Who decides to update the menu at the family restaurant?

Your Life
Jim Berlucchi
September, 2016

Our family owns a restaurant and my siblings and I would like to update the menu. I think we need to change in order to survive. Our parents disagree and want to maintain the status quo. They say we need to "honor our parents."

Is there any way we can compromise?

Compromise works only if both parties want to and remember that the best way to run a business is by objective good judgment, not by compromise of personal preferences. If conversations aren't working, hire an experienced, intelligent third party to guide dialogue, and make a best recommendation. Make sure both sides agree in advance to respect the findings.

The deeper issue here, though, is about family relationships. Strictly speaking, the decision boils down to power. Though the kids are the majority, if your parents are the owners, you might not have a leg of lamb to stand on. The restaurant’s success, and your employment, stem from their leadership. So supporting their wishes has merit. One way to honor your parents is to hang in there and wait your turn to be in charge.

Alternately, you can respectfully leave. Honoring your parents does not mean that, as adults, you must acquiesce to their every whim. In particular, the Church teaches that adults have the right to choose their profession and state in life. (CCC 2230)