So here in Columbus, we have this thing called Restaurant Week. Actually, we have it a few times of year - a bunch of restaurants get together, create a fixed price menu with perhaps some special off-menu items, and part of the proceeds benefit a charity. Its a nice idea and just another excuse to eat some good food!
Last week was another Restaurant Week, and some good friends and I went to a place that I had been wanting to go for a while, but had never been before, Z Cucina. It ended up being a delightful dinner experience - the place is cool, the food was amazing (risotto/cheese fritters...need I say more?), but as it was a Wednesday, by the time we were done we were some of the last people in the dining room. The owner was manning the host desk that night and ended up talking to us a while.
He spun up conversation on a few different topics, took our advice on adding some of the specials to the permanent menu, and did the thing that all restaurateurs need to do - he marketed. And for that, I applaude him. As my dad has always said, "everything you do, everything you say, is a Sales opportunity". And I think he's right. We were not so clueless as to not realize the motives of the owner, nor was he so shallow as to be doing a full court press on us. It was a lovely exchange that added to a lovely evening, and quite frankly, has me excited to go back some time.
That's what successful business owners do (don't ask me about the recent ice cream/hat/ NOT successful manager story - it doesn't fit in this blog ;) ) - they market, they network, they listen and they evolve. Z Cucina has been around for quite some time, its survived a lot (the entire building next to them burned down last year!) and now that I've finally been, I can see why - and full credit goes to their delightful owner - his personality and drive for quality seemed to be reflected in everyone we interacted with that night. We'll be back!
2 days ago