"Like many restaurant operators over the past two years, Greg and Daisy Ryan,
co-owners of the French-inspired bistro Bell’s in Los Alamos, California,
sweated over how their business would survive a global pandemic. All around
them owners were turning to takeout, to retail, or to closing their doors
The Ryans, meanwhile, decided to spend more money — actually, a lot
money — on their staff. They hiked wages to an average of $27 an hour. They
added on a bevy of new perks, including fully paid health care coverage and 80
hours of paid time off.
Increasing costs is risky business even in good times for restaurants, where
profits margins are sometimes thinner than mandolined potatoes, and the
industry was on life support even before government-mandated shutdowns were
part of the conversation. But the Ryans made their drastic changes back in June
2020, after a two-month in-dining closure to regroup, deciding to spend big
when most independent restaurants were scrambling to meet existing costs.
It worked. Bell’s revenues and staff have more than doubled since that pivotal
summer day, and now the Ryans are talking about how to add a retirement program
with four percent matching funds, a longstanding goal that will also bring them
in line with state-mandated legislation."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics