How Restaurant Owners Free Themselves to Take the Summer Vacations They Deserve

David M. Solomon, the CEO of investment bank Goldman Sachs, surprised the world by offering senior bankers unlimited vacation time.

He wants his people to “take the vacation they need so they can continue to run hard, be competitive, run productively, but take care of their families.”

He sounds like me: One of my long-standing campaigns is making sure restaurant owners – who carry the shame of that awful stigma of being poster children for not being able to take time off – are able to take plenty of time away.

Don’t Believe What They Say About Restaurant Owners

Then Mike Mayo, an analyst for Wells Fargo – speaking snarkily in the New York Times – hit me upside the head.

“It sounds psychologically soothing…The reality is it is not going to make any difference. It is like telling a restaurant owner you can have unlimited vacation – will that change how the restaurant owner works?”

My ingrained response was an emphatic, “Yes, that will change how a restaurant owner works – because I do it with clients all the time!”

Like with my client who bought a house on Maui, but did not have time to go there until we built his organization so he could leave for a month or more. 

Prove That Analyst Wrong

I believe that my clients who have created incredible, successful companies have an imperative to enjoy that now.

That means, among other things, leaving when they want to.

As summer sneaks up on us, I serve clients by talking about where people will go for summer vacation (and for how long) – and, just as importantly, what they have delegated to people in their organization so they are free to go.

As you look at your summer vacation plans, think about the time restrictions you put on yourself.

How could you use an extra week here or there (or maybe more)?

The only thing between you and that dream is delegating work to qualified people- which benefits those people, too.

As an owner of a successful independent multi-unit restaurant company, you have earned that flexibility to take vacations or concentrate on family, community, charity, hobbies, or something else important.

Most people  – including senior bankers at Goldman Sachs, apparently – could never imagine the possibility.
So send me pictures!

Over to you. How much time off would you like to take this summer? What stands in the way of you doing that, or more, every summer? What have you delegated since last summer? Who will take over more of your duties so you can live the flexible life you have earned?