Last night was our local high school’s homecoming football game. Kickoff was slated for 7 o’clock, so I kept our schedule the same, meaning that we’d be staffed well at 5 p.m., and fully staffed at 6 p.m. during our busy time.
Baker City residents didn’t agree with me, obviously.
At 4 o’clock, I was alone in the kitchen and BAM! The tickets began printing. Some were for future dine-in and delivery orders, so that was good for me. My front gal was already breaking a sweat by 4:30 and yet was handling the rush just fine.
But by 5 o’clock, it was truly one-of-those-nights.
Our newest cook (of a few months… let’s call him Slim) showed up and I was barking orders. It was controlled chaos.
Delivery orders began stacking up, so we called our other driver in 45-minutes early. Both computer POS terminals were being used non-stop, so he wasn’t able to clock in. We just stacked him with delivery bags and shooed him out the door.
From 5 until almost 7, we were in full swing. It was beautiful. We only had one burnt pie that was sent back (and it was burnt, unfortunately) but it was a mini-pie and was remade and back out within a few minutes.
Slim looked at me as the last pie was made and said, “That was the busiest I’ve ever seen this kitchen. If it kept up, I felt like I was going to cry.”
I laughed, knowing he was kidding, and agreed with him.
He said, “I feel so, so…. accomplished right now.”
It was awesome.
By the end of the night, we were all ready to go home, except for the kids. They had parties to go to in La Grande, which always worries the heck out of me. Driving 45-minutes after dark on that windy pass to go to a party at the university…. grrrrrrr.
They broke down the line in record time, and we were sweeping & preparing to mop, and then? A group of six walked in. Someone had forgotten to turn off the OPEN sign outside and our front gal couldn’t say no. It was only a few minutes after our closing time.
Everyone in the kitchen began muttering under their breath.
Seriously, who walks into a restaurant even ten minutes before closing, let alone five minutes afterward.
Aw man! How many are there? Whattaya think they’re gonna order?
I just cleaned the line, let’s just make everything on this table instead. It’s easier to clean.
Good thing we haven’t turned the ovens off. Maybe we should.
I had been planning on leaving, and instead set my bags down.
“Let’s just whip this out guys,” I said. “It shouldn’t take more than ten minutes with all of us pitching in, and they’ll be done and gone by the time you’re done cleaning. I won’t even have you mop out front; we’ll save it for the morning.”
Sure enough, we had food on the group’s table within fifteen minutes, and by the time I left, the group was asking for foil for their leftovers. The kitchen was almost completely mopped, and the front gals were counting their tips.
Another successful, stressful, and satisfying day.