Let’s talk about restaurant syndrome

January 20, 2024

You would think that if you went to a restaurant and business was slow, you’d get great service, right? There aren’t that many customers to attend to, the kitchen has fewer orders to fill, etc.

But though it seems counterintuitive, it seems like the opposite happens: when a restaurant is busy, the service actually tends to be pretty great, and when they’re slow, the service slows down.

I think that this is because when things are slow, everybody’s inner clock slows down and it becomes contagious. Meanwhile, when things are busy, everyone is in their rhythm. They can’t afford not to be.

Like many industries, this period between Thanksgiving and Christmas tends to be a bit slower in RBP world. I’m sure we all want our teams to spend the holidays staying warm and spending time with loved ones, but there’s still a business to run. So how do we combat this?

I think the solution is pretty simple: awareness.

The drive to keep going when there isn’t much to do has to come from within. We all have to decide not to let the slowness of life slow us down. You have a light workload? Awesome. Attack it with that same tempo and energy you have when the work keeps piling up. Get it off your desk because you never know when the next big wave is coming.

And if it doesn’t come? Great. Enjoy that extra downtime knowing that there isn’t a list of tasks you’ve procrastinated on – however minuscule – waiting for you when you get back. Firing up the engine again takes way more effort than keeping a steady pace.