The restaurant business is a funny business, not funny haha (well it can be with the right staff and customers) but funny as in bizarre, odd, peculiar. That being said, I love it with all my heart.
Part of its charm is the unknown, you never know who will turn up, what will happen, how busy (hopefully) you’ll be, or on occasion, what disaster will occur. Whatever happens, you’ll remember it, you’ll laugh about it (eventually) and most importantly you’ll learn from it.
My restaurant blog posts will hopefully give you an insight into the weird and wonderful world of the restaurant industry. I will lift the lid on: Staff, customers, suppliers, the Boss (my Dad) and everything and everyone else in-between.
Restaurant Blog #1 – The day to day life, what do I actually do on a morning?
It’s Monday, it’s 9:55 and I’ve just arrived, first things first, time to make a coffee (or 2), say good morning to everyone and make sure nothing has gone bump in the night.
In actual fact, I’m not actually the first person there, that would be the cleaner, he arrives at 8, takes care of what needs doing and is there to bring in the deliveries. Fishmongers are early risers, as is the veg man, and according to my friends in ‘normal’ jobs everyone else.
What they don’t realise is that those of us in the other ‘normal (to us) jobs’, think 8am is a tad early. This is due to the fact that the restaurant, on occasion keeps us there till almost midnight the night before. I think we’re allowed a little slack, it’s all relative after all.
Coffee done, time to sort things out. There are 3 of us working in the morning on the restaurant side of things, doing the following riveting jobs:
Clean all the tables.
Sort the table arrangement out for any bookings (big parties).
Set all the tables (Fork, knife, napkin, side plate, knife, wine glass, salt, pepper wine glass.)
Sort the outside, unlock the gates, put 3 tables & chairs out in the winter (many more in the summer), clean them, and add an ash tray for the smokers.
Back inside, it’s time to check the pass, do we need more parmesan cutting? Grating?
Is the olive oil filled, do we have fresh basil ready for garnish?
Nibbles, when customers come in (once they’ve ordered) we provide bread and olives and homemade chutney. Do we have enough of everything? If not ask a chef for some more.
Check the dessert fridge, what do we need? When was the tiramisu made? It has a short shelf life due to the raw egg, do we need any more?
Is the cutlery all polished?
Are all the plates in the right place?
Do we have enough doylies? (Yes those paper things that go under the bowl and plate)
Sort the deliveries out, depending on the day of the week the drinks order comes in the morning too.That involves going out to the storeroom, checking the invoice make sure it’s all the things you ordered then make sure everything you ordered actually arrived.
Lastly just go walk around the restaurant and go and check on everything, quite literally everything.
Sounds boring? You’re thinking it sounds repetitive, monotonous, and what value am I adding to the world? Question: When you send all your morning emails, when you’re wasting time creating work to do that moves you nowhere but one inch to the left of where you started, what value are you adding? I tried the office world, I didn’t like it, there is no urgency in it, there is a lack of appreciation (thats a topic for the next blog post) there is less (immediate) satisfaction and appreciation and one last thing, everyone things they’re saving the world, one email at a time. It’s infuriating. Once everything is done, my main goal is to check and make sure all the staff are happy.
Happy staff = happy customers, and happy customers = extremely happy staff. Win win.
Next on the agenda, go check on the deli (well check the email first), do we have any pre orders?
Do the deli girls have everything ready? Do we have all the fresh focaccia, ciabatta, veg, bags boxes, plastic cutlery, metal cutlery, drinks in the take away fridge and las but not least, do we have the grab and go’s.
We make 10 grab and go sandwiches for people who are in a rush, who struggle to decide, and, or don’t have the time to queue and make their own with one of our girls.
Strictly speaking the deli opens at 11, but people start coming in from 10 for coffee, (our regulars know they can turn up at any time of day and they’ll be looked after).
Go get the card machines, turn the tills on, check how much change is in them, and make sure we have plenty of till roll.
We do a few pasta dishes to take away from the deli, I pre write lids to make it easier when it gets busy (more of the pesto than anything else, people love it).
It’s just past 11am and all of this has been done, the deli is ready, the restaurant is ready and it’s time for another coffee. If you ask me, thats pretty productive, and everyone now get a few minutes to themselves before the chaos begins.
I’ll explain lunch time in due course….. lunch time…. sounds riveting doesn’t it, if you’ve got this far hopefully you’ll read the next one.