I have received such lovely feedback from guests about this little "blog-ish thing", that I feel terrible that I've been so quite for so long! But now, I'm back!
This a lively time for all of us - the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, the time crunch of end-of-year goals, and the ambition of a new year ahead of us. But it is my hope, that before the year ends, we get a moment to reflect upon all the tremendous victories and blessings we have experienced throughout the year. As such, I thought I would bullet-point a few milestones we've experienced thus far:
Milestone 1: We've Surpassed the 1-Year Mark Though Sweetest Season has been in business for over four years, it was an entirely different experience opening our current, full-service operation - new and different challenges, lessons and discoveries, pitfalls...the whole nine! Since crossing the one-year mark, we have seen encouraging signs of growth, and we look forward to a great year ahead.
Milestone 2: Cooking/Baking Classes Sold Out! You should have seen how many folks we were able to fit in our little restaurant for our Christmas Cookie Decorating Workshop - it was magic! As I looked over the crowd, I was so pleased to see so many joyful faces enjoying the process among friends and family. Keep an eye out for a really cool class coming up in February! Connect with us on facebook to be the first to know when new classes roll out!
Milestone 3: Rollout of Successful Seasonal Menus This was a tricky one for me. When developing new menu items, I have far more trouble restraining myself than running short on inspiration, but a menu can get cluttered after awhile. To avoid that, Todd and I look at our menu critically, and think about what needs to be there, what can go, and how to impress you each and every time you dine with us. On the upside, you get to take food adventures with us! The down side? Just today a party walked in to order the Pastrami sandwich (which hasn't been on the menu since March). Disappointed, they left.
We've learned that you cannot please everyone, but, we can certainly be pleased with what we do, and who we are.
Milestone 4: Glowing Reviews on Yelp & Google Oh reviews... Whether you love or hate review sites, they are the vehicle that drives many of our first time guests to take a visit. Though most reviews tend to be emotionally charged, our reviewers are very pleased with what we are up to over here, which pleases me greatly! As a competitor to the core, it is beneficial to receive both positive feedback and constructive criticism. We share reviews with our team to encourage them to keep up the good work, or we use reviews as a coaching opportunity when a guest has a legitimate complaint or suggestion. We are ultimately here to please you, so your feedback is very valuable.
Though I do not respond to every review, I try to thoughtfully respond to those that are particularly passionate about their experience, or ones that lodge a bee in my bonnet. Todd is my coach in this area, reminding me that my responses are meant for "the people" "the public", not only the individual who initiated the conversation. Therefore, it may take this prideful, hardworking restaurant owner a day or two, but inevitably, I am successful in crafting responses, even to the most stinging reviews, with just enough subtle snarkiness to sleep soundly through the night.
A BIG 2019 THANK YOU to all of you for supporting our business this year. We are so grateful for you! We look forward to seeing you in the new year, or tomorrow, or whenever you visit again.
Until next time, thanks for reading and have a sweet day!