My God, you can’t be serious” I said to him “That will be a total disaster“. “I know, we all know ….it will never work

One of our loyal customers who was running a good solid suburban bar had done a decent job with the place and he was made an offer to sell up. The offer was “too good to be true” and our customer was going to make a clear profit from the deal.

His plan was to buy and run this very successful five star, fine dining restaurant whose reputation had been built around a well known chef. He reckoned he could manage the purchase with the windfall from the pub sale and even be in a position to upgrade the restaurant premises with some support from the bank.

The problem as we all saw it was that our guy wasn’t exactly Mr.Sophistication and in truth he was the last person that we could imagine operating this 5 star restaurant. He always did well in the pub but that was with a very different, country type crowd.

My buddy Tommy was really close to him – should he have a strong word with him and advise him against his dream?

Our customer was determined, full of enthusiasm so maybe we were the ones that were wrong – who were we to say anything? If Tommy said something to him it could backfire and damage the professional friendship they had.

Shortly after the restaurant opened under the new owner we went there for a meal to support him. Our worst fears were realised as we had a poor meal and you could see that our customer, who was a really nice guy just wasn’t able for this level of fine dining. Maybe he was on a learning curve and it would get better?

Unfortunately within a year the place was shut, the “fine dining” reputation in tatters, he had lost huge money and the building was handed back to the bank and our customer had lost everything.

The crazy thing was that we all saw it coming ….

Would you have said something ?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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7 Responses to “Watching the mistake”

  1. Z Says:

    It’s taken me a lot of years to learn that there are times when, despite wanting to help someone, there are times when your mouth is best left shut. If someone wants to do something they’re probably not in a mood to listen. In this case telling someone he is ‘not up to the job’ can only be offensive, even if well meant.
    People have to be left to live their own lives and make their own mistakes – even people we like or care about.

  2. jc Says:

    the old saying, bought sense if better than thought sense, still is true

  3. Caio Caridade Says:

    I totally agree with Z…I only leave my real opinion when someone asks sincerely for it..otherwise, i just keep my mouth some bruises have taught me so

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Thanks for the feedback Caio – should you be the friend who gets shot as a concerned messenger or hold the tissue as they shed tears after falling into the inevitable hole? …’s tricky !

  4. Colm Healy Says:

    Hi Greg,
    yes its an emotive issue, and maybe it’s ’cause I can’t say nothing I would have to say something – I have done it with my own sister in law and it was not received well, but I felt it important to try and help, but I was not just trying to be the ‘negative type with only the problem’ I tried to also offer support and be constructive. I know its a bit extreme but – All it takes for evil (failure) to flourish is good men to stand by and do nothing.

    and unfortunately the ‘professional relationship’ you had is now definitely gone.

    personally, I would rather be proved wrong than say nothing. It’s only words…


    • Greg Canty Says:

      Well said Colm – I’m with you .

      Wouldn’t it be great if they bust a gut trying to prove you wrong and succeeded. As long as they know your interference/advice is coming from a good place – up to them how they want to take it!

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