Sharing Success – Tom Cortopassi
Normally, about this time, you would be receiving another issue of La Trattoria. As you know, the world is currently far from “normal,” yet I still want to touch base with you.
First, a brief update for those who have asked. Maureen and I are thankful that so far we and our extended family remain healthy. Regarding our family’s business, I want to let you know that our team continues to remain well and our company has stayed open to keep our customers who are in need of our products dependably supplied throughout this difficult time. Additionally, our growers are currently planting tomatoes and our maintenance crew is prepping our fresh-pack cannery to operate as smoothly as always this summer.
That is enough said about us. What is most important to me right now is what is happening to you and the rest of our cherished restaurateur family.
The coronavirus pandemic has rapidly changed our world. In our personal lives, many of us or our loved ones have already been or will be touched in some way by this pandemic. Our hearts and prayers are with those who have already experienced loss.
Nobody saw this coming, not you and certainly not me. Nevertheless, all restaurateurs will be forced to navigate through a new world. I do not know what the “new normal” will look like, so I will not even begin to try to tackle that subject. Instead, I have chosen to touch upon something that I do know well – you, our customer.
My twenty-five years in this business have provided me the opportunity to interact with numerous independent restaurant owners and operators. Although I have found that every restaurateur is unique, I have also come to recognize and appreciate some fundamental similarities. There is no doubt in my mind that these shared traits are precisely why so many small independent restaurants continue to succeed in an industry that includes numerous large and sophisticated national chain restaurants. The traits I’m speaking of are as follows:
Since I’m a big sports fan, I could not possibly miss the obvious similarities between these traits and the traits commonly found in elite championship level athletes, the rare few who are universally renowned as “Winners”!
Winners find a way to overcome unexpected and difficult situations. This pandemic certainly qualifies as unexpected and extremely difficult. However, it cannot alter or impact the basic traits that drive winners. Let me explain by using a sports example. I have no idea when the NBA will return to action; I also have no clue what the schedule might look like. However, I do know that when the NBA returns, LeBron James will be a dominant player who will have his team in contention for a championship. Why am I so confident of this? Because LeBron’s resiliency, determination, passion, and competitiveness are woven into the fabric of his soul and those traits cannot be taken away by any person or event.
My prediction for what the restaurant industry will look like after we re-emerge from these challenging times is similar to my NBA prediction. I do not know how the restaurant business will change over time. I also realistically recognize that some businesses which closed may not be able to reopen. Yet I’m confident that on the whole, independent restaurateurs will find a path to recovery and prosperity. My confidence stems from the fact that I understand how operational interruptions of any type can cause damage to a business, but I also know nothing can take away your Resiliency to overcome, your Determination to recover, your Passion to do the right thing, and your Competitiveness to be the best!
In life and in business, there are no guarantees of success. But I believe that we will get through these challenging times together. Knowing that we are taking on this challenge with you is something that I consider to be a true honor.
Until next time, Ciao!
President and Co-Owner