Sometimes all you need to solve a problem is a little humility and WiFi.
Gary Vadakin, owner of the restaurant Seasons on Main in Bloomsburg, Pa., used these tools to make a farewell video posted on Facebook that has since gone viral. The four-minute video, in which he calls his restaurant, “the dream of [his] life,” explains his tough financial situation after three and a half years of owning the fine dining establishment.
He appears calm and well dressed, but sad in a reserved way, as he explains how nothing he has tried has helped his business make a profit or even sustain itself. The situation, he says, is affecting his personal life and health.
Seasons on Main has four stars on Yelp and is rated second on TripAdvisor for the Bloomsburg area, yet for some reason it is not pulling in the money it should be. The food is great, as one can see through the plentiful good reviews online. So, why isn’t Vadakin’s business growing?
In his video, Vadakin states that most restaurants make their money from alcohol sales, but he does not want a liquor license for his restaurant, and maybe this is part of the problem. The location is great—located right in the center of town on Main Street, Bloomsburg—but it is possibly not attractive to college students such as places like Filet18 and Marley’s because of the absence of alcohol and competition in the area. College students, notoriously low on funds, find the best deals, and those deals often include alcohol and cheap food—not yet found at Seasons on Main.
One Facebook commenter said: “This part of the world is truly depressed. Has been for thirty years. It’s not your food. It’s your location. It’s central Pa.”
Vadakin, however, has a different view: “I[sic] have worked in restaurants all my life from New York City to Florida and I moved to Bloomsburg 13 years ago and saw the growth of Bloomsburg University and the medical center in Danville, Geisinger, and thought there[sic] needed to be another fine dining option for those people moving to this area and some of the locals who wanted finer dining.”
One faithful customer created a GoFundMe page on behalf of the business and it has raised $2,800 of its $6,000 goal in less than three weeks—one of the donors being President David Soltz of Bloomsburg University.
“I still have financial problems they have not gone away but an increase in business and some financial donations have helped a lot,” said Vadakin.
Hopefully the help Vadakin is receiving can save his business, but at least the video has 61,000 views and 998 shares, guaranteeing he attracted some attention for his forgotten restaurant.