Sister Yu's restaurant is in a good location. Take a car or drive to the north gate of Xixi Wetland Scenic Area, which is about a 10-minute walk according to the signs.
After passing a few shops selling small works of art and snacks from Heshu Street, you'll see the white-walled, black-walled restaurant of Sister Yu.
As it was past lunchtime, there was only one table at the restaurant. Yu, on the other hand, was still busy in the kitchen. When she saw me coming, she hurried a bit to tidy up her case, washed her hands, made a cup of tea, and began to tell her story.
The connection to the restaurant industry begins with Yu's father's generation. Many years ago, the Yu family has been supplying seafood to Hangzhou restaurants, Louwai Lou, Zhejiang hotels and other well-known shops in Hangzhou.
Do a long time, in the hands of Sister Yu's brother began to try "cross-border", from seafood wholesale to food service, in the Spice Hotel, Xixi Hotel, responsible for the catering business, and later also opened a number of restaurants and restaurants.
Sister Yu has had a deep interest in cooking since she was a child, and had learned to cook her own food by the age of four or five. I also took the opportunity to watch adults cooking, and then silently memorized the methods and tips in my mind, and practiced them when I could.
After leaving school, Sister Yu first learned how to run a small business, but she was never able to make any money. Plus, I still felt more interested in cooking and such, so I helped out at my brother's shop.
After working long hours, it's natural to want to start your own business as your own boss.
To 2008 or so, she heard about a restaurant in the Xixi Wetland Scenic Area to be transferred, and she is a native of Jiang Village, so they came up with the demolition compensation, and raised some money to the restaurant down, their own business.
This was open for over a decade.
This ten-year journey of opening an independent shop has become the most fulfilling and rich life experience in Yu's life, and has opened her voice box.
Many years of experience helping in her brother's shop, so that Sister Yu feels that as long as the food is delicious and the price is affordable, customers will naturally come to the restaurant.
But the truth is there are many doors and tricks to doing a good job in a restaurant. This was only slowly realized after Sister Yu opened her own shop.
Take the dishes, in the peak period of the meal, can not be cooked according to the table, a table of guests burned and then the next table, but to a reasonable distribution, can not be Let the guest wait dry. After a while, customers get impatient.
The first month it was open, Yu said she made the cheap mistake of losing a lot of customers and making a lot of noise when she encountered a peak in traffic at West Creek Wetlands in March.
As another example, if you open your own shop, you will always encounter individual difficult customers. I also felt overwhelmed at first and didn't know how to respond. Later on, you slowly learn how to handle disputes properly. Firstly, such customers are few after all, and secondly, they suffer a little, so that the customers get more benefits, and this can also be smooth over.
There's also the staff underneath, which has to be both compassionate and reasonable, as well as the corresponding material treatment, which is no less than a little team management.
Yu has also been learning and growing over the years that she has been running the shop.
The conversation got to the heart of the matter: is the restaurant making money?
Sister Yu is also quite generous: to say earn also earned, but really earn is a little hard earned money of their own.
After all, it is a small restaurant "family members", nearly ten employees' wages, rent, etc. are to be earned from the daily turnover, can not! Sit and eat. So doing 12+ hours a day has been the norm for Yu for over a decade.
You have to rush to the grocery store early in the morning to make your purchases. The control of the quality of ingredients is the most important thing to Miss Yu.
On the one hand, they are already doing this origin, also have channels; on the other hand, small restaurants, and others can not compare with the mountains and seafood, only in the freshness and quantity of ingredients to win.
What follows is a busy, full day of work. Especially summer and autumn, some guests to the scenic area after work to seven o'clock in the evening, and then sit down to eat and drink, not a ninety o'clock simply closed! No. At this time of the day, Sister Yu could only do her best to accompany her until the customers had dispersed so that she could rest after cleaning up.
I asked Miss Yu, why are you still working so hard? To what?
Sister Yu said very plainly: the other also can not, just like to do the catering line.
There were a few years during May Day, National Day and other long holidays when the tiny restaurant was not only full to capacity, but also needed to turn over tables. Tired though it may be, I am from a rural area myself and I am not afraid of it, instead I feel more worthy and fulfilled if I am busy.
Later on, Yu also revealed a little bit about herself: both her brother and her own husband are in the catering business, and both contracted a or Several restaurants. The restaurant is sort of her own independent work, no matter how hard she works to build up the business.
The conversation couldn't get around the epidemic in the first half of the year. Speaking of which, the ever-optimistic Yu's voice trailed off a bit. She did the math for me.
The brunt of this is the loss of ingredients.
On January 26, the park was temporarily notified of the scenic closure, and it remained open until March 7. All the foodstuffs previously prepared for the Chinese New Year holiday were destroyed, with losses of over $20,000.
Until now, the restaurant's turnover has never returned to normal.
After the opening of the Xixi Wetland Scenic Area in early March, although the number of visitors has been steadily rising, but mainly local tourists, mainly foreign tourists to visit the Guests have been few. Out-of-town visitors, on the other hand, are the main consumers of the restaurant and the spring season is originally the peak season for restaurants. So over the past two months, overall traffic has been three quarters less than normal. But not a penny of the expenditure.
Rent and labor costs have increased over the years and have become an important part of the restaurant's operating costs.
Sister Yu's restaurant has six or seven regular employees, all of whom are from out of town, and these employees have been following Sister Yu for years.
In February, due to no opening, Sister Yu will only give employees a base salary, to the opening in March, counting labor and other rigid expenses, resulting in a monthly loss of more than 150,000 yuan.
I asked Sister Yu if she had ever thought about quitting or taking a break under the heavy pressure.
Sister Yu said: open a hotel this thing to a drum, can't stop. It's hard to stop and get back up.
There were also these few employees who had followed her for years and were like brothers and sisters, she couldn't bear to close the shop down.
"In business, at the end of the day, you are responsible for your employees."
Under the epidemic, the common man is a speck of dust, but he can be his own strong man.
Yu said that although the restaurant has had a tough few months, she is confident that she will continue to do so.
The park is also very sympathetic to the difficulties of their operators. First, the rent was waived for February and March, and the rent for April-June was reduced by $1 squared-per-day.
In addition as an evicted household 20 years ago, Miss Yu said at least the family still has some income from renting out the house. These months have been in the "old capital", how much to make up for the current deficit in the restaurant.
Confidence is more important than gold.
In the conversation Miss Yu said from the bottom of her heart, the epidemic will always pass, business will always get better.
In Sister Yu's calculations, if she can maintain it without winning or losing during the summer, she should be able to turn it around by October.
At the end of the conversation, ask Yu what she thinks and plans she has for the future.
She said, for her small people like her, the biggest wish is to hope that the wetlands better, more beautiful, more lively, there are more people to her restaurant consumption, dining, then really in their beautiful hometown is to find a "silver mountain".
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