• Mitchell Johnston

Restaurants, finances and an important update

Updated: Aug 15, 2018

Tuesday is a great day to start thinking about the weekend isn’t it?

It'd be great if it were Friday already. Better yet, Friday afternoon, just before a long weekend. 

Imagine, four o'clock Friday afternoon, long weekend about to start. Who's someone you care about? Let's say you’re meeting them for some overdue quality time. 

It’s a lovely day, unseasonably warm, you're meeting at your favourite waterside restaurant. 

Maybe it’s Southbank you're strolling down, perhaps Sydney Harbour, wherever you find yourself, the stress of the week that was has gone already.

Restaurant in sight, you see people queuing already. Strangely, just a handful are seated. Plenty of empty tables. Why's that waiter seem so apologetic? 

They’re that bit too far away to  make out what they’re saying however there’s no doubting that’s a full plate of food they've taken off the table. 

You’re closer now and can make out some conversation. The customer is asking for their plate back. The waiter initiated the food removal? 

Curiosity gets the better of you, something’s going on, you MUST find out what.

The line's dissipated while you’ve been watching this interaction. Standing where the front of the line was a moment ago is the chef. Walking towards them you ask  "what’s happening?"  

"We rent this building" chef tells you. "20 minutes ago, my landlord turns up and says we have to stop serving

meals immediately." 

"They’re landlords to hundreds of other restaurants, own a couple as well. We’re not being told much but seems like they’re in trouble with Department of Health. We think one of the other restaurants they rent to may have given someone food poisoning. Maybe it was one of their restaurants, we don’t know. Department of Health were asking questions last month but we were told everything was fine. The landlord even said it was them that asked to be inspected."

"Now, no warning, I'm closed, had to take food away from customers already seated, send people away and I can’t run my business until I find another place.  I don’t need this right now, I want to spend time with my daughter, she’s 4 weeks old today." 

"I don't need this right now, I want to spend time with my daughter, she's 4 weeks old today"

Now you're thinking, maybe I’ve dodged a bullet here. Who wants food poisoning right? Still, you ask the question, "Okay, but why were YOU closed?"

Crazy as it seems, turns out the restaurant hasn’t done anything wrong, apart from renting from the wrong person. Because of that, they can't serve until they find another building. Problem is, Department of Health has issued a statement to landlords and customers alike to be wary of dealing with someone who rented from this landlord. After all, you never know which one of them might have poor food safety procedures. 

Starting to wonder how this chef keeps their business, finds a new place to operate and keeps their name from being tarnished, merely by association? 

 It’s a good question, and one I’ve been trying to answer for the last two months. 

You see, if you replace the restaurant for my business, the building for an authority to provide financial advice (much like a building can be owned or rented, financial services licenses can be held or you can be an authorised representative of a licence), the landlord for the Licensee I was authorised through (Dover) and Department of Health for ASIC (don’t replace my daughter though, Gabrielle is very real, and doing well), you have a pretty good understanding of what's been happening recently. 

Because of one email late on a Friday afternoon, I was forced to cancel ongoing agreements with clients, tell others to throw out advice I’d given and inform prospective clients I’m no longer legally allowed to assist them.

Are there problems in the way financial services are governed? Is it an issue that small, client focused business can be forced to cease operating through no fault of there own? All while the big banks and AMP keep going after admitting to forging signatures, lying to regulators and charging dead people? I have my opinion of this, I’ll let you make yours. 

It's proven to be a challenging couple of months, that’s for sure. Through it all though there was one piece of advice given that’s kept me going to find a solution. “Remember, life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you” With this in mind, I’m excited to say the negatives are far outweighed by the positive opportunity to re-evaluate how I continue to work with you - my business partners, clients and hopefully, business partners and clients to be. 

“Remember, life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you”

Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s happened already: 

  • I’ve found a new ‘landlord’. I’m now authorised under Bluewater Financial Advisors so I’m back to being able to provide all financial advice, not just home loans 

  • I’ve built a new website I’d really appreciate some feedback from you all with this. I’ve gone out on a limb to really show who I am, what I’m about and not hiding behind a digital address that pretends to be bigger than what it is. 

  • With the new website comes a new email address. Please save You can get rid of the old one. 

  • I have a new online client management system that assists me provide better documentation, an inbuilt client portal and video conferencing among a host of other great features. There’s a lot of work to do to get it humming perfectly however it is now operational and already creating a smoother experience for myself and my clients 

  • You’ll see some new friendly faces in the about section of the new website. The ladies at Nest Legal have become my go to girls for all things conveyancing and estate planning. There’s no obligation to use them, we are separate businesses however I think that much of the work they do I’ve put them on MY website. 

  •  Through all this I’m still a finance nerd that’s been researching options on all things superannuation. This has lead me to finding one I think is so good that, after 7 years I’ve moved Alison's and my super. I expect, unless someone specifically asks otherwise, I’ll only be recommending either this one or SMSFs for quite some time. 

 So what’s still to be done you ask? LOTS! 

  • I know some of you will be reading this, thinking you’ve not heard from me for a while. You’re absolutely right, and I’m truly sorry if you don’t feel like you’ve gotten as much service as you’d have liked recently. Over the coming couple of weeks I’ve got plenty of phone calls to make and a lot of you to see 

  • For those of you on the MoneyPlan Project, this new client management system is opening the door to more meaningful interaction and feedback which I’m sure is going to lead to even better results. More information to come soon 

  • While the website is now usable, there’s plenty more to go on there and a few things to tidy up over the coming months 

  • I’m taking control of the content you’ll see from now on. The feedback I received with the old newsletters, eBooks emails etc. was even though there was some good information it was very dry reading. Good information is wasted if no one wants to engage with it. 

This is why….. I’d love your help

I’ve got plenty of ideas on information I can provide moving forward. Being Dad of a young family has me thinking regularly about reasons why I need to make sure the financial side of life is sorted. But I only have my point of view. The more you can let me know what worries/mystifies/excites you financially, the better I can try to keep things entertaining (and informative). 

Oh, and do try to be kind - as a lot of you know - talking I’m great at, writing it down and keeping it readable will be a new challenge for me! 


All strategies and information provided on this website are general advice only which does not take into consideration any of your personal circumstances. Please arrange an appointment to seek personal financial and taxation advice prior to acting on this information. Every effort has been made to offer the most current, correct and clearly expressed information possible within this site. Nonetheless, inadvertent errors can occur and applicable laws, rules and regulations may change. Any opinion provided on this website is the opinion of Mitchell Johnston and do not represent the opinions of Bluewater Financial Advisors, Vow Financial or any other person or company. 

Welcome Home Financial Group Pty Ltd ACN 614 198 122  is a corporate authorised representative of Bluewater Financial Advisors Pty Ltd (CAR1247584) Welcome Home Financial Group Authorised Credit Representative Number 506082 is authorised under Vow Financial Pty Ltd ACN 138 789 161 Australian Credit Licence 390261. Welcome Home Financial Advice in a corporate authorised tax (financial) adviser registration number 25780831