It’s in the Book

I’ve started outlining a book, It will be stories and adventures about my life in the restaurant business.  You’ll hear about the good times, the funny stories, the great people I’ve met and become friends with, and all the assholes in between.  I should probably write it snippet-style so people can read it in the bathroom.

I suppose in someone else’s book I’d possibly be one of the assholes in between.  I know I’m tough to get along with.

Unlike on this blog, names will be included, the good guys, and the bad guys.

I just went three weeks without an alcoholic drink of any kind for 3 weeks.  That’s one for the record book.  I’m drinking bourbon now.

There’s a fine line between business and art.  I first heard this from Mario Batali.  It’s true. By the way, many of the baking recipes in his books don’t work.

Regarding Rascals: Clearly a fool and his money are soon parted.  Seriously, how can someone be so careless with 3.2 million dollars?  I’ve seen it more than once.  Rich guy has money, thinks the restaurant business would be fun, gets eaten alive.  This is not a business that supports jumping into big ideas without a long background of experience.

As I remember, Angelo Mazzone owned at least two smaller places before buying The Glen Sanders Mansion.  I don’t see him blowing 3.2 million.

One of the first things I do before I leave work at night is check “the book,” which is actually a computer screen with Open Table on it.  It’s also one of the first things I do when I get in.

Some restaurants, even thought they have Open Table reservation booking service still keep a hand-written book separate from the reservations that were made via the web.  That often leads to over extending the wait staff and the kitchen.

Properly keeping a restaurant’s reservation book organized, accurate, manageable, and communicated to the kitchen is really quite easy as I have noticed over the past few months.  Over the past years I was led to believe it was a very tricky job understood by no one.

Jenn and I are getting ready to close the books on 2016, and can now do so now that all tax related info is in. Sometimes in my tax-paying life I collect more than one w-2 per year.  For last year I actually collected 5. Since I was employed by The Wine Bar into the first week of January, and did 2 temporary consulting jobs, it looks like a lot, but it isn’t quite so many in reality.  I think you can tell a lot about a business and the people running it by the order in which you receive your stack of w-2s. The first one I got was from the Inn at Saratoga, whose ownership has other successful businesses.  That was followed by The Inn at Erlowest and Chez Nous in the past weeks, both run by proven successful businessmen.  I just received the form from The Wine Bar, and am now waiting for one more.  I’m certainly not saying that getting w-2s out in a timely manner is an indicator of how well a business is run, but it gives a small window into management’s abilities, but I think it does.


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