Pass It On is a new, bi-weekly peek inside the heart and mind of Francis Pass…


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Bob Brewer was a magnificent man. I worked for him the year he opened the doors of the Family Fun restaurant in Carbondale. I was one of the first employees.

I was hired to be an outside carhop. No girls were allowed to be outside on the parking lot, which was different than other restaurants. They would hire girl carhops to draw in the guys. But that was not the clientele Bob Brewer was looking to attract.

Bob was a great businessman. But he wasn’t your typical businessman.

Bob was a great businessman. But he wasn't your typical businessman

One day, I took the opportunity to ask Bob how he knew so much about the restaurant business.

I eased my seat closer as he said, “Francis, one thing I learned on my very first restaurant, is that you must be prepared for the number of people that may come to your door. Your staff must be properly trained. Your grill cooks must be top notch. And you can’t run out of food. Before we opened, I had everything covered. We invited people to the door, and they came to the door. We wanted to make sure that door was not locked.”

Bob practiced what he preached… and he made sure he was fully prepared when he opened the Family Fun restaurant.

I’d never seen anything like it before. Bob had every potential employee go through drill areas he set up inside the restaurant. It was a job interview on steroids. Bob would tell each person what they were going to do and how they were going to do it. Then he’d step back and watch everyone do their assigned tasks with the eye of a hawk. Ol’ Bob Brewer was as detail orientated as any five-star general I’d ever seen.

Everything from the uniforms that we wore to the little red bowties around our neck had to be neat and clean. If your shoes didn’t look just right, you’d go home.

If your shoes didn't look just right, you'd go home

He would conduct surprise assessments like that all the time. I hadn’t been in the military yet, because I was still in high school. But, thanks to Bob, I was already very familiar with snap inspections. No nook, crack, or cranny was left unchecked.

Some people didn’t appreciate those inspections. But I did.

Even as a teenager, I’d say to myself, “Self, If I ever own a business, I’m going to operate it like Bob Brewer.”

And when opportunity came knockin’ for me to open my own shop, I remembered what I had learned from Bob. In fact, I’m still remembering and learning from Bob every day.

In fact, I am still remembering and learning from Bob every day

Who is your Bob Brewer? What are they teaching you today that will impact your tomorrow?

Will you know what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it? Will you be prepared before you open your doors?

Because opportunity’s about to come knocking on those doors.

Thanks for readin’…

Francis Pass

P.S. – The Robert N. Brewer Family Foundation has provided college scholarships to 434 local students and counting. How ‘bout that? Bob may be gone… but he’ still teaching us a thing or two.

a fortune inside of a fortune cookie that reads "Opportunity"