Imagine Interviewing a Successful Entrepreneur Reaction Paper

Excerpt from Reaction Paper :

interview: Mr. X

When I interviewed Mr. X, the owner of high end-restaurants and a luxury boutique hotel, my first question was: "why did you decide to 'create your own job' in the hospitality industry, rather than work for someone else?" Mr. X stressed that hospitality was his passion from a young age. "I truly believe that the hospitality industry must be in 'your blood' to succeed. It is a difficult and competitive industry, and just about everyone I know who is ambitious and involved within it wants to work for him or herself. I wanted to put my own stamp on things. When I was working for other people I often felt frustrated when I knew that I could do something better, or had better ideas than my managers."

Opportunities do not create themselves; the entrepreneur has to love what he does enough to work 24-7 and to take a great risk to succeed. Mr. X began with opening up one restaurant, which led to opening up another restaurant -- and another after that, and finally a luxury boutique hotel. But without the willingness to leave his first job as a restaurant manager, that chain of events would not have been possible.

Mr. X stressed that having a good business plan is important, but it is also important to have a vision that drives you. "My vision was of a restaurant in which the customer was 'always right.'" All too often high-end restaurants will try to impose a vision of fine dining upon the diner, with fussy food and a rigid tasting menu. Mr. X's restaurants specialize in Turkish comfort food 'done well.' The atmospheres at the restaurants are relaxed, and when certain challenging or unusual dishes are the specials of the day, the wait staff is carefully instructed how to 'introduce' such meals to the diner and to educate eaters about proper wine pairings. Ultimately, people wish to enjoy their food, not be intimidated by it. That is why, said Mr. X, unlike trendy restaurants, his patrons almost always return -- for special occasions, or simply to enjoy a nice meal away from home and relax. The dining rooms are luxurious but not in a way to make diners feel out of place.

Mr. X began his first restaurant in collaboration with one of his brothers. Their father was in the restaurant business and owned a small, mainly lunch-and-breakfast business, so the brothers knew about the grueling hours required to open a fine dining establishment. Mr. X had worked as a manager of several restaurants beforehand, but even so he took months to 'study' the foods he wished to serve in the restaurant. The brothers dined out frequently, read cookbooks, and 'took notes' as they strove to create a business that would offer something unique to the customer. "If the product isn't good, it doesn't matter how good your business plan is," said Mr. X. The first restaurant was funded with some of the brothers' mutual savings, a bank loan, and some money from 'angel' investors.

After researching the market and potential competitors, the brothers decided to take a novel approach: offering more traditional dishes more often prepared in the home rather than at fancy restaurants and taking these staples to a 'new level.' These were the foods that had driven the brothers to develop a passion about food in the first place, and the brothers…

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