We had the good fortune of connecting with Josh Morgan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Josh, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
The supreme balancing act we all strive to perfect between work and our personal lives is something that is at the forefront of my mind on a daily basis. We are all human, and as such, we all have different variables and factors that affect us on both mental and spiritual levels. With that said, it’s impossible to preach a “blueprint” if you will for work-life balance that applies to everyone. Certain industries and careers require tremendous attention and can take a toll on our mental health. My own career in the Hospitality industry is no exception. Quality of life is the key for me, ensuring I have two consecutive days off and trying to delegate enough responsibilities to prevent me from being forced to cram 50+ hours of work into a 5-day work-week is a priority. I’m a big believer in working smart. Surrounding yourself with a good team filled with other like-minded individuals who share your sense of urgency, organization and attention to detail can really make a huge impact on the stresses of work. A great team also provides you with peace of mind when you are enjoying your days off or on a much-needed vacation. Too many times have I seen really hard-working people with the best intentions who get burned out, simply due to the fact that they hyper-focus on the task at hand and place that responsibility on themselves along with all the stress that it entails. Every day a budding restaurateur falls victim to the stress and relentless demands of the business because they fail to invest in their people. I am extremely lucky and beyond grateful not only to my own team, but the individuals who share the same mindset and allow me to come to work everyday feelings refreshed and sane, allowing me to be the best version of myself and further the business.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been managing restaurants for Legends Tavern & Grille for the last decade, starting in my early 20’s while I was pursuing a degree in Psychology. After college, I connected more with the brand and the people than with any potential job opportunity I approached after school. Starting with one restaurant and doing so on the very first day had an immense risk attached to it, so much so that internally I associated my job as temporary and fleeting, believing that it was a “stepping stone” in life and I was bound for greater things. As time went on and my experience and knowledge began to grow, I dove into niches of the business such as craft beer. Once the relationship started with craft beer and we started opening more locations, the potential of long-term success became a much bigger driving force for me professionally. Understanding that, the feelings I had transformed into a mindset of, “I’m getting good at this, I believe in what we are doing, and I want to find out where this road takes us.” As awesome and empowering it is to feel that sense of permanence in your career and feeling that spark of inspiration; it is definitely not without it’s own bevy of hardships. The restaurant industry is notorious for failure, turn-over and in almost every aspect, is quite unforgivable. Managing the business requires many unique skills that not all people possess. In my personal opinion, the most successful Managers are the ones with the best stress tolerance. Understanding that Hospitality has a year-over-year turnover rate of over 70% accounts for a great deal of stress. In a customer-service driven field, hiring quality candidates, training them effectively and providing them with the tools to succeed is a delicate process already. Couple that with the ever-present notion of repeating this cycle religiously and then relying on these professionals to be the primary face that your guests interact with can prove a challenge at times. On the flip side, I think most Hospitality professionals will agree with me that even while it may be temporary for most, working in this industry is something that everyone should experience at some point in their lives. Serving others is a special thing and while not everyone is built for it, the experience alone of being on this side of the business would be eye-opening to a lot of people. Tip your servers and bartenders, don’t be a jerk, and if there’s anything wrong; ask for a Manager! We’d love to correct things and make it right instead of finding out later on a review that could’ve saved you time and energy.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I’m obviously biased so I’d show them the Legends Tavern & Grille locations in Deerfield Beach, Lighthouse Point and our newest one in Pompano Beach for starters. Other than that, craft breweries and great! Barrel of Monks in Boca Raton, Gulfstream and Invasive Species down in Ft. Lauderdale are always perfect spots for a few beers. With the state of the world right now, I’m interested to see how it changes the landscape of attractions down here in South Florida.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A big shout-out to my Mom, Dad & Sister for always believing in me and my efforts. My beautiful girlfriend Sophia, who puts me back together after a long stressful week and to my wonderful co-workers that make this journey fun and rewarding.
Sarah Morgan, Legends Tavern & Grille