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.