Wine and wins

Wine and wins
This image was created with the assistance of DALLĀ·E 3

During my college years, I served at a restaurant named Lucky 32 in Winston-Salem (which, I've heard, has since closed).

I'll never forget the first time I attempted to serve wine. My nerves got the better of me, leading to a deep cut on my finger from the metal wrapper, with blood dripping everywhere. It was a mortifying experience, and I was determined to never open another wine bottle again.

Enter my roommate: not just my colleague and carpool buddy but a budding entrepreneur and capitalist. He spotted an opportunity and offered to handle wine service for my tables for a small fee. I'm a bit foggy on the exact amount (a couple dollars I think), but without hesitation, I accepted.

I was meticulous about tracking my work details - tables served, tips earned - you name it, I recorded it in Excel. So, the data was clear when things began to change.

As my roommate took over wine duties, patrons assumed they were being treated by a wine sommelier, elevating their dining experience at our quasi-upscale establishment. The tips surged. Not only did the increase cover the fee I owed my roommate, but I also pocketed a tidy profit.

The outcome? A win-win-win:

  1. My roommate earned extra cash.
  2. I enjoyed bigger tips.
  3. Our guests received a seemingly luxurious dining experience.

What's the lesson?

  • Adaptability is key: Instead of being bogged down by an initial failure, it's essential to find alternative solutions and adapt to the situation.
  • Life (and business) isn't a zero sum game: One person's success doesn't necessarily mean another's loss.
  • Perception is powerful: The way something is presented or perceived can drastically alter its value in the eyes of others.
  • Track and learn: By keeping detailed records and studying the data, one can identify patterns, opportunities, and areas of improvement.