TIM’S PLACE SERVES HUGS WITH EVERY MEAL – What do you think makes a restaurant successful; is it the food, the location and decor or the quality of service? At Tim’s Place in Albuquerque, New Mexico the diner called Breakfast, Lunch and Hugs has managed to meet these requirements and more.
Owned and operated by 27 year old Tim Harris, the restaurant is family run with Tim serving as their figurehead, which may not surprise you since the restaurant carries his name but would you be surprised after finding out that Tim has Down’s Syndrome?
Meebal Reader ‘Dee’ says…
Call it creative marketing, an inspirational idea or toss it up to dumb luck, but Tim’s Place has grown in popularity and has become well known since it opened in 2010. We believe it is successful for two reasons; Tim’s passion and Tim’s family. Owning a restaurant was Tim’s dream since he was young and it was after he finished college that his family saw how serious he was in pursuing his dream and joined him in making it a reality.
Family businesses either thrive-think of Wendy’s Hamburgers, or are out of business and quickly forgotten within a year or two-anyone remember the BBQ Joint… I didn’t think so. Tim’s Place is no exception; with his family backing him and working alongside him, his restaurant has excellent odds of succeeding and providing for his own family one day.
His family has been criticized by some who say that they are capitalizing on Tim’s disability; even going so far as to say that his family is unfairly using Tim in order to create a novel dining experience and media hype.
If you didn’t know the background story, this would be an easy assumption to make, but after learning more about this remarkable young man and his family you quickly realize what a mistake such a comment would be; but that hasn’t stopped some ignorant and obviously jealous people from making cruel and insensitive remarks over Tim’s success.
We won’t discuss the trolls any further, simply because they do not deserve the time of day or space on our news page; instead let’s discuss why Tim’s Place has become such a success.
Well, take a look at Tim! He is happy, well-articulated for someone with Down’s syndrome and he clearly loves people; the very qualities it takes to succeed in life. He has a family who has grown alongside him since he was a baby, learning how he learns best, encouraging him to never stop working towards his goals and on top of all that, it is clearly seen in the video how much they love and support one another.
With a family like this, there is no doubt in my mind that if Tim did not have Down’s syndrome he would still own a restaurant today, maybe taking a larger part in the day to day operations but it would be run just the same as it is now; with a smile and hugs.
Whether you have been labeled as being different or know someone who has, we all realize that each of us has some disadvantage that keeps us from doing what we’d like to do. It is easy to use our own limitations as the excuse to why we never accomplished personal goals that seemed so important to us at some time in our life.
It is maddening to think that each one of us can be reduced to being referred to by whatever defect or fault someone else sees in us. I would like to see the labels come off when we talk about one another; they are restrictive and often misleading because they focus on the physical, rather than the character and personality of a person.
“I may be disabled, but I am more like you than you think” Anonymous
Each of us knows our personal limitations, areas where we feel insecure about our abilities and yet we may not see ourselves as being disabled, but by its very definition we are. It is belittling as well, that we marvel when someone who has been defined as disabled accomplishes goals “in our world.”
It is not the accomplishment that deserves the recognition as much as the integrity and drive of the person who decided to step into a world that is not as accepting of differences as it should be.
Tim got it right when he said that, ‘Food is food’ because when it comes to restaurants, we make our choice based on the type of food served, but will only come back or make it a favorite when it is clean, staffed with friendly servers, appropriately priced and feels like home. These are the goals Tim set for his diner and with the number of repeat customers, he got that part right, too.
Congratulations Tim on never giving up your dream and for not allowing the world to steal it away from you. We wish you and your family continued success!