Sunday, March 18, 2012

I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date!

Arrive in darkness
Turn the key and put the coffee machine on. Put the beans in the hopper and grind.
Listen to phone messages, check bookings book, read staff message/incident book.
Look at fridge temps. Turn kitchen lights on.
Check proving bread.
Turn on radio. Turn on oven.
Go outside and collect kindling. Light wood oven. Stoke wood oven.
Make muffins, doughnuts, pastries, scones.
Unlock storeroom, outside doors, fridge.
Put tea towels on to dry.
Exchange pig scraps bin.
Feed sourdough starter.
Set kitchen up. Sinks, bins, boards etc.
Check mise en place list.
Check whiteboard for ordering. Check cleanliness of loos.
Make first of many strong coffees for the day. Kitchen staffs begin to arrive.
Plan the day with kitchen staff and confirm specials and who’s doing what.
Go to office to check emails. Read numerous notes from my book keeper.
Glace at formidable payables list, stomach churns.
Check bank balances and EFTPOS transactions. Roll eyes skyward.
Adjust specials menu. Make phone calls to suppliers.
First front of house staff member arrives and I pounce.
Communicate specials, deliveries coming in and discuss shift hand-over issues or service difficulties.
Answer phone calls from the office.
Do a roster projection for the next five weeks taking into account numerous requests for particular days from staff.
Re-do rosters after I get some requests wrong and don’t take into account Public holidays.
Back to the kitchen to put the sourdough bread into the wood oven after dampening the flue.
Pick some tomatoes from our plants outside for the days’ specials.
Quickly knock up some bread dough for the hamburger buns that we have run out of.
I’m stressing that they won’t be made in time for lunch.
Breakfast orders start coming in and the kitchen tempo goes up.
Within minutes all of us are enrolled into breaky service as it is very busy all of a sudden.
We all take turns to run food from the kitchen as the next waiter is 15 mins late for their shift.
Pensive looks are exchanged.
Customers trickle in and two of the kitchen staff are now taking orders on the floor, the café is half full.
Finally, the waiter arrives, apologetic, caught behind a cattle truck.
We scramble back to the kitchen, service looming but we are yet to be fully prepped.
Quickly get the remainder of the cakes ready for the cake counter.
It’s only 10.30am and I’ve had six coffees.


Hazel said...

Steve I was surprised that your first coffee was so far down! I don't know how you do it every day. I guess adrenaline has a lot to answer for. Sometimes I wonder what it's like, I've never worked in hospitality, but wonder how I'd go.

Rita said...

All I can say is F**K!! I know you do all that, but to have it spelled out like that makes it sound so stressful and busy! I miss working the floor so much, but seeing your list of the early mornings work reinforces for me that I made the right decision when I finished cafe work! Not that it could, but my respect for you and your work has risen!

Anonymous said...

Too much like hard work!

Vineyard Paul said...

I am sure this post then goes on:

Get smoking jacket from cupboard.
Arrange self in wing back chair.
Receive G and T, white fluffy cat and spend the next 8 hours directing your minions.

ut si said...

And do it all over again tomorrow!
BTW, how the hell do you get your wood oven up to temp so quickly...or maybe it isn't from a cold start?

GourmetGirlfriend said...

and this is what they don't tell the wannabe's on masterchef.
it's called the reality.
although sometimes i reckon my day running my lot is a little similar.
under the PUMP!

steve said...

Hi Hazel-actually I had the coffee pretty early on-just that There were a few quick steps before the machine heated up!

Hi Rita-well I think you've made a wise decision! Every cafe would be busy like this in the AM

Hi Anon-yes it is!

G'day Paul-I like your scenario but believe me it doesn't play out like that!

Hi Colette-indeed! Build up the thermal mass by keeping it fired up everyday, then closing it down to retain the heat until the next days usage

G'day GG-Actually I think juggling your brood would be harder!