My big plan was to have everything finished this past week except for some very minor stuff so that we could spend the next week cleaning and then have our pre-opening party on the 22nd and then open to the public on the 24th. Looks like a monkey wrench got thrown into those plans.
The good news is we are only getting held up a week. The bad news is that due to unforeseen occurences we can’t open until May 1. We will be “ready” to open on the 24th but aren’t allowed to. I am not allowed to talk about the specifics but let’s just say that as soon as permissible we will be open and ready for business.
Enough on the negative. Let’s focus on the positive! This past week I felt like I was at once stagnating in a muddy pool of hurry up and wait but still so busy we could barely catch our breath. We had the cable/satellite people come to hook up our television (they shall also remain nameless for the moment to give them a chance to make it right before I tell people exactly who it is that is SO incompetent) and royally screwed up our sound system. We spent what we consider a lot of money getting a great sound system and our friend Joey got it hooked up just right and even talked the TV guy through the hook up and he STILL screwed it up!
First I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s from another country so maybe he doesn’t “get it” but… when I called to get the service I checked on just getting “basic” service… 30 channels plus for business which was about $39 a month. But when you looked at the choices it was almost all channels NO ONE watches… it was about half Spanish speaking channels which probably wouldn’t be bad if we were a Mexican restaurant but we aren’t. The other half was almost all religious channels. Again, not a bad thing if you’re a church… which we aren’t. So I saw the next “level” up was something called “Commercial Choice” or some such nonsense but I perused (quickly, admittedly) the channels and saw Fox Sports and our local channels and cooking channels, etc. so I figured that was what we needed. I opted for that “choice”. Then I give the person I talked to explicit directions to our restaurant from the interstate. It’s basically a straight shot from Interstate 20. Seriously it’s virtually impossible to get lost unless you turn the wrong way off the interstate. I told them to head south about 3 ½ miles and even gave them the land marks and told them “There’s a BIG red sign above the door that says BURKE’S GRILLE.” I was told that they would be there between 12 and 4 so you know that means you HAVE to be there the whole 4 hours because you never know when they will show up.
A little after 4:00 the guy calls and says he’s “running a little late”. NO SH*T, Sherlock! Since you were supposed to be here BEFORE 4 and now it’s AFTER 4 I guess anybody could figure out you were running late…hubby had been in a class all morning but said he’d stay and wait so that #3 and I could go see Hunger Games (yes, that’s the second time I’ve seen it and I’d see it again). Just as the movie is getting good (and it started at almost 5:00 mind you) my cell phone which is set on silent, vibrates. I don’t recognize the number but figure it might be something to do with the restaurant so I go outside and return the call. The guy says “I’m sitting at your address and I can’t find you!” I say “Look up… do you see a BIG RED SIGN that says Burke’s Grill?” “Um… yeah” Well, that’s US… go and see my husband.
Dwight even calls Joey (who hooked up the sound system which if you know my husband you know is the most important thing to him… to have a great sound system)to have him walk this guy through hooking up the TV to the sound system and he explicitly tells the guy… DO NOT TOUCH THE BACK OF THE RECEIVER! Sure enough he disconnects cables from the back of the tuner/receiver and we lose all the stereo system sound. The guy had already had to call in another technician to help him because he couldn’t figure it out and now he accidently disconnects our sound system. Hubby literally starts yelling at him to leave (and hubby never yells at anyone… except maybe me and our kids and that’s not very often) and STOP TOUCHING THE RECEIVER! The guys keeps telling hubby in broken English that he THINKS he can fix it but hubby is adamant that he is not touching another wire.
The guy leaves so we have to get poor Joey back out again to fix what this guy screwed up. Then the next morning while we are there hubby decides to check out the channels on the television channels we get and truly the only thing he watches other than History, Food and local channels is SPORTS. There is NO ESPN on our system! I never even thought to check for sports channels. I saw Fox Sports so I “assumed” it had all those kinds of channels. NOPE…hubby called and found out that to get the ESPN channels it’s an ‘upgrade’. Are you kidding me? The “commercial choice” package I got was about $65 a month. . . to add ESPN to what we got? The price jumps to over $180 a month!!! Are you freaking kidding me? I guess they realize the one thing most restaurants want is ESPN so they make that a “premium” choice!
Seriously the package I purchased is touted as 125+ channels and the one with ESPN is touted as 130+ channels so basically you get the same channels with all the ESPN channels added and it cost you OVER $100 a month…. We have used this service for our home for about 6 year but if they don’t do something right… I think I may switch the whole kit and kaboodle. Bad thing is that they know they have you over a barrel. They control it. And we can’t afford another $100 a month until we get established! I’m still fuming about that. Needless to say, this week has been character building.
I did get to pick up the side tables I needed for the dish machine and they fit in my car nicely (after we took the legs off) so we didn’t have to rent a truck to transport them. So now the dish machine if hooked up and ready to go! We also got my cabinet installed and we got a filing cabinet (a nice metal one with concrete in the bottom and back so it doesn’t tip over and I talked the guy down an extra $10 – I know – I’m terrible!). We also went by the county and found out exactly what the time line is and what we need to do to get opened and get our beer/wine license. We got our dba filed and the notice put in the paper.
I also went by and joined the Chamber of Commerce which I think will help tremendously. We have our ribbon cutting set for May 4 at 11:30 a.m. and I also found out that they offer their smaller conference room free of charge if you ever need it to interview employees or perspective clients for anything and they have a larger room you can rent out by the half or whole day! They also have a service where you can post for employees. Sort of like the Georgia Department of Labor but on a smaller scale. We spent pretty much a whole day running around doing those errands.
Dwight also reminded me that we got our hood system cleaned which was a major undertaking. They said it looked like it had probably never been done and the previous owners had a lot of stuff in the vent system done wrong which we had corrected. Since we got the hood system cleaned that meant we were able to also get the fire marshall back out to do our final inspection which we passed with flying colors. Now just the final health inspection!
We have all the equipment (except for two pieces) hooked up and ready to go and we have that slated to be done tomorrow. We also have someone coming to clean the floors, windows and equipment on Monday and then the health department comes in Tuesday for our final inspection. Hopefully we will be “ready” to open as soon as she leaves (theoretically) but then have the rest of the week to tweak our system and get our menus ready and employees hired and trained and food bought for the opening party. I am so excited I can hardly stand it!
If all goes as planned we will open our doors to the public on May 1st and have our preopening party on the 22nd. I can’t wait! I am SO ready for this new chapter in our lives to START!