Stick with me…
You arrive at the best restaurant you’ve ever been to. You were here many moons ago for a special occasion that escapes your memory. You’ve thought about it for the last couple years, every time you go out to eat. You’ve had many good meals in the space between last time and now. You’ve had a couple terrible meals and a couple excellent meals as well. But this time…walking through the oversized wrought iron doors…somehow elegant and cold and jarring at the same time…this time is different. This time you’ve been invited to The Chef’s Table.
You didn’t even know about The Chef’s Table. Not last time. Not in the space between. The information of its existence only came to you a few days before your arrival, your invitation delivered by carrier pigeon. Maximum of 6 guests…bring some friends or family…but only the ones you truly care about. A brief questionnaire has been included. Allergies- any in Your Group? This helps to set the absolute limits of what can be done. General likes and dislikes- The Chef may challenge you with some Ingredients, but only within the framework of how adventurous you are, and The Chef will be sure to work in some of your favorites. This is going to be special…You’ve heard whispers of experiences like this, exclusive…too exclusive for you? Expensive? Too expensive for you? How do you really define the cost of something like this? If you’d have even known about it, all this time, you would have at least considered it.
The Team greets you warmly… “Hi. Good Evening…BUENOS NACHITOS! (an inside joke from when you were here 4 years ago…how did The Team remember?!) We are so excited you could come. We are ready for you.” The Team whisks you and your guests through the entry, through the dining room, through the prep station, and into a bustling corner of the kitchen. A sparse mahogany table and 6 comfortable chairs are set here. No plates. No silverware. No trappings. A white napkin folded into a simple triangle is the only interruption in a sea of dark wood. Each Dish will come meticulously prepared, with the proper utensil. Each Dish will come with a deep understanding and plain English description of the world class Ingredients used to achieve the success of the Dish. This is about the final products- The Ingredients. The Dishes. The Experience.
The Chef approaches your table with a small team of servers and culinary specialists- “12 courses tonight…Shall we…?” The Chef says with a slightly angled smile.
The Team and the service- attentive without being intrusive, truly and deeply caring about every facet of your experience, simply unmatched. The Chef whips around the kitchen with a measured yet frenetic pace. The Team intertwines around The Chef, almost as if they are all part of one giant octopus….8 arms going in every direction and somehow the same direction…how do they do it?! It’s as if they can sense your needs before you even knew you had a need. A little extra water after that course…this one is a little salt forward and it helps to cleanse the pallet. Wet wipes for the table after that one…sweet, savory, salty, and STICKY! Silverware would not have done it justice. The Chef has been relatively quiet to this point.
The Chef and The Ingredients-execution and availability- As the Dishes continue to roll out, The Chef starts to engage more with Your Group. He discusses the process of selecting each Ingredient. Not just which Ingredients go where, but where they came from, and why The Team chose them. The background and history of each Ingredient. The seasonality and rarity of every morsel. The reasons behind why each Ingredient, in each Dish, was chosen to suit Your Group, full of different Tastes.
The Chef, The Team, and The Communication- If your group has a question about research, availability, ranges of expected outcomes for the Dish, what secondary plans are in effect if a Dish doesn’t seem to be working out, or the power goes out, or certain Ingredients aren’t up to the unbelievably high bar set by The Team…ask The Chef- the person who can immediately affect the Ingredients that are a part of your Dish. Not a culinary robot at a 1-800 number. Not an employee of a cafeteria slugging out the same regurgitated slop to every person unfortunate enough to trudge through their line. And certainly not some Short Order Cook, pretending to be The Chef- fresh out of training working for a high volume-low quality chain restaurant (where the motto is- “We promise to provide mediocre everything and charge and charge you more!”)
The Reason-Passion-Obsession- Someone asks near the end of the experience- “Chef what drives you to provide this type of over the top service and experience? Why do you continue to research and refine the Ingredients and the Dishes? Eventually, isn’t it simply good enough?” The Chef responds- “Everything you see here is mine. The successes and failures all directly impact me, my family, and my staff’s well-being. If you are not happy, I don’t simply get fired, I stand to lose everything. There is a massive difference between being the owner of a world class organization and being an employee. When I wake up every morning, I get to come to work and do the things that I am best at, in order to present highly customized Dishes to a very small number of people who I genuinely care about. Nothing is ever good enough for me. There is no “auto-pilot”. I realized some time ago that I have two choices-deliver excellence or quit, and I have chosen excellence. I have had to risk everything, multiple times, to get to a place where I can deliver true excellence.”
Now in your mind (or grab a pen), go re-read:
- Replace The Chef and The Team with Breandan and Catherine
- Replace Ingredients with Investments
- Replace Dish with Portfolio
- Replace Tastes with Goals
Fort Myers Wealth Management clients, our clients, our friends and family, our happy place, our obsession... you are all at The Chef’s Table. We hold ourselves to an unimaginably high standard (ask Catherine) and we hope that you do too. We will always strive to deliver singular excellence in research, planning, execution and communication. If we fail you, we fail completely. I highlight this today to make you aware, your friends and family are almost certainly eating cafeteria food at best…or worse- a Short Order Cook at a high volume-low quality chain (most Big Corporation advisors- they don’t research the food, don’t cook the food, don’t give a flying “you know what” about the food…and they sure as hell don’t eat there!), selling them things that may be contaminated, because it has the highest profit margin for the Big Corporation.
Very few of the people in your life have a real plan in place to protect their investments. They think they do… because they’ve been reassured over the last decade by their Kitchen Manager, and by the longest bull market ever… that should anything ever start to look shaky, they shouldn’t worry because BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. There is no investment in place now, designed to positively influence their portfolio in the event of a downturn.
I’m not simply slinging mud (but with an arm like this, ya’ gotta uncork it every now and then). I will be reaching out to some ex-clients from the recent past to invite them to learn more about FMWMG. I wanted to let all our current clients (loyal family, friends, happy place) know, ahead of time. I don’t know that I will invite them to join us, in the end, nor do I know if they will even be interested in hearing about us (always shocking to see how many people choose ignorance in order to maintain status quo). We are accepting, roughly 30-ish more households to join us, at the firm, as clients. I wanted to make you aware of the invitations going out.
If you have friends or family who need real financial planning and portfolio management- invite them to join us at FMWMG (The Chef’s Table) now. Once someone’s portfolio has food poisoning it might be too late, and once we are at capacity- we are at capacity. Seating is limited. No standing room.
Breandan Kelly is the Founder and CEO of Fort Myers Wealth Management Group. He has over two decades of experience working in the financial industry. He is focused on improving client outcomes through enriching client education and understanding client expectations. Breandan believes that pursuing an active risk management strategy is the best way for clients to pursue their goals. Schedule a complimentary call with Breandan at fmwmg.as.me/call.