Monday, February 15, 2010

When the going gets busy

The past week-end was a good one. We had over 100 reso's all week-end, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday that is! It's not unheard of for us to top 100 on a normal week-end and cruise through a slow Sunday, but this week-end was the exception. Both Saturday and Sunday we sold almost 180 entree's, with a 'slow' Friday at nearly 120. These are good numbers for a 70 seat restaurant, in a far suburb, in the middle of winter. Considering of course that we did a whole 6 covers this past Tuesday while knee deep in snow, a full on blizzard, and the local news waxing the story all day long. I guess it all evens out in the end...a shit bomb of a week, and shit bomb of a week-end.

My keen observation was how everyone’s intensity seemed to lower as the hours go by. Not just the kitchen, but the servers, and lastly the bussers seem to get increasingly lazy as the night progresses. I can say for myself, personally, as the night went on it became more and more difficult to stay focused. This was not my intention, it just happened, naturally. Why couldn't I stay focused? Have I lost some line cook ability to stay focused for longer than 3 hours. I can remember my times as an expo where cooks would get slower, or get mouthy, but it was never a big deal. I want to kick myself in the ass for losing focus. I love the rush. I love the intensity of the tickets coming in and pulling proteins and firing steaks, in essence that is the intensity I live for. On the flip side I hate blindly cooking steaks and firing food when I'm out of sync with the flow, or I don't know all my temps. It's a great feeling to go through the night with confidence. It's survival when you scrape by the skin on your teeth and just manage.

How can I better maintain focus? I don't think the food I cooked later in the night was bad, or inferior to the food I cooked earlier in the night, but it's a matter of self confidence I guess. You tend to turn into a robot as the night progresses.....season, cook, taste, season, cook taste season all night long. I want the last plate I send out to be the best. I want every plate I send out to be the best. Are those too high expectations? I'm willing to put that to a test.

1 comment:

Scott Sebastian said...

Same situation here. Sunday was the challenge. We peaked on Saturday and I knew there would be a psychological let-down on Sunday. Gave everyone a little pep talk before service.

It was interesting working with the new sous on some very busy nights. Thanks to my foot up his ass he's managed to find second gear. He thinks he's all bad now but I keep reminding him he can talk smack when he finds fourth.