Bon Appétit


While I was visiting another state for a speaking engagement, I was talking with a gentleman who told me he was one of the top chefs at one of the most elite restaurants in all of the United States—and maybe the world. I joked with him that maybe my wife and I would go there and drop a couple hundred bucks. He laughed at me and said, “Dan, it’s pretty common—now get ready for this—it’s pretty common to have a couple come in on a weekly basis and spend at least $50,000 plus a 20 percent gratuity ON A MEAL!”

I initially thought I had misunderstood him. So, I asked him to repeat what he had just said. And when he repeated $50,000, my jaw dropped just a bit when I realized that would pay for pretty much all the cars sitting in my driveway! As I thought about it and got past thinking it was outrageous to spend that much money on a meal, I realized that it’s all about perspective. If you make a couple million dollars a year, is that amount really shocking?

Sometimes, I feel like the things I do for my family are a little exorbitant. We’ve gone out to a local restaurant and easily dropped $100, which leaves me thinking that was an expensive meal. Someone else, who barely has food on their table, might think of me dropping $100 on a meal the same way I think of someone who drops $50,000. Again, it comes back to perspective.

The important thing is that we learn to be content in all situations no matter how much we can or can’t afford to spend on breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I asked this gentleman if the people who spent this kind of money at the restaurant looked happy. Although he can’t say for sure, he replied that very often they don’t look as happy as we think they should be having that kind of money to spend.

I would challenge you to make sure that you are not chasing $50,000 dinner plates but instead are grateful for whatever you do have today. Suddenly, a thick, juicy steak off my backyard grill sounds quite appealing. Bon Appétit!