I used to quote “The Godfather” as it applied to my restaurant career: “Every time I try to get out … they pull me back in.” In my thirties I went through burnout working in restaurant management. I took a break and went back to serving. Then I jumped back in. Then, in my forties, when I married my school teacher wife, Anita, I tried to get out by running a wine store because we never saw each other. Then, COVID hit during my 50s and I left the day-to-day of restaurant operations and started my coaching company.

It wasn’t that I wanted out of the restaurant business. In fact, I loved it. I loved the action of expediting on a crazy, busy Friday night. I loved running the door, playing a game to see how many guests I could seat. I loved curating cocktail and wine lists that wowed people. And mostly, I loved the interaction with my guests and my team as we truly cared for other human beings.

But, at some point, other things become more important. For me, that was my family. My son was born in 2019 and my whole focus shifted. I wanted to stay in hospitality, but I wanted to have more time with him and my wife. So, I started Monte Silva Coaching so that I could do both. And I now find myself writing, speaking, and hosting my own podcast.

When I was running restaurants as a GM and director of operations, my job was to care for my team, my guests, my vendors, my investors, and my community. As a restaurant coach today, it’s my job to care for my clients, their team, their guests and vendors, and their investors and community.

I still do the same thing. But, instead of doing it in the dining room or kitchen, I now do it from my home office and sometimes in their restaurant. But now I can walk downstairs to the kitchen and eat breakfast with my son. Sometimes I can take him to school or pick him up. Sometimes I can take my wife out for a three-hour lunch. And nights that I’m not traveling, I can tuck my son into bed and kiss him goodnight.

I’ve read several magazine articles about people not retiring but instead, starting a second career. I have the best of both worlds. I’ve started a second career but it’s still in the industry I love with the people I love. And now, I get to help my clients change the trajectory of their lives by helping them do what I’ve now done for over 25 years. And honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever retire from this new second career.

Whether you are a front-of-house manager or a chef. There is life after the kitchen or restaurant. People like me made the switch. And people like my friend, Christian J Fischer, are helping chefs do the same. After a career in running kitchens, Christian now owns about 15 companies including a publishing company, a mastermind training companies to help chefs write books and other inspiring projects. This article is dedicated to friends like Christian who have shifted how they serve the hospitality community.

If you want to know more, join us Friday at 1pm EST on my

Shift Happens LinkedIn Live Show as my co-host Callie Evergreen and I interview my good friend and mentor Christian by clicking the link below.


If you are a restaurant owner and you would like to book a FREE CALL to discuss one of my coaching programs click this link.


If you want a FREE COPY of my Hospitality Ebook click here.

Editor’s note: This is the 39th article in a new column from restaurant expert Monte Silva. More on the series can be found here. The first story, on Why Underpaying Restaurant Employees is a Recipe for Disaster, is here. The second, on Why Marketing is Not Expensive, is here. The third, on people-centric leadership, is here. The fourth, on Why Working 70-Hour Weeks in Your Restaurant is Not the Answer, is here. The fifth, on How to Provide Hospitality in a High-Tech, Low-Touch World, is here. The sixth, on ‘The Convertible Culture’ in Restaurants, is here. The seventh, on Why the Old P&L Model Has Set Restaurants Up for Failure,’ is here. The eighth, on How to Scale Your Restaurant Business When There is Only One of You, is here. The ninth article, The Secret to Finding and Keeping Great Employees is Not Difficult, is here. The 10th, What Culture Do You Really Want at Your Restaurant?, is here. The 11th, on Your Restaurant Should Serve People, Not Product, is here. The 12th, on Don’t Let Shiny New Toys Distract Your Restaurant from What’s Most Important, is here. The the 13th, on Why Restaurant Value Shouldn’t Be Based on Price, is here. The 14th, on The Case for Hyper-Focused Menus, is here. The 15th, This is How Your Restaurant Will Survive Beyond 3 Years, is here. The 16th, on The Difference Between a Restaurant Coach and Consultant, is here. The 17th, What is a Restaurant Tech Stack, and How Do You Know if You Built the Right One? is here. The 18th, You Can’t Make Someone Accountable if You Haven’t Made Them Responsible, is here. The 19th, Memo to Restaurants: Service and Hospitality are Not the Same Thing, is here. The 20th, Why a Penny Saved in a Restaurant is Not Always a Penny Earned, is here. The 21st, on Why You’re Never Too Old for Greatness, is here. The 22nd, Why Consistency is the Only Way to Keep Your Restaurant Open, is here. The 23rd, on The Restaurant Industry Doesn’t Have a Labor Shortage—It Has a Leader Shortage, is here. The 24th, Are Restaurant Employees Today Entitled? is here. The 25th, Should Hotels Rethink How They View Restaurants?, is here. The 26th, Five Priorities Operators Must Follow to Successfully Run a Restaurant, is here. The 27th, Why Your Restaurant Needs an ‘Abundance Mindset’ in 2024, is here. The 28th, You Can’t Run a Successful Restaurant Without Persistence, is here. The 29th, Why Investing in Yourself as a Leader is the Best Way to Grow Your Restaurant, is here. The 30th, Gaining Momentum and Why Restaurant Success Grows with Time, is here. The 31st, In Restaurant Leadership, How You Finish is More Important than How You Start, is here. The 32nd, Why Success in Controlling Labor is About Shaving Minutes, Not Cutting Servers, is here. The 33rd, What is a Beverage Program and How do You Develop a Great One?, is here. The 34th, on Why Upselling is Not Gouging if it is Enhancing the Guest Experience, is here. The 35th, on How Independent Restaurants Can Beat the Big Chains, is here. The 36th, on Is Dynamic Pricing Right for Your Restaurant? is here. The 37th, Disruption—Is Your Restaurant Ready for a Mind Shift?, is here. The 38th, Everything in Your Restaurant Levels Up to Your Leadership, is here. And the 39th, Micro-Management Versus People Development: There’s a Big Difference in Restaurants, is here.

Expert Takes, Feature, Labor & Employees