This is the most honest article I have read on this subject. I have owned a local pizza shop in Ohio since 1996(with a 4 yr hiatus in the middle). Even with the best staff I have ever had, my food is better, my shop is cleaner, and my customers' overall experience is better when I am in the shop the majority of it's hours. I tried to open a second shop in 1999 with a manager and it was a disaster.
Food service can be a difficult business...your people can make or break you. But at the end of the day, no one cares about your business like you do. As you grow, you need to rely on procedures more to accomplish what needs to be done. This can be effective, but can also strip the business of the love and care that once made it great. I am constantly debating with myself on the idea of expansion. We need more revenue, but changing the business too much from where it is now may make it a place I hate going to, and it just might sabotage it all in the end. It can be an intensely personal decision for an owner/operator who has put thousands of hours into one place. Not too many people these days can say they have put that much effort into one singular thing. The reticence of an owner can often be misunderstood by the public as something that it is not, like a fear of change, or stubbornness. It is a tough call and I hope it all works out for the best for Melt and Matt Fish as well as the others mentioned in this piece.