James Miller’s life had fallen apart. He’d lost his great paying actuarial job and had several other alternatives. He had been collecting unemployment for two months and didn’t have the money to buy better clothes. To make things worse, his warm water was shut off when he could not pay the bill.
James was a bit embarrassed about his appearance, but didn’t let that keep him from living his life. He decided to go out for a meal one Friday after cashing his unemployment check. He didn’t understand how bad things go.
The moment James walked through the door, multiple people stared at him condescendingly. The hostess sneered as he approached. “Are you lost, sir?” she asked. “This is a restaurant for people that can afford to eat here.”
James was insulted and demanded to speak with the manager. Sadly, the manager was as much of a poor person as she had been. He immediately told James to leave the premises and threatened to call the cops when he came back.
After spending a couple hours fuming, James chose to seek revenge on the awful duo. He began writing a Yelp review, but knew that nobody could read it. He needed to do something deeper. He wanted them to lose their jobs due to their arrogance.
James immediately remembered hearing a rumor that the restaurant was up for sale. If he could purchase the place out, he would send them both packing. But how can he come up with the money? No bank would give him a loan without a current income or collateral.
Subsequently, James had an idea. His uncle Erik was a wealthy corporate attorney in Manhattan which was feeling burnt out. Uncle Erik had wanted to conduct a restaurant because of his second year as a member. If James could make a compelling argument, his uncle may agree to be his partner and fund it.
James reached out to the operator and said he was a possible buyer. He asked to review the financials before making an offer. As a former actuary, he saw that the business’s financials were strong. This was great news, since it would make it much easier to pitch the proposal to his uncle.
Uncle Erik was curious at the idea. He agreed to fund the purchase in exchange for 70% equity.
James told the restaurant owner that he had a buyer. Uncle Erik flew in the next weekend, so the three of them could sign the papers.
Two weeks after, the three of them convened with the employees to go over the transfer of possession. James eyed the hostess and manager throughout the assembly. They were obviously cringing, because they knew they’d be immediately fired for their previous hostility to their new potential boss.
Their ominous fears were warranted. James pulled them aside and told them to search for work elsewhere. The hostess burst into tears and the manager begged for his job, while apologizing profusely. But James did not relent.
Erik had James handle the majority of the day-to-day operations. James changed the hiring policies and made sure that new workers treated customers with more dignity. He also recalled being down on his luck, so he donated some of his unused food to a local soup kitchen for homeless people.
His attitude paid off. The restaurant’s reputation improved even further and the first season was better than any under the prior owner.