Food For Thought

7:45Am. Corky and Lenny’s Cedar Center He’s late! A Client wanted to meet “as early as possible” on Monday morning. I offered breakfast and gave him a choice of places. So here I am. I’m sitting alone at Corky’s hoping the waitress remembers that the white stoneware thing in front of me is a cup.

All of the regulars are here. There are little old men who have maintained office hours here for years uncounted. They don’t look at menus or even order. Their meals are brought out to them automatically. The contractors sit together. Deals are made over lox, rye toast and exaggerated claims about yesterday’s golf game. And there is always a booth or two filled with women. In the past these ladies met for breakfast before a day of shopping or club. Now the women who come to Corky’s appear to be on the way to their offices. Times change. Corky’s doesn’t.

I spend a lot of time in restaurants. It is part of my job description. Much of my business is done over breakfast or lunch. The meals are seldom fancy or expensive. Many restaurant chains were built by businessmen. Where would Denny’s be without the armies of over caffeinated men waiting for their prospects to either show up or to sign at the (x)? Would Getty’s survive without expense accounts?

Lunch the other day was at the Crazy Horse. The food is only ok. But the scenery is excellent. Old married guys love to have an excuse to come downtown to the Horse. They appreciate a salesman taking them out. In reality, places like the Crazy Horse are terrible places to make a presentation. The prospect can’t give you his undivided attention. Clients are taken there after the sale as a way to say thanks.

It is 8am. I called the Client’s home and found that he just left for our appointment. The waitresses are passing my table like truckers passing a Yugo. The man in the loud plaid shirt at the next booth is describing the 300 yard drive he stroked the day before. The meeting at another table has come to an end. The smiles reveal who had made money and who has not.

My Client just entered and shook hands with two guys on the way to my table. He quickly wrote down their numbers and promises to get back to them before noon. It’s obvious that we are both going to have a profitable day.