I am writing this a couple of days in advance because I know the next couple of days we will probably be SLAMMED. (I hope) We officially open on Tuesday, May 1st (which is the day this will post) so I wanted to fill you guys in first on how our last unopened week went.
First and foremost, I think, is that I officially have our Burke’s Grill Blog up and running. Feel free to visit us there to catch up on what’s new and what our specials and daily menus are! The URL is: http://burkesgrill.wordpress.com/ This and our Burke’s Grill Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Burkes-Grill/389345751095273/ will be our main forms of advertising and communication until I can get our website up and running. This was just an easier place for me to be a starting point.
So, last week was our PRE opening party which in my opinion was a smashing success! Here’s a picture taken by Ken Abhalter from Leigh and Christopher (who did our awesome sign on the building!):
We lost track of counting around 6:30 and at that point we had already counted 271 people and we estimate that we turned the tables over at least two or three more times and a couple of times after that we had people waiting for tables. We have 54 seats so we estimate we probably served around 400 people. I know we went through a LOT of free food!
I’m glad we had the pre-opening party to kind of work the kinks out because during the middle of the party BOTH bathrooms broke. The men’s had water coming up from the base of the toilet…. YUCK and the women’s just had the water to the rim threatening to overflow but it never did. I called and emailed the building maintenance manager but of course didn’t hear back so we had to shut down the bathrooms! AND this was all happening while one of the ladies from the county offices was here eating so it was super embarrassing and scary!
We got the plumber out on Monday (and he was exceptionally rude, acting like we did something wrong) and found out that they had never capped the exhaust pipe that goes from our restaurant out to the sewer so for the last who knows how many years garbage has been falling down into and backing up that pipe but since there wasn’t any occupant using as much water as we have been it hasn’t been an issue. They had to snake out the drain for about 20 yards.
The rest of the week consisted of running and doing last minute errands and going to pick up small wares and food and last minute license requirements. Then on Friday we had our first real catering job out of our new place. A long time friend’s daughter was getting married so we let them use the restaurant to have their rehearsal dinner since we weren’t open yet. It turned out to be a good training exercise for our crew. We had a great time and I think they had a great time too and really enjoyed the food but I was exhausted by the time we left.
On Saturday morning I had to admit defeat and tell hubby he was right…. I think I am better suited to sit up front and take the money than do all that running serving tables. Trust me, 54 years old is NOT the time to start serving tables unless you’ve done it for a LONG time or are in GREAT physical shape… neither of which is the case for me! To my chagrin I had to admit defeat and tell him that YES, he was correct…we WERE going to need to hire more servers and I’d be just as happy as a little clam to sit my big fat tookus and handle the money and greet the customers and help out serving if we got slammed. I am just smart enough to know when to yell “Uncle”!
We have several employees hired (10 right now including us) and have all their paperwork filled out and ready to go. We had our first official employee meeting today and got our blinds put up so no one will be blinded by the setting sun in the evening. The things that still haven’t been done are really more aesthetic than anything. We haven’t gotten our pictures back from being framed yet so as soon as that happens we will get those hung but for now we are a go.
I got the menus typed up and printed and it’s nearing midnight and we have to be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow so even though there is lots more I want to tell you all I guess I should try to get some sleep for the big day tomorrow. Enjoy the photos from the opening and our catering job the other night.