We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Watson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
When I first bought Dream Dinners four years ago I threw myself into the business. I consumed myself in learning the business. Studied other stores that were having success. Watched food trends. You name it and I probably tried it. What I realized over time was that I completely burnt myself out, my marriage was starting to have some real issues (mainly because I wasn’t emotionally available), my three kids were making decisions without me (not all good decisions) and my health was not all that (I’d gained weight and stopped exercising). So I took a step back and regrouped. I dug deep into what exactly I wanted and what makes Lisa happy. I empowered my employees to make decisions. I set realistic goals that employees could achieve. When I left the store or finished in my office I ended my Dream Dinners day. I stopped working 24/7. I went back to Sundays being family day (instead of working). I scheduled time with my kids. They are older now so meeting for lunch is a great way to connect. And I took back my health. I’m much much happier. I sleep great and I feel completely balanced. My staff is amazing and definitely embrace the Dream Dinners mission. Simplify Simplify Simplify.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What sets Dream Dinners apart specifically my store is my staff. They go above and beyond to assist our guests. Make new guests feel welcome and literally invite each person into the Dream Dinners family. Staci Todd is our Sales Manager. She has delivery items to guests homes, talked through the menu with folks so they could customize their meals, stayed after hours and arrived early to accommodate guests schedules. Our Operations Manager Charlotte Towne is always coming up with new product to bring to our guests. While she “acts” a little grumpy about some of Staci’s wild requests I can assure you Charlotte and her staff have never missed a beat to accomplish the requests. In all honest the majority of my staff has been with me since the beginning. Cathy Hunter our behind the scenes gal keeps us all focused. Her attention to detail is impressive and annoying at the same time (she keeps us accountable). Cathy keeps our Social Media exciting with tips, menu suggested and creative articles. So when asked what am I most proud of “it’s my staff”. They are family to me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Some of my best days in Texas have been hanging out in Galveston on the beach. Eating local seafood, drinking wine and enjoying the fantastic sunsets. Another favorite is going to the Galleria area for some shopping, Looking at all the unique housing architecture through River Oaks then finishing off at Maggiano’s restaurant. What trip to Texas wouldn’t be complete without visiting Austin. Walking through the fun rustic shops. Stopping at local vineyards and brew pubs. The food is spectacular with a huge favorite of flavors.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Hands down my dedication would be my husband Colin. From the moment I mentioned buying Dream Dinners he was supportive. I took a huge loan out to purchase which he agreed to without question. Every time I’ve questioned myself he says believe in yourself. You have the skills. He doesn’t understand all aspects of the demands of being self employed, or food costs or even why the smallest details are important to me however he doesn’t need to in the big picture. He just needs to continue to let Lisa be Lisa. I was taught early on that food heals the soul, friends gather around food to learn more about each other and families are built by spending dinnertime around a table.
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