CRAFT by Under My Host® Issue No. 15 Classics - Page 73

Did the headline catch you? It should. I’m good at grabbing people’s attention. But I’m tired. Every single day, I have to fight to get people to notice. I spend almost 3-5 hours a week working on media posts just to get people to visit our shops. When we’re doing really well, I have someone help me with it, but most of the time, I do these things myself. It sounds ridiculous that I’d spend so much time on things like Instagram posts, but these are the things I have to do to get people into our door. If one post gets two people through the door on a random Tues- day afternoon, I’ve spent my time well. While other large groups brag about having 70, 90, or 200 seats— I’m happy to get 100 people fill our tables on a rainy weekday. It’s not an easy life, and I reconsider my decisions three out of seven days a week. I have been a semifinalist for two James Beard Awards, and we’ve received many other accolades, yet I spend my days posting pictures to Instagram, mopping floors, and giving free talks about why people should eat whole wheat sourdough bread. People often make comments about how well we’re doing. What they don’t realize is that what they see publicly and the reality behind the scenes are two different things. What they don’t understand, is that while I talk for free exposure, some chefs at the same events make $100K or more for the same exact thing. While I’m honored to be grouped with them, it’s ex- hausting and disheartening. Four years ago, we bought Austrian stone mills, part- nered with local farms, and began baking and cook- ing with high-quality organic grains. We thought we’d change the baked goods game in Chicago. We thought people would be shocked by how much bet- ter artisan grain tasted and that what we were doing would go viral. We thought people’s eating habits would move away from meat-centric entrees and more towards organic vegetables and whole grains. What we didn’t realize is that we were thinking in a bubble and that we didn’t have enough funding to take on such big ideas. Hype hit, the shops boomed. Trend seekers got their © Hundred-to-One LLC 2017. All rights reserved.