15 Months in…

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It’s been three months now really since I’ve really had a second to evaluate how things are. You see when you own and run a business you live it.

You wake up every morning with the same ambition, go to bed with the same intention for the following day and spend your day doing your utmost to progress and improve on what you told yourself you would!

Often, it’s a self-conscious decision, you know what you need to do, how you need to do it but often the eternally difficult decision is simply “When”.

 

The summer months as normally for a restaurant can be quiet, we had a great May. Then in June and July, a decrease as much of the Dublin population go away abroad for their holidays. Although this is a fact, you still wonder if the custom you’re missing out on is in fact away or has gone to another restaurant who is offering more for them! It’s a truly scary and unpredictable business. You can find yourself questioning everything you’ve done on a continuous bases wondering is what was implemented right for our customers? Or was it something which could hinder their return. You can have a great week which leaves you with a sense of ease and sometimes it can be tarnished by a quiet week which sees you come under more pressure, worry and stress.

However, amid it all, It’s great to see our customers feedback, every morning at exactly 7:12 am an email comes through of each customer who made a reservations feedback. It is vital it does give confidence that what we are doing is right, and sometimes can help towards making the right changes to ensure what we offer is the best we can. Getting to the top 10% on TripAdvisor helps you believe that what your doing is right but when you look at the bottom line the fundamental importance in all businesses – the money, it’s what it all comes down to at the end of the day I can truly find myself in a state of worry. It’s the unpredictability of the restaurant business that causes it!

 

The worry because although things do take time, money does not go on for all time. So, overall it a fight in the battle of time and money!

 

In the last 3 months, The Sivad family has come to in contact with many changes, we’ve some new colleagues and sadly some who have left! But we all have the same intention and ambition as ever!

 

The Davis family, on the other hand, has also had some big changes, those close to us know of them, however, I’d rather not get into any details right now!

 

All the above, any changes which have happened has been taken in our stride and looking from the outside has been nothing but positive for Sivad!

 

15 months in…

Graham Davis,

Director / Co Owner

Sivad – Leopardstown

Sivad – Leopardstown from the Inside – Out

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Saturday the 22 of July 2017,

By Graham Davis

One Year On – the ups & the downs.

One year and two weeks since we first felt that ecstatic excitement of opening our doors. It certainly sounds like a long time however it feels like no more than a couple of weeks. Reflecting on how long we’ve been open focuses you in on each occasion of drama, each of the “we made it moments” which in fact happened often enough to become cautious of feeling it again for the dread of it balancing itself out with another day.

When I say “we made it moment” I mean that split second when you see what you once envisioned actually going on around you. When you feel the adrenalin when you have that thought of – we turned the corner. The first feeling of this for me was in the month of November. The phone was ringing off the hook one Wednesday evening we had a large group in for a three-course meal in the early afternoon and our newly released early bird menu had proved to be a big hit as just as the clock struck six in the evening we had been swamped with walk-ins. Knowing full well we had a huge number of customers with reservations from seven onwards the three of us who were working on the floor knew that how well we got through the next hour would have a domino effect for the remainder of the evening. We got through it as you always do no matter how unprepared you may be. The adrenaline works wonders, it opens your eyes and lets you see things almost before they occur. The fact it was a Wednesday and we had record numbers through our doors was the big contributor to the thought that we had gotten exactly where we needed to be already.  The thought of if we are doing this on a Wednesday what the weekend going to be like?

Well, we were wrong. Driving to work the next day with the same excitement as I held on the first-day opening, even ensuring to be two hours earlier than I had to be with little or no sleep just to make sure everything was perfect for round two! Everything perfect in my eyes means that extra step that most people wouldn’t even notice, I’m not one to categorise things but the term OCD comes to mind. Not seen as a great trait to have but when it comes to something I just can’t help it.  The table settings, the wine bottle displays, the chairs along the banqueting seating being perfectly aligned the tables and the back legs of the chairs perfectly running along the line between the wooden floor. It’s these little things that I can’t let pass me. I know it drives some of the front of house staff mad but they completely understand when it comes to it. Afterall it’s all for the achievement of that fantastic write up we may get or the numerous reviews across the review platforms of on social media. These little extra steps are the first things I notice in other restaurants. From the moment I step foot through the door, I could tell you if the owners are there on regular basis. Everything sends signals, the organisation of the establishment, the attitude of the front of house staff and the functionality between the kitchen and floor staff.

These are just a handful of things that get me and what I feel adds to the Sivad Experience. I’m still learning them as I go along, implementing each day and pushing Sivad as a restaurant forward. One thing about the restaurant industry is you’ll never know everything, every day gives its new challenges and situations which need to be dealt with proactively and there are little places for answers. You need to just go with your gut.

Going with your gut is the only way forward. Sometimes the most impulsive decisions are the ones which were the best because you know what has to be done and you need to move in and make the decision before emotions get brought into the picture.

So looking over the year what has it been to me? To us? To Sivad?

It has been the best year of my life. It is the first of many years for sivad. It has been a test for us, it has tested the strength of a family and regardless of all has brought out a higher power among us all!

 

Graham Davis,

Director / Co Owner

Sivad – Leopardstown