November — If you were an astrologer rather than a restaurant professional, you would currently be compelled to consider the approaching square of Saturn to Pluto. The right angle aspect of these two planetary bad boys in the respective signs of Libra and Capricorn has even the most optimistically inclined stargazers hunkered down in their wine cellars. The last historical occurrence of this exact pattern, which suggests a violent confrontation between the vested establishment and the more radical forces of change, transpired at the advent of the American Revolution.
Okay, so that’s way too heavy for restaurant commentary. Yet it is certainly true that the restaurant industry can and should never forget its role in creating and serving the cultural zeitgeist. The question smart restaurateurs will ask themselves this month, especially folks involved in marketing, is how is the public best served when everyone has consumed too many sweets and the result is a coerced trip to the dentist?
As harsh as this may sound, the question is not a hopeless one. However painful they may be, successful trips to the dentist (or successfully fought revolutions) do an essential reparative job of stripping away decay. And there is much in the planetary symbolism this month to suggest a literal approach to this figurative situation. Sun exactly conjunct Ceres indicates that this is the optimum time for the elevation of all that is fresh, pure, wholesome and natural…along with a message oriented towards the restaurant industry’s creative participation in the reparation of the damage done by bad dietary habits.
For all of this, though, the really smart restaurateur will consider the healthy roots of the restaurant industry as one of the public’s favorite forms of escape. Life for most folks needs a little bit of magic carpet right now, and this state of mind is rarely satisfied by calorie counts and efficient delivery systems. When the whole world looks to the consumer as if it is a dentist’s chair, the wise retailer knows that it is better to be the nitrous than the drill.Steven Mark Weiss is a career foodservice trade journalist, consultant and author with a confessed addiction to messing around with astrology. His astrologically-themed books include ‘Signs of Taste’ and ‘Signs of Success.’ He cosmically blogs on business matters at blog.stevenmarkweiss.com.