May 2020 Update
The coronavirus pandemic has rapidly changed our world. In our personal lives, many of us or our loved ones have already been or will be touched in some way by this pandemic. Our hearts and prayers are with those who have already experienced loss.
Nobody saw this coming, not you and certainly not me. Nevertheless, all restaurateurs will be forced to navigate through a new world. I do not know what the “new normal” will look like, so I will not even begin to try to tackle that subject. Instead, I have chosen to touch upon something that I do know well – you, our customer.
My twenty-five years in this business have provided me the opportunity to interact with numerous independent restaurant owners and operators. Although I have found that every restaurateur is unique, I have also come to recognize and appreciate some fundamental similarities. There is no doubt in my mind that these shared traits are precisely why so many small independent restaurants continue to succeed in an industry that includes numerous large and sophisticated national chain restaurants. The traits I’m speaking of are as follows:
Since I’m a big sports fan, I could not possibly miss the obvious similarities between these traits and the traits commonly found in elite championship level athletes, the rare few who are universally renowned as “Winners”!
Winners find a way to overcome unexpected and difficult situations. This pandemic certainly qualifies as unexpected and extremely difficult. However, it cannot alter or impact the basic traits that drive winners. Let me explain by using a sports example. I have no idea when the NBA will return to action; I also have no clue what the schedule might look like. However, I do know that when the NBA returns, LeBron James will be a dominant player who will have his team in contention for a championship. Why am I so confident of this? Because LeBron’s resiliency, determination, passion, and competitiveness are woven into the fabric of his soul and those traits cannot be taken away by any person or event.
My prediction for what the restaurant industry will look like after we re-emerge from these challenging times is similar to my NBA prediction. I do not know how the restaurant business will change over time. I also realistically recognize that some businesses which closed may not be able to reopen. Yet I’m confident that on the whole, independent restaurateurs will find a path to recovery and prosperity. My confidence stems from the fact that I understand how operational interruptions of any type can cause damage to a business, but I also know nothing can take away your Resiliency to overcome, your Determination to recover, your Passion to do the right thing, and your Competitiveness to be the best!
In life and in business, there are no guarantees of success. But I believe that we will get through these challenging times together. Knowing that we are taking on this challenge with you is something that I consider to be a true honor.
On Behalf of the Cortopassi Family
Watch the video below for how Corto Olive and our sister company Stanislaus Food Products, are adapting our work environments to keep our teams safe and healthy, while keeping our loyal restaurateur customers dependably supplied with the premium quality olive oils and tomatoes that help make your food taste its best.