My husband and I spent this past weekend in New York City, our first vacation around other people in almost two years. The last night of our weekend away, we dressed up and went out for dinner at a nice restaurant – I guess it was a way of celebrating missed anniversary and birthday outings this past year and we really just wanted to dress up for a change! There happened to be a restaurant, Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, a few steps from our hotel and given I was wearing high heels and my husband was tired of taking the subway, we randomly picked that restaurant.
The food was great as was the service – actually the food was amazing – I’d highly recommend a visit. But, it was reading the history of the restaurant and about it’s founder, Wolfgang Zwiener that struck me this morning as I was out for a run. Wolfgang Zwiener started his steakhouses at age 65 after being the head waiter at Peter Luger Steak Housefor over 40 years. He made his career as a waiter. What struck me as particularly interesting and unique was that this was a choice he made. He had been asked to manage Peter Luger Steak House numerous times throughout his career, but turned it down because he wanted to be near his customers as he loved providing excellent service – it’s what he prided himself on and he wanted to be with his family which the role of restaurant manager would make more difficult.
It turns out that this random steakhouse we happened to go to is one of the top steakhouses in the world with numerous locations across the globe. While I rarely see parallels in the food industry and my career as an engineer, three things struck me about his restaurant and career that I find quite inspiring…1) He enjoyed the customer interface so much he chose not to move into a position that would take him away from them. 2) He made his family a priority. 3) He started an incredibly successful business at 65. Life doesn’t end at retirement and whatever one’s goals, interests, passions are – we can start them at anytime.
I feel like I gained valuable insight in this delicious dining experience – in addition to a pound or two – both were definitely worth it!