10 Things to Start Doing to Keep the Restaurant Industry From Ruining Your Life – Chef Chris Hill

10 Things to Start Doing to Keep the Restaurant Industry From Ruining Your Life – Chef Chris Hill.


These are not my words but words I strongly agree with and relate to.  I’ve been in the hospitality and restaurant industry for 16 years, more than half my lifetime.

One thing I have learned is that only a small percentage of restaurant workers are there by choice.  We are all here for many  reasons.  Maybe Something went seriously wrong in their lives,  maybe they can’t make it in “normal jobs”, they do it for cash and they do it well, or maybe just like it here.

Whatever your reason one thing is true of all.  The restaurant business can chew you up in spit you out if you let it.

You can read the full article here.

Here are the 10 Things you should start doing to keep the restaurant industry from ruining your life.

  1.  Be Intentional and Set Goals for Yourself  – “Does this job help me get closer to my goals, the “mountain” or do I now find myself further away?”
  2. Focus on Yourself – If you are one of my employees reading this, you should follow this one.  Stop obsessing about what everyone is or isn’t doing and focus on doing the best job you can do.  
  3. Appreciate the Other Jobs & People Around You  – If you are a server…imagine walking a mile in the dishwashers shoes.  The restaurant can’t function without them, yet he or she is underrated and not paid as well as you.  Maybe you don’t make them work any harder than they need to. 
  4. You are the Average of the 5 People With Whom You Spend the Most Time  – make sure they are the right people.
  5. Don’t Just Settle For a Paycheck – “If you’re boss won’t give you more responsibility or opportunity to grow, it’s time to find someone else to work for.”
  6. Go Home After Work and Save Your Money.
  7. Keep in touch with non-industry related friends .
  8. Disconnect..
  9. Take Care of Yourself 
  10. Don’t Lose Sight of What’s Most Important in Life.

The last three are the most important and the biggest themes of this year long project.



Blink And You Might Miss It : Trying To Say Something Nice

I’m a self-aware person.  I realize that more often than not I can be a real asshole.  My lack of filter can lead to some very blunt and awful, though sometimes true, phrases coming from my direction.

Blame it on whatever you want.  Impulsivity from ADHD, inability to relate to others and their feelings (possible Asperger’s), years working in an industry that simply grows sarcastic jerks.    I’m still responsible for what I say and do.


There are times though, where the planets align and the seas part and all the grace and kindest of a compassionate person comes through.  Those that witness it are usually taken back a few steps.  But I am capable.

In September,  I resolved to channel this kind energy into something that was a little more natural and required less effort.

I thanked employees who made an extra effort, I complemented someone on a new hair style…after insulting their previous efforts,  I wrote a handwritten letter to someone having a hard time.

Practice means improvements and while I still find it very difficult not to spew whatever my brain conjures up out of my mouth,  I have found it easy to take a second to say something nice to anyone at any given moment.  It might make all the difference to them.



Lioness  Club AppleFest 2017

I don’t travel up North as often as I should with the exception of the annual visit to the salmon fish hatchery and an occasional visit to 1000 Islands, so bummed I didn’t get there this summer.  

My point is that there is a lot to see and do just by heading up 81 and 481 North.  Venture more east and we are talking some serious adventure in the Adirondacks.  

Central Square has an annual event, AppleFest, that I’m surprised that I haven’t heard of until now.  This thing this huge for a fall festival.  It’s like a mini NYS Fair.  Complete with games, rides, food, entertainment, and shopping and it’s all for Charity.  

Can’t wait for a return visit next year.  

Change Is Mentally Draining

So much change going on in my life right now.  Mainly in my work.  They bumped up my restaurant management team count from three to four and in addition to that,  I now have the honor to training new managers for other stores.  Both things I have fought to get for a long time.

All good things, but why am I left at the end of the day feeling drained and exhausted?  The transition from working manager into master delegator has left me feeling like I am getting less and less accomplished , even though that is far from true.

My brain is racing so much that it feels like I had just finished studying for a quantum physics final.

I like change.  Breaking up routine helps keep me engaged and brings new joy to whatever I may be doing.  But drastic change makes me feel like the world is crushing down on me.   Even now,  my hands are in my hair as I struggle with some massive writer’s block.

I know it’s temporary.  I just wish big change didn’t have such a big impact on me.635910275524376204-2147481724_B_diabetes_depression_mental_exhaustion_goals_management2

Kosta’s Pizza House : Featuring The Doctor Of Hunger

Another first for me today.  After picking Liam up from school we headed to East Manlius Street to Kosta’s Pizza House.  

My wife went there all the time when she was growing up.  It’s a two person show.  Husband/ owner out front taking orders and preparing food and wife in the back kitchen doing prep, with apartment upstairs.

I walk in and there’s the man himself           “Hey buddy,” in his thick Greek accent. ” Pepperoni calzone and Buffalo chicken sub?  No problem.  I can do that blindfolded”. And off he went.  Nothing premade.  All made to order.  

Love places like this.  So much history to where is doesn’t even matter if the food is good or not, which it is.  The welcoming nature of the host makes you wanna come back again and again.  

“Been in business here for 31 years.  40 more to go.  Gonna be the oldest pizza maker in America”.

Best of luck to you buddy.  

Look at that.  Diploma of food engineering.  Dr. Hunger

Flo’s Diner : Home Of The Ten Cent Coffee

I’m very sentimental about diners.  It was at the Empire Diner out in Herkimer where I first learned to cook at 18.  

I had been working as a dishwasher, takeout person, and salad preparer in many places before hand but this was my first time preparing any main dishes.  

I remember those mornings, cracking the eggs in the pan… careful not to break the yolk and then flipping them over so gently for over easy eggs.   Such a little thing filled me with dread.  

I pass by Flo’s Diner whenever I travel on RT. 31 but I never stopped. I’m stir crazy this early morning at 5AM so I’m off.  

What grabs your attention as you drive by is large sign, “home of the 10 cent coffee”.  I get free coffee at work, but I don’t work today so 10 cents is the next best thing.  

Food was really good as I happily gobbled up eggs, home fries, and toasts along side the local truckers and fishermen.  

Beautiful Fall Evening : Yard Work Galore

Anyone remember that commercial that aired last year where the guy woke up on Saturday to a vision of himself standing over him in his football jersey?  He like , “This is the Sunday Version of You and if you don’t want to miss out on Sunday football you better get your butt out of bed and get to working on those chores”

That’s me every evening before a day off.  Because if you know anything about me it is that on days off I like to get out and see and do new things.  The last thing I want to do is be stressed out by a massive “hunny do list”  P.S.  I am my own hunny 🙂 and my to-do lists are self inflicted.

So it’s one of those “in between autumns.”  Cold enough to where the leaves are falling and warm enough to where the grass is still growing.  Double trouble.  I have a massive lawn and a shit ton of trees to boot.  So it’s time to get to work.  I didn’t get started soon enough last year and most of the leaves stayed buried under the snow.  To hell with that.  That’s a pain in the ass in the spring.

So I spent a few hours this evening knocking out some yard work.  Safety tip: Don’t be a dumbass like me.  When you are racking leaves, wear gloves.

As the sun goes down, I am chilling on the deck with a cold knowing that I will have the freedom tomorrow to do whatever I like before I’m right back at it on Friday

Note to self.  Time to get a fire pit