Be Happy J

Be Happy J 

During a recent visit to Szechwan East Restaurant, I met with owner Alfred Hsu.  Alfred gave me a tour of his beautiful restaurant.  He is very proud of the food, beverage, and service provided at his 5 star Chinese restaurant.   Ten years ago Alfred had a different profession, teaching mathematics.  He wasn't happy doing that.  He said, "in American you can be what you want to be" and what he wanted most was to "be happy".   He knew that eating good food and having nice beverages makes people happy.  So he decided to open up his dream restaurant.  Alfred's main concern is that his customers have a good time and enjoy themselves. 

 Located right in the heart of the Gold coast of Chicago, Szechwan East has many patrons from around the world and many barter customers.  Alfred told me what makes him unhappy is the way some of our barter clients have treated him.  He offers great food and drink at 100% trade in a beautiful restaurant in one of the nicest parts of Chicago.  He simply wants our clients to pay the sales tax and leave an appropriate tip for the wait staff.  He said,  "Some just don't pay the tax or tip.  You would think having a great place like mine to eat would make your clients "happy".

 "Why don't they want to pay the sales tax and leave nice tips?"  Most of Alfred's staff have been with him since opening day and know how to treat his patrons so they will be happy.  He also said that often times when he tries to buy from our vendors, some of them don't even return his calls or they charge unreasonable rates or want part in cash.  This doesn't make Alfred happy either.

 Many Art of Barter clients ask why we don't have more restaurants to eat at.  Stories like Alfred's are the main reason.   Be happy and be fair.  Restaurant dining on trade is a good thing.  Being unfair to the places you eat at is a bad thing.  Don't try and make a good thing better by cutting corners.  In the end you only hurt yourself and your fellow trading partners.  Do the right thing and you will see you'll have more places to choose from in the future. 

 I want to thank Alfred to the great buffet lunch I enjoyed during my visit. 

 Best regards,

Ron Szekeres

Art of Barter 609 E. Chicago St., Elgin, IL 60120-5760 

Tel. 847-214-5656 Fax 847-214-5657 Email:

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