Forward Thinking Hospitality

by Mikey Knab, Ponce’s Mexican Restaurant

On Friday April 5th, a group of 20 restaurant owners and operators got together at City Heights Coffee House to discuss strategies for improving working conditions for employees in the hospitality industry. The group included current Business for Good members, as well as others interested in taking a high road approach to hiring, training, and supporting our teams.

Owners of some of San Diego’s favorite restaurants joined the conversation. A quick glance around the room was quite an impressive list :

We were joined by Saru Jayaraman, President and founder of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC), an organization founded in New York after 9/11 in order to support restaurant workers effected by the attacks. ROC now has over 100,000 worker members, and almost 800 restaurant owner members across the country.  Saru brought two members of her team, as well as a restaurateur partner from San Francisco to offer guidance and testimony on how changing our approaches, perspectives, and systems can improve the lives of our employees, while benefiting our bottom lines.

The discussion was lively and informative, and in the end, it was just really nice to have all of these San Diego restaurant heavy hitters sitting in the same room, completely committed to investing in our employees’ well-being.

There was a lot of interest in starting a chapter of RAISE (a part of the ROC work dedicated to high road employment practices) in partnership with Business for Good here in San Diego, with those in attendance acting as the vanguard of the movement here. Stay tuned for news on that front in the next few months.

The State of San Diego Small Business

by Karim Bouris, Business for Good

Since everyone’s doing their State-of-the thing, we’ll join the fun and share what we think matters. If San Diego’s going to be a world-class city, then we need to focus our efforts to achieve two outcomes:

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Raising Businesses and Children

by Lauren Passero Brookes, Owner/Operator of Kensington Cafe, The Haven PizzeriaDEL SUR Mexican Cantina

I’m a woman, a business owner and a mother. That’s all you need to know about me in no particular order. And my story’s punch line is really an exercise in circular logic: Pregnancy turned me into a better business owner; being a better business owner made me a better mother.

Now let’s mix in a few more stereotypes and judgmental factors about my business acumen:

  • I opened a restaurant but I can’t cook.
  • I launched it at the height of the Great Recession.
  • I try to make everyone happy and dread upsetting anyone.
  • I opened a second restaurant when I started my family.
  • I opened a third restaurant with a toddler and newborn.

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Figuring out Council Policy 900-12

By: Vilavanh Sanginthirath, CEO of Innovations City

After 17 years, small business owners are working directly with the City to create the right kinds of supports to help us grow. Spoiler alert: it’s how the City can invest $57,000 in small businesses instead of a large grocery chain, so keep reading…

Engaged. Excited. Empowered.

Those were some of my emotions as I was listening to each speaker and waiting for my turn to make public comments at the last City Council meeting on this topic. Or, for the fact-checkers out there, the city council’s Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations committee – ED&IR, for those in the know.

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A Vision Board is Not a Business Plan

By: Natalie Gill, Owner of Native Poppy

In my line of work, vision boards are everything.

One quick search for “floral design” on Pinterest returns millions of inspiration boards, for everything from magical weddings to gorgeous editorial shoots to stunning interior design.

So, it’s probably unsurprising to learn that as a mid-20s, floral-obsessed creative, I too had a Pinterest vision board. I called it my “mood board,” as in, “I’m really in the mood to leave my current soul-sucking HR desk job and be a boss lady already.”

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We Marched for Our Lives – What Now?

By Beth Gutierrez, Owner, Joy Culture Events

I’m a crier. Always have been. I’m a serious empathizer, easily moved. So, it should not have surprised me in the least that the March for Our Lives was a rollercoaster of emotions considering the matter at hand. And yet.

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