Saturday, 2 February 2013

Week beginning February 4th - The thrill of being busy

Buzzing, rushing, smashed, pumped. Not words to describe a night out, well of course they can be but not in this context. No, these are words to describe a busy, amazing, fun service.

Ask most hospitality people who love it and they will probably be able to say that one of the things they love most is getting smashed busy and the absolute adrenaline rush that comes with it. However, this comes with a condition.

It is only fun when everything goes well. Everything is in it's place and all flows smoothly and all the customers are having a great time and the food/coffee/drinks are all perfect and the music adds to the atmosphere and there is talking and laughing and hard hard work. There is also an unspoken communication and teamwork between the staff members who know each other so well, they work around each other, help each other, things happen without even having to ask. All your systems work, all your organisational practices are in place, the flow is flowing, it's AMAZING!!!

When I worked as a waiter and you had your own section, you could be in charge of this flow, this buzz, you would be working your floor, making tips, rushed off your feet. When I worked as a cocktail barman and a busy Friday night and again, everything is in it's place and the team is buzzing and working and everything you do and make is perfect.

Last Saturday was Australia Day and we were smashed for 7 hours straight. We opened at 8:30 am and it was a slow start but by 10 am we were full and we remained full, with a queue at some stages, all day. It was also one of those perfect days, everything went very well. Everything went smoothly.

We are lucky, we are busy most days and all of our staff love it, love the rush. Come on, bring it on they say! There is the 8:30 to 9:30am rush, the 10:30 rush, the 1 pm lunch smash and the famous 3:30 rush. This one we know to be ready for. It's part of the training. 'Be ready for 3:30'.

We are very particular about our systems and organisation and we also work very well together. A customer may order a Portuguese tart with me at the till, but one of the other floor staff will have it on a plate and in front of them before they finish their order. That's brilliant. That's also customer service.

Of course if you don't have it all in place, then when this rush comes you are ofte in big trouble, or if you do not have staff who can cope, or who are not trained properly, or ready for it, or willing. If your systems are not strong, if your back up is not good, if you do not have 'a place for everything and everything in it's place', then trouble will ensue.

Watching a busy service and the staff working it is brilliant too. I always said to potential new bar staff back in the days, go and sit at a bar, a good bar, and watch the barmen work, watch how they work together and flow. I'm pretty sure that people must watch us too. If you want to open your own cafe, do this. Go and sit and watch. But do it in good busy places and do it in quiet places. Watch and learn.

We are very lucky to be very busy most days, so we get that rush nearly every day of the week. It is tiring, but we would not swap it for anything.

It's Waitangi Day menu this week, so a few NZ influences on there including Chef Jareds favourite, cheese and marmite scones.

Please enjoy.

Traditional bircher muesli with rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.50
Granola muesli with pomegranate molasses and rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.50
Fruit salad (pineapple, mango, strawberries, grapes, passionfruit, peach) 3.70
(add 30 p for granola or yogurt)
Ciabatta roll with omelette, pancetta, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Ciabatta roll with courgette omelette, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Croissant with Italian roast ham, talleggio cheese, spinach & plum tomatoes 4.90
Croissant with gruyere cheese and plum tomatoes 4.00
Seven seed bakery bloomer toast with homemade preserves 1.70
Coffee, cherry and walnut toast 2.30
Banana bread 2.40

Porridge - Served with rhubarb and raspberry compote, chopped nuts, muscovado sugar, golden syrup or honey 3.00

Pastries by Seven Seed bakery
French butter croissants 1.80
Pain au chocolat 2.40
Almond croissants 2.80

Baked Treats
Sweet Muffins: Blueberry and bran 2.20
Savoury Muffin: Marmite and cheese scones 2.20
Lemon friands 2.20
Super moist chocolate brownies 2.40
White chocolate blondies 2.40
Portuguese tarts 2.00
ANZAC cookies 1.80
Afgan cookies 1.80

Soup: Lambs lettuce and Elephant garlic soup 4.50

French retro baguettes 4.90
Red peppers and courgette cooked in smoked paprika with sumac cheese, red onion and spinach
Ham with tomato, mature cheddar, rocket and pickle

Foccacias with sea salt and rosemary crust 5.00
Spicy prawn salsa with brie and spinach
Grilled Haloumi with onion jam and rocket

Salads: 5.50/6.50
Slow roasted spiced lamb with parsnip, served with cous cous and black mustard yoghurt dressing
Kiwi, soft sheep's cheese, lesser celandine, walnuts with a Manuka honey and cinnamon dressing
Kumara roasted in dried and ground Kelp
Tart: 4.00 or 7.50 with salad
Sweet corn and cured cod

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