Tough times makes restaurant owner strongerOntario · Jun 9, 2020
Jesse Fader, owner of Superpoint and Favourites in Toronto
Paris Paris: parisparis.ca
Woodhouse Brew Pub: woodhousebrewing.com
The times may be tough, but that’s when the tough get going. Like Jessie Fader, owner of four Toronto restaurants in a 4 km radius. He’s been hustling hard to save his businesses since the pandemic threw them into a tailspin. Fader previously had a staff of 100, and now with a small team of 12, has managed to pivot from full-service menus to takeout.
“I don’t think the experience here will change what I do in the future, just HOW I do it and with whom I do it with. I’ve seen the very best of people and the absolute worst and it’s these combined experiences that will lay the foundation of what comes next. Tough times don’t last, tough people do." – Jesse Fader, owner of Superpoint & Favourites.
When it comes to owning a restaurant in the competitive market of Toronto, only the strong survive. So it’s a huge feat that Jesse Fader, who started out as a line cook, has managed a veritable takeover of the Ossington strip with a slew of trendy hot spots. His restaurant portfolio includes a popular pizza joint Superpoint, wine bar Paris Paris, casual eatery Woodhouse Brew Pub, and Thai BBQ spot Favourites. His restaurants are renowned for their exotic wine lists, heightened comfort food, and laid-back ambience. But then COVID-19 hit and everything changed. Losing the ability to seat diners, all his restaurants immediately closed and he was forced to suspend most of his beloved staff. Fader was heartbroken, but not about to give up.
His strategy to adapt was simple: move his entire business to a takeout model as a way to keep things afloat. Doing so means he may be able to re-hire the rest of his team one day. Fader took the time to carefully create a takeout menu for each restaurant that made sense for what their kitchens did well, and what he knew the public loved. It took over a month to plan the logistics, but he says, "As a cook I worked impossibly long, impossibly hard hours. I worked this way for myself, so that I might one day work that hard for you. That’s what we’re here for, that’s what we work for."
As soon as they reopened the community was there to show their support, causing Fader’s restaurants to sell out night after night. It’s a testament to both the reputation of his restaurants and the quality of his team, showing that communities do support local businesses in difficult times.
When it comes to the future of his businesses, he has an unwavering belief that all things are possible and the journey is what counts not the destination. “I’m three years sober, I’ve learned a little about taking care of myself. Perspective is everything, things are allowed to suck. The world isn’t ending when you can still laugh hard, love hard and take care of each other.”
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