Yesterday, we catered a lunch for 35 people having a meeting at our local City Hall. It was a hefty order with some pretty gourmet pies and an assortment of giant salads.
I had one of our kitchen guys come with me for the delivery – it had to be there at 11:45, and we had to be back to Paizano’s before noon, which is when the High School gets out for lunch. We raced over, and bolted up and down two flights of stairs four times each, arms loaded with pizzas, salads, 2-liters, cups, ice, plates and napkins. We high-fived in the delivery van afterwards, racing back to work.
As we walked in the door (minutes before noon), I noticed that our front gal was on the phone with a panicked look in her eyes.
I had forgotten the forks. DANG IT!!!! I grabbed a bag of utensils and raced back to City Hall. Everyone was just starting to load their plates, so I was in time. I was, however, not going to make it back to work before the High School let out.
As I ran in the back door to the kitchen, I saw tickets lining up on the rail. Whitey was barking orders, and everyone seemed to be handling it just fine.
I walked out front and began helping the front gal, who stopped taking orders long enough to ask me to keep an eye on some of the kids in the back of the dining room. They’ve been coming in and not ordering food, but still somehow making a mess and ending up with free sodas.
The high-schoolers left in a big wave, leaving behind the remenants of their hurricane. As we bussed the tables, we discussed how these kids might be getting free food and / or sodas during lunch.
We came to the conclusion that every so often, one of them steals a number while we’re getting their soda (they sit right on the counter), then during the middle of delivering all of the slices he’ll ask where his slice is. We’ll see his number and ask what kind of slice it is, then run to the back and assume that someone accidentally threw out the ticket or took the wrong slice to the wrong person earlier. We’ll fire up a free slice and take it out.
With the sodas, we used to give all of the high-schoolers a to-go cup until we realized that some of the kids were keeping their cups and bringing it with them the next day. Now we use our regular plastic Coke cups, and they can have their free refill in the to-go cup on the way out. Both of us agreed that there is one particular kid who we can never recall having ordered anything, yet he comes up for his free refill every day. Once, he asked me for a refill of Dr.Pepper. I told him that I hadn’t sold him a Dr.Pepper (I knew I hadn’t sold one all day). He stammered for a minute and then said it was a refill for a friend. Instead of calling his bluff, I filled the cup and realized that he was running some kind of soda scam.
Today, we’re going back to to-go cups, and we’re marking the bottom with a colored-Sharpie pen.
I’ll update you on SodaGate later today. We’re gonna get him.