March 2007 Issue Easter and Mother’s Day are just around the corner and the Brunch season is in full swing. We have rounded up a few tidbits to make you smile as you prepare for these busy, busy days.Our featured Chef, Nick Phelps realized the enormity of Mother’s Day brunch the very first one he worked 19 years ago. He had heard that there would be a line at opening but he never imagined that several hundred people would be waiting outside when he grabbed a quick break before the rush. He considered running but stayed and survived.A funny thing happened here at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht club…8 years ago we used to do the brunch at the pool. We serve around 200 people so the pool area and decks get pretty crowded…we had set up an omelet station, fruit, danish etc. off the deep end of the pool deck where a line could form…somehow the members started lining up on the pathway between the kids pool and the main pool since it was very busy. One of the members decided to cross back on the pass way with a plate of food and as he brusquely made his way another member stepped back too far and fell into the pool in his Sunday best…people laughed for hours. Thank God he knew how to swim.Here’s another one – when I was at Big Canyon we once had a power failure the morning of a major event. We quickly emptied the freezer of all the proteins and set up the BBQs. The power came back on so we could serve our originally planned menu but we were ready just in case…Chef Rod Lewis.Chef Jason Got Fired – A long , long time ago when I was 16 years old I had my first cooking job working at a small hole in the wall back home in Hawaii. I had just started about 2 days prior and I was the night cook at the time. The owners of the restaurant requested that I cook some turkey and a baron of beef for the following day since they were having a family gathering for Mother’s Day. I was so confident that I knew I could do the job and told them that I would place the beef and the turkey in the cook and hold oven so they could pick it up in the morning. Besides it was a turkey and a baron of beef; how hard could that be? Mother’s Day eve I put the beef and turkey on to cook and promptly left the building.Usually at the end of the night the closing manager turns off the breakers for the restaurant and then turns them on in the morning when they come in. (That’s what I think happened.) When the owner turned on all the switches he didn’t realize that he was also turning back on the breaker that controlled the oven. When he went to check on the food it was still raw. I had an immediate phone call from them saying to come back to work to pick up my last check. When I asked what happened and they said that I had forgotten to turn on the cook and hold oven and had ruined their Mother’s Day for their Mom. I assured them that all was set as I left. Let’s just say that they thought I was to blame for not turning the oven on.The following week I got a phone call saying that they wanted me to come back since they had discovered their error. Did I go back to work for them? Heck no, they were cussing and swearing at me. I did say that I accepted their apology but would prefer not to work for someone who is not reasonable or understanding. That would be a Mother’s day to remember for me because that’s the first job that I ever got fired from.The first time we did 1200 covers for brunch (Father’s Day, 2003). We finally were able to cycle that many guests through our restaurant with zero guest complaints (Believe me ’00, ’01, ’02 was a different story).Everybody had a great time and the staff couldn’t believe that we were able to do it. We had a lot of happy guests and even more a lot of happy FOH & BOH employees.
Your most useful bit of advice?
-Be Proactive vs. Reactive…Plan, Plan, Plan-It all starts from the front desk… Build your reservation list for success (flow)-Delegate Responsibilities… Everyone learns and is involved-Staff for success…-Don’t be greedy…If you go to BIG, you will have BIG problems-Do something nice to recognize the mothers…Napkin color, flower pedals on the table-Always follow-up with Holiday Notes… Prevents making the same mistakes & assures success
How many do you expect to serve on Mother’s Day?1200 Brunch Covers (9:30 AM – 3:00 PM)600 Dinner Covers (4:30 PM – 8:30 PM
What is the most number of people you have served on Mother’s Day?1200 Brunch Covers (9:30 AM – 3:00 PM)600 Dinner Covers (4:30 PM – 8:30 PM)
How many do you expect to serve on Easter?1200 Brunch Covers (9:30 AM – 3:00 PM)400 Dinner Covers (4:30 PM – 8:30 PM (Much slower dinner due to families wanting to get together after church)
What is the most number of people you have served on Easter?1200 Brunch Covers (9:30 AM – 3:00 PM)400 Dinner Covers (4:30 PM – 8:30 PM)
Chris Snyder, General ManagerTAPS Fish House & Brewery