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Remember Who Makes Your Business Run – Part II

My first instinct from the situation I explained last week in my post was that no matter how many managers, supervisors, and assistant managers worked at that location, no one was more important than the bagel maker.

Not only did he have to get up at 3:30 or 4:00 a.m., he was solely responsible for having product ready on time. In my mind, on the day that I couldn’t pick up my order, I felt that the bagel store should be paying their most important guy $50 per hour.

Not going to happen

Of course, they wouldn’t do that because a bagel cook was probably paid like a dishwasher. Maybe he couldn’t speak English or handle money, and he probably could only do one thing—albeit the most important.

Me neither

OK, I’ll confess. At first I didn’t pay my dishwasher very much either, but when he didn’t show up, my kitchen was a disaster. Try coming out of a 35-order lunch with pots, pans, and trays stacked three feet high with no one to run them through the machine. It would take us hours to recover from a situation like that.

After a few of those days I made it a point to ensure that my dishwasher knew that I appreciated him, and you need to do things so that your front-line employees know you value their work. Walk through the kitchen and hand out $50 bills on a busy day, offer some paid time-off, make someone’s car payment, distribute gift cards, or do whatever you want to show your gratitude. From what I learned on many days, I would rather lose a manager than a great dishwasher.

Hope all is well in your catering world. As usual, don’t hesitate to contact me!


Editor’s note: Michael Rosman and Michael Attias will be conducting an interactive half-day seminar, “All Things Corporate Drop-off Catering” on March 15, 2017 at Catersource in New Orleans. The session is included in the purchase of a Catersource all access pass, or can be purchased separately as a one-off. For more information, visit

If you would like to contact Michael Rosman directly about his consulting and coaching services, you may call him at 781-641-3303, email him at [email protected] and visit his membership website Michael is a regular contributor to the website, and also has published two books which are available for purchase at




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