Strong Woman Ignores Advice

"If you've ever had a filet this good,
welcome back."

~ Ruth Fertel

I read an article recently in Entrepreneur magazine that said the way we women typically work gets in the way of succeeding in business. We have a tendency to wait for permission to be part of the guys' team. We want to gather the chicks, to collaborate, to go for the group hug. We like to please people. Find Your Alpha Female is where I got these nuggets.

I was talking with my brother Shane about birthday gift ideas and the subject of Ruth's Chris Steak House came up. I had no idea of the restaurant (crawling out from another rock, I guess). So I Googled it. Reading about Ruth Fertel's entrepreneurial spirit is riveting. Against the advice of her lawyer and banker, she mortgaged her house to buy a steak house. She knew nothing about the restaurant business.

Ruth thought there were two secrets to the success of her steakhouse....the quality of the steak and the hospitality. "My parents taught me to treat people like I'd want to be treated," she said. "We stress that at every restaurant." Ruth was known to do whatever needed to be done. At a restaurant opening, she was known to join in peeling shrimp, if that's what needed to be done.

Ruth was a woman of spunk and a humor and heart. Mindful of her own beginnings in the business, she also made a point of hiring single mothers as waitresses. In reading The Story of Ruth at the Fertel Group site I learned
"Less than four months after she bought Chris Steak House, Hurricane Betsy hit. The electricity went out and the steaks were going to spoil. So she cooked everything she had, called her brother who owned a restaurant in hard-hit Plaquemines Parish, met him at the police barricades that sealed off the disaster area, and handed over the food for distribution to disaster workers and those in need."
Ruth's motto was "Do what you love and love what you do." In Ruth's case, what drove her to buy a steak house back in 1965 wasn't a passion for steak but a passion to be able to support her family and put her sons through college. She was searching for a way to make money to finance that dream. Her son said that her ability to be in the present moment and to treat every person as an equal partner contributed to her success. Plus her ability to do what needed to be done.

So, did Ruth Fertel find her Alpha Female? I think so. But she didn't lose her heart in the process, if all I've read is accurate. Hey, all you business women out there? Any thoughts? Here's more reading...

1 comment:

Cookie said...

If you haven't tried Ruth's Chris, you must! You won't find a better steak anywhere!
The menu is ala cart, but you will remember the meal rather than the check, Guaranteed.

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden