May 2008

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Where did this idiot go to journalism school? I bet he votes, too.

Just in case he reads this:

A PHB is a bad boss in a corporate environment, appointed to his position, and doing what he does for a living.

Not some rich douche pissing his money away at a hobby he does not know the first thing about (this is Scott's description in the article as I read it).

I would send him an e-mail, but I doubt he can read or comprehend the above.


Yo Scott, bring in Gordon Ramsay, observe him at close range, follow his advice, bring the restaurant into the black; then develop a Dilbert 'fixer' consultant character who becomes part of the regular strip cast. Win-Win-Win!!!

Joe Blow

An acquaintance owns a few restaurants. He is the nicest guy you'll ever meet. He knows it--that is why he has a manager that's a bull terrier, a real pain in the ass of a guy to work with. But guess what--his numbers rock.

What do you want? Numbers or touchy feely? My 2 cents worth: Just stick to drawing comics monkey-brain!



Keep putting off a decision until they cover the windows with paper. I can't wait the read the next article.



Pay the $50,000 for the window coverings. You can afford it and it is a win-win scenario. If you buy them and business increases (even a tiny bit) you can take credit for a bold, innovative management decision and perhaps later write a best selling book about the outcome "Light your way to Success".
If for any reason sales do not increase, simply claim that the idea was sound but the designer installed the wrong type of blinds.


Hey Mr. Adams,

I get the impression that you're being made fun of and even considered a little crazy.

Know then, that you're on the right track!

Keep tinkering - like a restaurant Thomas Edison - until you figure out how to make Stacey's on Waterford blow those chain gang restaurants out of the Water.

By the way, how's your landscaping at Stacey's? Awesome landscaping can make a world of difference, but I haven't seen any photos of your storefront, so maybe you've already got that nailed. Although, it did mention your store being in a strip maybe you've got ugly concrete out front and that's it.

Consult a landscape design or architecture professional and see if they can think of enticing additions to your storefront to help set a certain mood and grab attention.

I wish you more wealth and success.




It seemed pretty sympathetic, it's a good job it wasn't one of our UK tabloids doing a hatchet job on you ("and HE EATS BABIES!")


Love your work, and after reading the article, had to check out your blog. Something to consider for your restaurant... Use humor as a seasoning... not the main course...skip the ties...and as far as the lighting goes...have you considered window film that reflects the light (like on limo's?) You might even want to consider paying an artist (an up and coming artist would even be cheaper!) to paint the windows to suit your style. It would cut down some on the light and add mood to the room. It is also removable if you decide you hate it later. And as far as the staff's comments in the article about your management style...well, there is a lot to be said about a boss that is motivating, willing to learn, and trusts his employees to do their jobs. What are they complaining about as long as they get paid? They should be thankful you haven't closed the doors and opened up a Dilbert bobble head store. Tell your chef to quit worrying about your lack of experience and try cooking something your friends like, especially since they are the ones paying his salary. Damn whiners...


Thanks for posting this. I also saw it featured on My Yahoo page today. Your story really resonated with me - mixing business and blogging as well as for having a real conversation with your customers.

I wonder if are you familiar with Hugh MacLeod of gapingvoid: "cartoons drawn on the back of business cards" ( which is directly related to Stormhoek, a small South African vineyard (
Immediately while reading the NY Times article, the thought sparked for me that Stacey's at Waterford sounds like a great location for a Stormhoek Geek Dinner!


Have you considered putting stained glass in the front windows? It reduces the lighting and lets you set a mood. It also makes a nice purple cow that has nothing to do with Dilbert (unless you want it to).



Now the story is on Yahoo's front page. My only question is: so what? Yes, like everyone else on the face of the planet, Scott Adams is a hypocrite. Big deal. It's not news, let's move on.


At least you don't have pointy hair.... Maybe you could buy a hairpiece?
At least it would give your employees a chuckle.

jenn in canada

Why don't you get Gordon Ramsey to do Kitchen Nightmare with your restaurant? It will give you the promotions that you need, while his restaurant experience can be used to understand how best to run a restaurant business? When in doubt, get help.


I don't think it was a bad review at all. The reporter seemed to be trying to put you down, while at the same time reporting that you were putting yourself down before he even tried, and know your failings much better than he does.

I hope he was attempting to be satirical, but I fear he just made himself out to be a bit of a prat.

When I get crticism for not being perfect, I always like to bask in the knowledge that I am actually DOING something (instead of reporting it, maybe?). As you say, and I agree, "otherwise your life gets so small".


What are your objectives in the restaurant business? I'm thinking making them into cash cows was never your objective; otherwise you would probably have chosen an industry with a higher success rate.

Is your goal to own a couple nice, modestly successful restaurants where you are appreciated by regular customers and the staff? To me that's a healthy goal, and you'd be the kind of boss I'd like to work for (if I ever wanted to prostitute my pride serving tables).


I wish you the best, Scott. While the article had a few "below the belt" shots, I don't agree with all of it. I'm sure if anyone can turn around a restaurant that's losing money, it's you. You may be a PHB, now, but that's only temporary. I'm sure the ideas that the article alluded to (the ones you had that could revolutionize the restaurant), could work, if you put your skills to the test.

Just don't offer too many Dilbert-related items. It just... wouldn't be fair to someone like me who idolizes Dilbert, yet lives in North Carolina and has no way to go to California.


Make them do TPS reports :)


"He believes proper light is the primary factor in a restaurant’s success — not food, price, location, location or location."


I was one of the cheap bastards who pointed out your food was too expensive. Then you later posted something to explain how it was a special occasion type of restaurant. Then I was thinking that I'm a middle class software engineer and I MIGHT eat at that place once in my life... to propose... if it got insanely good reviews and my potential spouse had overtly expressed an interest in going there sometime. That could be ok. I guess you're going after a niche market. As long as your profit margin is high enough and if you manage to sort of corner that niche market, that might still work as a business plan.

Do you have a mariachi band? Maybe that's your problem.

New Mexi-cow

National Restaurant Association's daily e-mail blast put your link into my in box. Man, you have arrived. Good luck with the Mommy Mojito Mondays, and don't sweat that the chef thinks he knows more than you... training in those chef schools, especial the CIA, only train them how to spend the owner's money. The most important element with a successful dish is consistency, and even if the input came from a trusted friend (as opposed to the "friend" who you chatted up tableside once five years ago), then the info was probably spot on. Most of the time, there are less expensive methods and ingredients that still keep the quality high. A side of sauteed country potatoes made with Spuds from Safeway taste just as good when prepared correctly as the Peruvian Purple Potato, raised in the highland of the Andes and transported by beautiful maidens down ancient trails. And they cost less For a chef, it's all about the glory, for those of us running a restaurant, it's all about balancing the quality with the food costs!

Matthew Kovich

Perhaps you should hire a trusted friend to run the store, someone with more experience in that field?

I mean, the article was total propaganda, but since you've said yourself that restaurant management isn't your forte, perhaps you should delegate.


Restaurant Business Entry Widsom - Some years ago a friend and his wife who had a successful non-food business decided they wanted to open a restaurant as a family business. The sought the advice of a mutual friend who is very successful over many years with a small group of restaurants about entering the business. He told them to right him a check for $50,000 and forget the idea. This would limit their loss to $50,000 and save them from driving themselves nuts trying to make it work.

Sadly they went ahead and opened a restaurant that sucked up all their time, and lost money. They then found out that selling a resuarant that loses money is not as bad as they thought as long as they can find someone who has not been in the business that thinks or rather knows they make it work. $50,000 still would have been cheaper.

Samuel Proctor

What I found interesting about the article was the writer's obvious attempt to paint you in a certain way. It's as if he found out that you managed a restaurant, knew about the point-haired boss, and tried to get from A to B by any means possible. Still, great publicity!



Just read the NYT article. Notice how most bloggers and BS of the NYT assume the problem (is there a problem?) is internal? Assuming there is a problem, the first thing I would do is evaluate the competition. Set up a little rating sheet and visit and rate all of them. Might be a pricing thing, might just require an ambiance tweak. BTW - I a certified ambiance tweaker.




Hey Scott,

I'm enjoying your "Drawing Comics" book and have but one small suggestion for your next: see if you can get your publisher to create a dust jacket that looks like a technical manual. That way I can read a chapter now and then at work without the usual anxiety that goes with orange, blue and yellow dust jackets. And if you could get the typesetters to add a few bullits, the occasional bolded section head and some greyed out examples, my life would be much easier and that's what it is alllllll about (isn't it?)


(name withheld)

Leonard Skinner

I'm not sure I understand why there are so many comments on the 'negative story'.

Clearly, any reasonably aware child of the third millenium and the 'Reality TV' generation could have skewered Scott and left him twisting in the wind. Let's just assume that an NYT journalist would have that skill.

Given the setup of a faltering business (in an industry where failures are an overwhelming majority) and the anti-management tyro-manager, anything less than a complete gutting clearly shows a sympathetic and favorable review.

I think that those commenters who feel the story was some kind of negative review are completely off-base.

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