Last year I wrote about our best waiter moving on. She's been a customer since and helped me with one catering job this winter. With the GM at 7 months pregnant tomorrow we have been trying to figure out how to fill her role. The problem of course is that no one else would be willing to do so much for so little.
One of our waiters is now also our office manager. She has been doing data entry of invoices, printing menus and other clerical things for at least a year and now her responsibilities are going to be ramped up for a good 3-6 months. She'll now have to count and reconcile the daily sales, input them in the computer and make deposits. I'll be paying the vendors and doing the payroll. I already deal with filing the sales taxes and the federal payroll tax deposits.
We have been trying to figure out who is going to be in the front of the house. Although I am in good shape with kitchen staff we know it is a good idea for me to be in the kitchen on busy weekend nights and of course that's when the waiters need the most help also. But, since we're talking a relatively short term position, for relatively small money that we needed to fill with someone who would need minimal training on our service standards, system and staff we were in a real bind. We had kind people who volunteered their services that we considered but the reality was we would need to train them for at least 3 months to do 3 months worth of work. See I can step into the role after summer is over and I have had some solid newborn time. We asked the waiter mentioned in the first paragraph but she was going to be leaving for an extended stay in Hawaii where her boyfriend is from. So we decided I would have to do it and the kitchen would have to just keep it together.
Then out of the blue the lovely former waiter called and said her plans had changed and she wanted to know if we still needed her to help out. She came in and we talked. She told us we had ruined her. Everywhere she goes she spots poor service and as she said "It's not hard to give good service." This is the same young woman who when asked by the GM how come she, out of all the waiters was the only one to consistently mark her tables said, "That's easy, my boss told me to, so I do it."
She's perfect for the job. She knows us, how we do things and what we like. She also was our best waiter and knows what customers want. She's unafraid, unflappable, readily speaks her mind and will have little problem keeping the waiters in line. She is excited to be as she puts it, "the boss of the bitches". She also asked what if summer ends and she wanted to stay. We assured her we would have no problem figuring out how to make that happen.
She's going to come on Memorial Day weekend, get her feet wet and help us on a busy weekend. Then we'll do a wedding together the second week in June, then she leaves for Rome for a couple of weeks and will be ready to take over for the GM by 4th of July weekend.
In other departments, crab season is really pretty much over so it's time to change a few things on the menu. This is a crappy transition time because even though good crab is finished there are places that will continue to serve it. One of the things we're well known for are crab cakes and this time of year when people come up looking for crab cakes and we tell them the season (for us) is finished they say, "Well, Brand X down the street has crab." Yes, that's why they're Brand X.
We leave Monday for Tulum. Too bad it wasn't a month ago in the midst of the torrential rain here.