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April 27, 2008

"Create a buzz" he said.

One Friday evening; a regular customer of mine brought a group of friends in for dinner. He was early and I sat down to chat with him for a bit while he was waiting for the rest of his group. We both agreed that my location is somewhat hidden and certainly not very noticeable for people who were even driving by. We were trying to figure out what kind of marketing could I do to bring people in with my limited budget. Specifically he said, "you need to create a buzz!" How?

Just a few days after that on the 16th. That's when that buzz came in! I was standing in the dining room entertaining couple customers by the window table, two guys walked into the restaurant. They made a very quiet and mellow entry but one of them was holding a gun and announced, "Nobody move and take all your money out."

I couldn't believe what had just happened. I saw that a lot in movies or news, but it's real in my restaurant! Until today, I still can't remember if my heart was pounding at the moment or was it stopped?

Restaurant has no cash! Seriously, I wish there would be more cash, but these days everyone pay by credit cards. We were actually lucky that we had about $120 in cash that night. They didn't believe we didn't have anymore cash nor have a safe in the back. One of them took my manager to the back and all I could hear in the dining room was just how he screamed about killing him if he wouldn't show him where the safe was! All I could feel at that moment was helpless. Nothing I could do while I couldn't move or wasn't allowed to.

The whole take over took about 3-5 minutes. However that was the longest 3-5 minutes I had in my life. Life sure flashed in front of my eyes. When you hear from others talking about how they got up from their death bed, how people survived from serious illnesses like cancer, or car accidents...etc. How these people talked about they changed their attitude toward living life. I acknowledged their statements, but was never able to relate to what they were talking about. I might have thought then, I was already living life, quite fully too...

Haven't I? Jumped from a comfortable life to taking the biggest chance in my life to fulfill my dream. How many people even know what they want in their life? I even said I could then die with no regret. However when the moment was there, then you realized there're still a lot I could do I haven't lived enough yet! And I can do better, and live an even more meaningful life!