While on vacation, I was recently reminded how passion can be a recipe for success and why we need to nurture that in ourselves and in our staff.
I recently spent a fantastic week vacationing in Maui with my family. We are sushi and fish taco fanatics, so after mornings spent diving or surfing, we made our way to Coconut’s Fish Café in Kihei, Hawaii, not once, but three times during our stay.
Named after the owner’s cat, Coconut’s is a small restaurant located in a strip mall. What impressed me about Coconut’s was my kids’ reaction to it. Not only did they want to eat there repeatedly, but my daughters were urging me to find a way to invest in it. Why? Maybe it was the line out the door.
When we arrived at the restaurant, we were encouraged by staff to eat with our hands so we could taste all the ingredients in each bite. Chef/owner Mike Phillips approached our table to ask about our meal and was very passionate about his food. His feeling was contagious. When we asked why there was a line out the door, he simply answered, “Have you had our fish taco?” He described every ingredient to my kids and why it was THE best fish taco. When we told him we lived in Scottsdale (where Coconut’s just opened a second location), Mike beamed with pride and told us to call him if it did not taste the same as in Maui.
Restaurants come and go and are very hard to make work for so many reasons. This time it felt different to me and my family. After spending 15 minutes with Mike, his passion was infectious and positive. He reminded me of the passion felt in the early stages of a business, and why we need to sustain that. If we don’t, people like Mike serving fish tacos in a strip mall will be eating our lunch! I truly felt he was on to the next Chipotle-type success, and I wish him well.