Masthead Image

Excerpts - Cattleman’s Restaurant

From Role Playing 1  School Talk 2
From two places on the tape

[Some of you know and some of you don’t that my teacher once ran a restaurant as an esoteric school using the teaching ideas.  He made reference to it on many occasions in workshops.  I wanted to refer to it many times; but couldn’t find it.  So I am adding this excerpt; not only for reference, but should you want to experiment with it in your business.  We, as the Reflections band, did experiment with this enthusiasm even though one in the band was not aware of the teaching ideas.  People still come up to me with comments of how much fun they had with the band during those years…………Marsha]

Here is where he starts talking about the restaurant in the “Role Playing” workshop……..

Howard was with me on one experiment where we set up a restaurant way out in the country--never ran an ad, never made an announcement that we were open.  We never put a sign on the building nor on the entrance to it; and it was 35 miles from a town and out a dirt road at that--in the middle of a horse lot after you got out on the dirt road.  There was not a sign or anything that said we were there; yet we did over 2 ¼ million worth of business in a year.  Now the only thing we did do was to see that everybody that worked there had to act enthusiastic.  That’s all!  They had to have a good mood—we defined good as enthusiastic, pleasant, and delightful to be around.

Now the staff acted this way, and people came from—well, we had a guest book; and I don’t think there was a country in the world we didn’t have somebody’s name on it.  One man came in one night and said, “I was referred to come here, could you guess where?”  I said “No.”  He said, “In the airport in Zurich, Switzerland, a man told me that if I ever got to El Paso, to be sure to come out here to this restaurant.’

So the only thing that we could claim was that we treated people awful nice and also gave them good food and good service with consistency when they got there.  But for them to get there, there were no ads, no signs; no nothing other than in the place was enthusiastic.  So we know that it can have an affect on people up to 45 miles away, because they got there; and the only way they knew to get there, is that right?  There was nobody told them.  We made no announcements, we run no ads, we put up no signs, we made no billboards—no nothing, so they got there.  So the enthusiasm had to at least have a drawing affect for 45 miles away—at least that far, ok?  So all we did was act on this enthusiasm.

Now, let’s say that each of us begin to act enthusiastic today.  Do you think that everything around you and everything in you’re environment, all your affairs would undergo somewhat of a change.

(They will.)

How about that?  What about you?  Think there’ll be some change?

(If you’re motivated and if you’re……)

Well, that’s “if” you’re motivated is--you know I hear about motivation a lot.  Basically, I haven’t figured out what it is unless it’s just simply put that I want to.  So if I want to do something, I can always do it.  So my motive is I want to.  Do you want to act enthusiastic?

So I highly recommend role playing:  And let’s choose a conscious role knowing that there are only three elements in the role playing--these three right here.  Now that’s not so hard to do—to think, act, and feel.  You put all three of them in to work in playing your role.

In you’re enthusiastic role, you would think enthusiastic; you would act enthusiastic and you sure would automatically feel enthusiastic and when that’s around other people, they do things for you and they break their necks to get near you—they come from all over.

A couple of weeks ago, I was down in Austin Texas giving a talk on the weekend to a lot of people; and one man kept looking at me and he said, “Hey, didn’t you used to be in El Paso?”  I said I had been thee.  He said, “Did you run the Cattleman’s Steak House.”  I said, “I was there”.  He said that was the most wonderful place I ever went, and I never felt so good in all my life.  I used to go not because I was hungry—just because I wanted to feel good.  And I always took all my out of town guests there because they sure felt good and everybody talked how good they felt there.

Now that was only from having about 65 people playing the role of being enthusiastic.  That’s all it really was.  It was having about 65 enthusiastic people, because it took about 65 people to run the thing any night we had it open.  It took about 65 people; and with all of them acting and playing the role of being enthusiastic, it rubbed off on everybody that came near the place and their still talking about it, ok?

So it’s a pretty good stunt to play; and what’s to keep you from doing it?--absolutely nothing I can think of except inertia.  Just plain old inertia--I don’t want to move so I won’t do anything, huh?  That about right?

(That is it.)

That’s about it.  The only thing that can prevent it from going on is just plain old inertia.  Nothing at all that would prevent us from doing it.

[More about Cattlemen’s Restaurant from someone who was doing a fundraiser.]

Tape 145 from Donna Lancaster

So your looking for what is to blame for the situation in revenue not coming in, is that right?  You see you need revenue, is that right?  And then you see that everything would be all right. 

(Well, it would work much better.)

So you know what “ought to be”.  Number 1 ‘it should be this” and you know “what you need to get that is this”, is that correct? 

I’m going to give you a fundraising stunt if you want it. 

First off, you don’t know what you need and you don’t know what ought to be, but you do know what you have.  You got kids coming in here that profit from the service you deliver. 

Are you thankful they’re coming?


Ok let’s put this up here.  “I am thankful (instead of I am worried).  Over here you put I am concerned.

Now when you’re concerned, aggravated, you’re now in the “dumpies” a little bit—your mood’s down, huh?

So can you start with being thankful?  Are you enthusiastic and thankful that you have the wonderful number of dedicated people you do have? 


Ok, let’s tell ‘em so.  I’m very thankful that every one of you are here and that you’re dedicated enough to work for 1/3 what you’re worth to be here. 

And so then we’re thankful and we know that we can do some very worthwhile work, so we have some enthusiasm.

Now enthusiasm is called the fire of the Gods.  That’s where the word originated.  If you have some enthusiasm and thankfulness, I’ll make you a guarantee sir. - that you’ll raise the mood up to a reasonable degree of thankfulness and enthusiasm going in this building at all times about the fact that the kids do come.  That you do have the wonderful nucleus of dedicated people that will work for almost nothing to be here.

I’ll guarantee you’ll have more funds coming in than you know what to do with. 

But if you wait until the funds come to get enthusiastic, I’ll give you another guarantee that you’ll never see them, ok.  Does that answer your question?

So the first thing when we go to work every day is to get everybody’s mood up.  Now somebody comes in down in the dumpies, and it’s easy to see, we say, “Go out back and put it in the trash barrel.”  And if they say they can’t leave it in the trash barrel, say “Go home”.  So nobody can work unless they feel a bit “hooked”.  (The word “hooked” was garbled, but I think that’s what it was.)  Hooked means you are at least thankful, preferably enthusiastic.  If you aren’t thankful, don’t come near me because you will set off a mood that people 45 miles away feel it before they leave home and don’t come.  Enthusiasm and thankfulness draws people like flowers draw bees.  Now can you put that out, sir? 

Now every morning when you come to work the first thing is that everybody is thankful that the facility is available as well as it is. 

(It’s the best facility in the state.)

That I know.  You have the finest facility.  You got some very dedicated people that are willing to work for less money than they’re worth.  You’re really dedicated people or you wouldn’t work for that kind of loot.  I told Darrell I’d rather give it away. 

But when you have that kind of dedicated people here, then I think the people have a lovely facility, you have people coming who need the services that you can deliver.  I’m thankful they have a place to come—I don’t care if it’s one or twenty—it’s better than none at all.  Mama told me to always be thankful for one slice of bread instead of “gritching” because I didn’t have the whole loaf.   But I’ll tell you that if you will build the enthusiasm and the thankfulness as an attitude, I will guarantee you’ll have more funds than you know what to do with.   I don’t know where they come from, but I know they’ll be there. 

(He refers to the Cattleman’s Restaurant he started which was out in nowhere.)

It’s just like I don’t know where those people came from out there in the sand hills at the restaurant where you can’t hear of something being out there.  There’s not another thing on that highway for 30 some odd miles on that dirt road out there, but they come in droves.  We served over 40,000 people in three days.  Gobs of them couldn’t even get in the house or the parking lot down below the walk up.

(That’s a fantastic story.)

Well, we went to look at this place out in the middle of the sand hills that a guy built for a club for horse back riders, and there was no horseback riders using it, so they decided to do something else with it.

Bill said to me, do you think we could make a go of it.  So it took us about six weeks to get it all put together.  We went to work with only people, who were students of the teaching, and they came from all over the country, and they worked on a percentage basis.  We didn’t know if we were going to have money for payroll.  We opened it without an announcement, without a sign—and it still doesn’t have a sign on it—incidentally. 

We had some people the first night and the second night was more and in a week we were jammed, and in three or four weeks it was needing more space, and in two months took over the whole building and it we’ve added additions on five times.  We desperately need another dining room at this time.  We did over a million dollars in volume the first year, a million and a half the second year and this year is about four million dollars. 

It’s all done with four little things I just gave you.

!.  Do the best job you can with your product or service.
2.  See that the mood is up at all times.  If someone is down in the “dumpies” fighting with husband or boyfriend then go home.  Come back in as a bundle of joy. 

The feeling here is what keeps people coming back, ok?

Now most of the time we’re short of the number of people—the ideal of what ought to be—that here will be one waitress for four tables.  Sometimes there are two waitresses for 18 tables.  But it always gets done. 

You have a wonderful service and dedicated people willing to work for whatever’s coming in, and how much are you thankful every day, or do we look at it through the ideal of what ought to be and see we’re functioning with too short a staff without sufficient funds, people don’t care and there we go.

Now let’s wipe off this what “ought to be” and be “thankful for what you do have”.  I’m thankful the facility is here.  I’m thankful you have this wonderful bunch of people who are willing to work for the insignificant salaries.  And I’m thankful you’re on the ball to get things together and see that it goes.

I don’t know where the funds will come from but they will be there if the minimum attitude you will have for yourself is being thankful and you’d just as soon be enthusiastic.

Addition from “Freedom” Workshop in 6/80
What happened to the restaurant when they left?

Miss Dianna. Sittin’ out there worked with us when we set up a big experiment opening a fancy restaurant miles out in the country—no paved road, no sign, not a sign on the building nor on the highway—and we determined to see if we could bring people there with moods alone.  And how did it do?

(Couldn’t hear response, but am quite sure that she talked about it being very busy.)

If you go by today, there is still no sign to indicate that there’s a restaurant or anything.  There’s just a big old building sitting out there with a large parking lot.  Now the mood is not the same; and so half of it is closed down and half the tables are out so it doesn’t look so empty.  And the parking lots not full.  We used to have two cowboy’s out there riding horses to help you park your car.  Sometimes they were parked way out in the “boonies”.   But this was all done with establishing a mood.  It was the most pleasant feeling place you ever walked in—and nobody knew why.  The food was good, but it wasn’t anything that you couldn’t get somewhere else.  The good mood drew people from all over the world. 

So it is highly contagious.  So if you want to have something going, have a good mood going.  If you have a good mood going, everything works out great.