How Eric Spruill-Jenkins Finds Motivation Through Passion
With a passion for creating memorable experiences, Eric Spruill-Jenkins credits his teenage dream of owning a car for fueling his foodservice journey. At 16 years-old, Eric took his first job with a local Wendy’s store. He worked his way up from fry guy to hourly management while learning why both a quality product and stellar customer service were required for success. Those experiences gave Eric a strong foundation in foodservice, along with a genuine love of the industry.
But, his career didn’t end there. Instead, Eric sought management opportunities with fast food, fast casual, full service, and pizza concepts. In each position, the goal of memorable guest experiences drove his training and employee development programs. After all, dining out is more than a good meal. Exceptional service generates positive customer feedback that guests share by word-of-mouth and ultimately fills your seats.
Seeing real results of positive feedback motivated Eric to start a catering business, move into employee training programs, and work with new store openings. As he gained diverse experiences, his joy of seeing happy customers and working with fellow restaurateurs only grew. Eventually, with more than 30-years in the industry, Eric shifted into consulting to help business owners tackle tough problems and flourish.
Although he acknowledges it’s not always a lucrative industry, the fast pace and customer interaction are satisfying. That contentment is one reason why Eric supports entrepreneurs and helps them realize their dreams in the foodservice industry. As he says, “Those dreams are possible with faith, hard work, and dedication.” In his work, a significant challenge he notices is attaining a work/life balance.
The restaurateur’s challenge
Anyone in the restaurant industry knows the reality of shift work or pulling extra shifts to cover a missing crew member. As an owner or manager, you’re always on call and often work through holidays or family events. It’s easy to chalk it up to being part of the job, but ignoring work/life balance leads to deeper issues that affect your business and personal life.
Solutions to the work/life struggle
Any small business startup requires a high time investment. However, for restaurant owners who operate 12-hours a day, including weekends and holidays, it’s tough to find downtime. It’s vital to go into the business with a clear understanding of the time it takes. Furthermore, Eric suggests you “ask yourself (and answer honestly) if this is a real passion of yours.” If it is, and the answer is yes, then brainstorm ideas to protect your time while growing a successful foodservice business. He recommends:
Setting clear boundaries with business partners and managers regarding your availability
Getting buy-in from your life partner, so they understand and support your hefty work hours
Finding ways to enjoy moments during nontraditional times or days
Need help realizing your dream?
Balance your dreams with a healthy dose of reality, thanks to Eric’s advice. He walks you through the processes of concept development, location decisions, and hiring contractors. Embrace your passion by scheduling a call with Eric today.