I have decided that I must take a step back from Ben’s after toiling at Ben’s since 1972.
Will this be a shock to those who know me?
Is it understandable?
I believe it is. Since I only know one way to work—which is hard—I am having a hard time accepting work habits that are contrary to what I am accustomed…. not to say anything about my mental well being given our litigious society. I keep thinking of how Bernie Sanders, Michael Bloomberg, and Joe Biden can continue to campaign at their advanced ages when I—some six years younger than all of them—am having a hard time keeping up and concerned that what they do I can do no longer.
It’s hard to give up on what one has been doing for over 47 years and doing it with love, passion, and dedication and proud of what I was able to accomplish…but the restaurant business is getting more difficult to navigate and the labor market is ever shrinking with less loyalty and caring. Employing 300 in multiple physical locations is a daunting task. The pressure is too great and becoming even greater to provide job security for so many (which has been so important to me through the years) and maintain a reasonable pay schedule with reasonable and—even generous—benefits. This is not an indictment just a fact of present day life.
I will certainly have great regrets not doing what has been the center of my working life for close to half a century….but back away I must. I need to exhale and smell the fresh air of spring and fall, the heat of summer and the cold of winter, enjoy our grandchildren and my wife, who worked along side of me for 44 of my 47 years in business.
But a question does remain. To whom do I entrust a brand I have built over 47 years? To many of the hard working loyal members of the management team? Or to an outside entity? Of one thing I am certain. I want Ben’s to continue. So to whomever I entrust the future, I would want them to keep the tradition alive. Of course I will always be a part of Ben’s to my last days, just not working behind the counter or wearing my working whites with my red suspenders!
I thank all those who have been loyal to the brand—customers and employees alike!
With much humility and tears in my eyes,