There’s a restaurateur here whom I came to like and admire very much over the last few years. He and his wife retired from the U.S. and opened what became a very popular tavern/restaurant. He’s just one of several expatriates I’ve met in Sint Maarten. It can be a daring move for anyone, and a number of these folks seem to be retirees, so they’re gambling with their savings and security.
Sometimes these gambles pay off. Many times they don’t. I’ve seen both instances a number of times. If you put together a menu that people want, and if the food is good, and you can hire as many of the right people as you possibly can, that’s a formula for success. A major problem in Sint Maarten, as far as I can tell, is the labor law that seems to require an excess of personnel, many of whom are just biding their time, collecting their paychecks.
I’m not saying this is unique to Sint Maarten. I’ve had the misfortune of supervising a number of “employees” like that right here and I’ve told more than one not to let the door hit them in the back. Nevertheless, when you have this excess of personnel, my expectation is that no customer should ever be ignored or have to wait for service.
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