Joe T. Garcia’s
today is the 84th anniversary of my family restaurant, joe t. garcia’s opening day.
People often ask me what it was like growing up in a family business. Well let me just tell you, Joe T. Garcia’s has done a lot to shape me into the person that I am today. I remember the first day I started working. I was eleven years old. There was an insane ice storm that overtook the city. If you’re from Fort Worth, then you know that Joe T’s only closes three days a year, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter. In rain or shine, the people shall dine! My grandfather called my mom and explained that no one was showing up for work. Ten minutes later he was at the door, wrapping my neck with a scarf and walking me to the car. I was eleven years old when my grandfather sat me at a desk. All he said was, “Don’t let the phone ring more than twice.” That was it. I spent all day talking to customers telling them about my favorite place in the world, the place I few up. At first, I fumbled my words because I was so nervous about saying the wrong thing. My grandfather sat right next to me and coached me through the whole morning. He told me to remember that no matter what the customer is always right and to talk with a smile on my face.
According to him, people can hear when you’re talking with a frown.
By the end of the day I was talking to customers as if I had known them my whole eleven years of life. My grandfather wouldn’t let me quit. He showed me the importance of perseverance and what it means to be a leader in the workplace. There’s no way for me to repay him for all he has taught me. The only thing I can do is use all the lesson I’ve learned and work my ass off for everything that I want. The most important thing that he has taught me is that being a leader isn’t always easy. It comes with a lot of responsibility that no one tells you about. But thankfully, he’s shown me the basics. The rest is up to me to figure out.