Father’s Day is that one day we set aside every year to honor our dads. At Fahrenheit BBQ, however, we honor fathers all year long by integrating the many life principles our dads taught us into our business. You see, we know that times spent with our dads, like fishing trips, vacations, and family dinners, provided us with more than just great memories. We know our dad used these times to teach us valuable life lessons.
Back then, we thought our dads knew everything. Now as adults, we’re sure he knew it all. In fact, our dads’ commitment to sharing his wisdom with us has eased us through the rough times and pushed us onwards to build a successful BBQ business. Our dads gave us more than just a passion for the art of barbecue — he also taught us these five crucial life lessons that formed us into who we are today.
“All Good Things Take Time”
Just like good barbecue, the things in life that we really value tend to also take the most amount of time. Growing up, we always wished that time would move just a little bit faster. Whether it was wanting to play with the older kids in the neighborhood or waiting year after year to be tall enough for the “big kid” rides at the State Fair. To this day, I can still hear dad saying, “all good things take time.”
Over the last three years of running a barbecue restaurant, nothing has been truer. Waiting sixteen hours to pull off a rack of ribs or brisket sure does seem like a long time. But through the process, we have learned that it’s worth every single minute.
We all learned the virtue of patience from our dad as he would constantly watch over the BBQ with diligence and care. He taught us that haste would only lessen the quality of the finished product. Just like dad knew that our potential would come together over time, we now try our best to not only enjoy that perfect bite of brisket but the process as well.
“Always be Prepared”
When we first started Fahrenheit, we underestimated the amount of wood that “The Beast” (our smoker), would consume in order to fuel the restaurant. Being caught flat-footed, unable to fuel the smoker during the middle of the week, brought back another one those fatherly moments. We could hear our dad saying, “Did you take any time to prepare at the start of the week?”
This lesson always held true on family camping trips where dad would diligently plan, as packing the family car for a weekend in Yosemite was one of the biggest tasks of the week. But without fail, when a lantern went out in our campsite, dad always had an extra mantle to fix the problem.
Always being prepared isn’t an easy thing, but taking that extra time at the start of the week has helped make our restaurant run smoother and is a lesson that we would have never learned if it wasn’t for dad.
“Balance is Key”
Life can often feel like a balancing act—trying to find harmony between work and play. Both add flavor to our lives, but when they fall out of balance they can cause a bit of distaste just like a poorly seasoned rack of ribs. Fathers seem to always know when our lives are out of balance. They tend to understand the different spices or aspects of our lives and know best how to help us come up with that perfect blend.
Dad always said, “There is nothing better than a perfectly seasoned rack of ribs. The balance of sweet, smoke and spice is something to always strive to attain.” As we look back on dad this Father’s Day, we cannot help but think about his wisdom and the valuable lessons he taught us about finding balance in all that we do, including our famous ribs.
“A Little Hard Work Never Hurt Anybody”
When we were born, our dads probably thought that out of all our gifts, we might be missing a few ingredients. Nevertheless, it was their job to shape us into an award-winning recipe to reach our full potential. Our ability to grow, learn and thrive came through the hard work and determination that Dad always showed. From long hours at work to their patient, teaching moments, dads never seem to shy away from the hard work of raising kids.
In our kitchen, cooking items from scratch entails a lot of the same hard work, and although it might be easier to reach for the can of cheese rather than making the macaroni & cheese from scratch, we have always believed that a little bit of extra work makes all the difference. Our dad imparted these old-world values and solidified our belief in doing things the traditional way at our restaurant.
“When Life Gives you Lemons, Make Lemonade”
Every Fall, we would get a cord of firewood delivered to our front yard. And each year, like clockwork, we couldn’t help but dread the amount of work that it was going to take to stack and put away all of this wood. But unlike us, Dad always had a different outlook on stacking firewood. He looked at the task at hand as an opportunity to bond with us, and in doing so, made it a fun experience. Although we may not have loved the manual labor of having to stack the wood, by the time we were done we always had a new memory with our dads, bonding over our differences in music and the way we’d like to arrange the pieces of wood.
Our fathers often tell us, “attitude is everything,” and this has become more evident as we have gotten older. In reality, the only thing we get to control is the way we look at a situation, not necessarily the things that happen to us. When faced with a hard task or a chore that we didn’t want to do as little kids, it was always our Dad’s that pushed us to make lemonade, to find the fun in it and get it done. Just like lemons are tart, sometimes there are tasks around the restaurant that aren’t always enjoyable. We try and work as a team to make the most of every task. It’s amazing how a little bit of sugar and lemon juice can make great lemonade, the same way a little bit of optimism in a task can make it more enjoyable. Our dads always pushed us to see the best in situations and as we were able to do that, we learned to enjoy the struggle.
Our Father’s Teach Valuable Life Lessons
While we will never forget the fun times with our dads, it is these lessons, and much more that he taught us over the years, that have molded us. We use these treasured lessons of patience, preparedness, balance, perseverance, and optimism in everything we do from raising our own families to treating our customers right to developing the perfect seasoning for our ribs. These are the values that will stay with our families for generations to come.
So, to all the dads out there teaching their kids these valuable life lessons and to the grandfathers that passed down these timeless lessons to them— thank you for all you do. From our family to yours, Happy Father’s Day!