Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What Happened?

The loss of the Village Bakery to the community is immeasurable.  Not only as a lively place to get a hot breakfast with a side of donuts, but as a place where 35 people were employed.  A restaurant that employs 35 people has an impact on any community, and it's demise hurts.  We don't know what went wrong; we do know that Jonas and Ruth put their hearts and souls into their business, and for some reason that wasn't good enough.  

It's tough.  I know from our standpoint, every penny counts.  Sometimes I get tired of counting pennies, of making sure kitchen towels are used thoroughly before being tossed cavalierly into the linen bag; halting the use of cocktail napkins as notepads; checking that the entire lemon is used for water slices; asking why all that lettuce is in the compost bucket; cutting up old menus and gift certificate to be used as scratch paper.  You do all you can do to save money, to keep your business going, and then you come in one morning to find that the closer had mistakenly put the AC on 55 degrees, instead of 85.  The entire dining room has been turned into a huge walk-in, or at least it has tried very hard to, throughout the night.  Pow!  All that penny pinching wiped out in a single night.

Who pays that extra electric charge?  And who pays when an order gets screwed up, the wrong dish served and sent back, an extra dessert or beer comped because of the customer's valid complaint?  Who pays when a couple of glasses roll to the floor and crash across the room?  Who pays when the dish rack comes out of the machine and a misloaded plate falls to it's demise?  Who pays when the tub of blue cheese dressing slides out of the cook's hand?  Who pays when the steak gets overcooked and can't be served?  Who pays when the tonic is out and the gin and tonic gets remade with the same "tonic".  Twice.  All of these things and more are a part of doing business.  Of course, some mistakes get paid for out of the server's hard work; that is the only way we know of to make carelessness a part of the job description, as in "Don't be Careless.  Pay Attention".  We don't do it often, but if it has become a trend or is the result of real idiocy, we demand reimbursement.  But for the most part, we do the paying.  It comes out of our income.  And if there is a lot of this going on, there will be less and less income.

Frankly, this is one reason to propose profit sharing.  We used to do that at Kennedyville - when there were monies to be shared, we did.  It put a sense of ownership into the staff mentality.  It shared the costs as well as the income, since lost revenue came out of everyone's pockets, not just ours.  Everyone had a piece of the pie, and everyone had a vested interest that none of that pie was wasted.  

This is a bit of a rant.  Coming in this morning to find the dining room at 60 degrees, fighting it's way to 55, really set me off.  It is such a struggle we go through every day, every week, to make things work, that an incident like that is enough to open the fissure wide.  We are lucky that we love what we do enough to get past the daily "events", the personnel issues that become personal, the orders that don't come in or the dishwasher that doesn't come in either.  We have been through enough to know that the good outweighs the bad.

But sometimes...

Hey.  Don't forget to support your local restaurants.  We need you.  And don't you need us too? 

1 comment:

  1. I'm stunned about Village Bakery! Your darn right we need you!!!!! Absolutely.....!!!!!!! Great post' Barbara!!! Shari