Cafe Gratitude does business through a practice we call “Sacred Commerce.” We view our restaurants as environments to not only serve healthy food, but also training grounds to practice seeing our lives from a perspective of gratitude. We believe that we are the source of our experience in life, not the circumstances. We train our staff to practice putting their attention on the outcome they wish to create for themselves, whether it is work related or personal. We believe in honest and direct communication with our co-workers, and encourage our staff to support one another, make strong and clear requests, and always take 100% responsibility. Above all, we celebrate life and invite our community of guests to join us in creating a world that is sustainable, compassionate and abundant for all.
Cafe Gratitude has a practice we call “Clearing.” Each day after our team members arrive at work and have punched in for the day they sit down with another co-worker and engage in a brief “clearing” process. This entails two questions. The first question is geared toward personal reflection. For example, “What do you say you don’t have enough of?” Each person answers this question and is then asked what they feel like when their attention is there. In other words, what is their emotional experience? After this is answered, they are thanked for sharing and then each person is asked the “question of the day”. The second question is something affirming that supports being present. For example, “What are you grateful for?” To complete the process each person acknowledges one another, and the experience is often one of deeper connection and appreciation.
What’s the point?
We invest our time and money into the clearing process because we believe and have seen the positive effects in the workplace. For starters, this creates stronger bonds between our team and teaches us that our thoughts have power and we always have the ability to shift our attention. If we pretend for a moment that our life is a picture of our mind, then where do we want to put our attention? Do we want to focus on what is missing, or do we want to celebrate what is working ?
Secondly, this process allows our staff to clear the air before they serve our guests. We believe the best way to create an inspiring and empowering environment is to actually be inspired. Giving each staff member a few minutes to be grounded and create their intention for their shift leads to a happier staff and thus happier guests.
Lastly, we end the clearing process with acknowledgement because in our experience, in any relationship (personal or professional), acknowledgment is the first thing that stops happening. We get used to one another and come to expect certain characteristics (good and bad) from each other. Keeping appreciation and reverence in the workplace is vital to a productive and inspired staff in service to our customers.
We list our menu items in the form of an affirmation so each person can practice affirming great qualities in themselves. Whether we realize it or not, we are surrounded by affirmations and are always affirming something. Usually they are in the form of self-criticism. Something similar to; “I am …..lazy, lost, tired, stupid, crazy etc.” Most often these types of affirmations are repeated to ourselves silently over years or a lifetime. Cafe Gratitude is a place to play with this idea, to practice saying something positive, silly or even weird. We know it can be uncomfortable, especially at first, or in a public environment. We are okay with discomfort, we invite you to have fun with it.
Question of the Day?
Have you ever come to Cafe Gratitude and been asked if you want to hear the question of the day? Did you say suspiciously,” What’s that?” or perhaps just think it! Well, here is what it is.
The Question of the Day is a question that we ask guests. This question is designed to invite our guests to have new conversations or to bring their attention into the present moment. Something like, “What is blessed about your life?” or “What do you have an abundance of?” This is our invitation for you to acknowledge something that is great about your life. You may choose to answer the question or not. Sometimes your server will invite you to answer amongst yourselves, or if you want to share with her or him, to listen. Both are fine with us. Remember you’re in a place called Cafe Gratitude. We couldn’t help but ask…..
To dive deeper into these practices and try them on for yourself please visit our EVENTS/WORKSHOP page.