You can tell it's summer around here by the sporadic postings. Summer is when we get so busy some nights I just want to cry in frustration. Summer is when we get people with mammoth expectations and minuscule budgets. Summer is a blur of incoming tomatoes, green beans, basils and fruits. Summer is a bitch. And summer is a blessing.
The GM finished her last night on the floor last weekend and she's got one more day of office work and then it's maternity leave. We've had to fire one long-term waiter for failing to show up on time, leaving only one really experienced waiter with a few that have been around about a year and a crop of new trainees. Last night one of the ones who's been with us about a year said she'd be going back to school and would be leaving after 1st weekend in August. This after she assured us she'd be around through summer but she was planning on taking classes at the local JC. However, she'll be gone, just as the GM is delivering no doubt. Arrrgh! So today I'll be making some calls and hopefully interviewing some people. And then using my new favorite tool for checking references, myspace.
When you tend to hire people without significant work experience, as we do, there is often not much to go on reference-wise. We ask our existing crew, sometimes they have opinions, sometimes they don't, we interview and then go with a gut feeling which is usually relatively accurate. Lately myspace has helped with that gut feeling. I've learned that one of our new hires likes "dancing and bong rips. I'm not sure which is better". Good information for me to have. She's also the most on top of things of all the new hires. Guess dancing is winning out for the moment.
Our summer menu seems well balanced with the exception of the sturgeon which isn't selling. Sturgeon, summer succotash and brown butter hollandaise sounds good to me. Evidently not to others. Halibut, scallion buttermilk pancake and tomato cucumber relish is doing fine, as is albacore, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, roasted garlic and sauteed spinach. St Louis Style ribs, apricot BBQ, warm potato salad are holding their own and even the risotto cake with golden pepper sauce is making a respectable showing, but not the poor sturgeon. My guess is the succotash is scaring people away and if I were to word it Sturgeon, corn, favas, red bell pepper, brown butter hollandaise, it would start moving.
Perhaps if people knew that succotash had corn...because corn is one of those vegetables that even non-vegetable eaters eat. When we lived in North Carolina I did a little time at UNC dining services, putting out massive meals for dorm residents. The contract dictated that we provide a certain number of vegetables at every meal, however one of the only ones which the students ate was corn. All the others would hit the dumpster whenever corn was present. So we'll see what re-wording does.