Well, this past week has been an exciting and challenging one. I have seen more people and met more people in the space of 4 days than I can shake a stick at! AND I am loving it. Let’s see….Main thing… WE ARE OPEN!
We opened Tuesday to a nice little pop and were steady pretty much all day. Thankfully we had a couple of friends eat early and then go home and call or email or “Facebook” (is that a verb now?) their friends so lots of people who otherwise would not have heard about us came in! YAY.
We had more than once people drive in from South Carolina (friends and relatives) just to eat and then return home. I can’t communicate how much that meant to us. We even had #1’s FIL stop by on opening day on his way somewhere else. I was so surprised and honored that he would do that!
Wednesday was a little slower and Thursday evening we had a group of teachers from our kids old elementary school show up and it was nice to catch up with them. I think the thing that surprised (and delighted) me most was that we have had several people who have come in multiple times not only in the same week but in the same day! We were only open 4 days last week and had some people eat with us 4 times! I guess that means they either really like us or they really like the food! Or maybe both?
We had people come in who heard about us from their friends on Facebook or the Chamber of Commerce or their community newsletter or the courthouse newsletter or the Chapel Hill News and Views. Many of the avenues we were not even aware of! I guess word really does get around in a small town.
Friday we had our official ribbon cutting so we literally opened with a completely full restaurant! Anyone who came for our ribbon cutting got to stay and eat for half price so almost all the Chamber Members who showed up for the ribbon cutting came and ate afterwards. It was a wonderful and emotional even for both of us. He gave a great little speech about his foster mother Mama Thatcher and had us all crying and the surprisingly his foster brother Richard showed up right afterwards. I hate that he missed the little speech but a friend of ours had videoed it so he got to see it. It meant a lot for him to stop by. We had a good little dinner and I let hubby leave a little early since he’d been up since the crack of dawn and I closed down with our awesome crew.
Then we came in Saturday morning all ready to either sink or swim since it was Cinco de Maya and we have a Mexican restaurant in the same shopping center. We weren’t really expecting to have a big crown on Saturday. We got an even bigger surprise…. We had run by to pick up fries and chicken tenders and walked into the restaurant to find our freezer temp at 60º! WTH???
My heart sank and so did hubby’s as we grabbed the thermometer and started temping food. It’s not a good thing when you poke a thermometer into a bag of previously frozen okra and it makes a poofing sound! WE unfortunately lost everything in the freezer. There is no way we would EVER chance getting anyone sick so we threw it all out. I was almost crying as we bagged up and threw away over $1,000 worth of food.
It would have been one thing for the freezer to go out while we were there and we’d have had time to deal with it or move it other places but the fact that it went out overnight and we have no idea how long it had been out and the temps were way too high to even chance it. A lot of people might have tried to use the stuff but we wouldn’t think of putting anyone’s health or our reputation at risk. We bagged up and threw out almost 6 FULL garbage bags of food. Over 100 pounds of split chicken breasts! We had just gotten our truck in on Thursday morning so the freezer was pretty full. They are ordering the part today to be flown in tomorrow.
I guess if it could have happened on a “perfect” day that would have been the Saturday to close. We promptly called all of our employees and explained that we wouldn’t open Saturday and put a note on the door. We used the day to run errands and ended up my old boss came all the way out from Atlanta with his wife to surprise us and we weren’t there! Then his other brother came all the way from South Carolina to surprise us and we weren’t there. They called and we came over and at least got to spend some quality time with them. I hated having to turn people away especially when they had made the special trip out just to see us but it was something that we had no control over.
Hopefully it will be fixed for good or I’m going to be calling the manufacturer and pitching a fit. Unfortunately they said our warranty does not cover loss of product or business…. That was a total bummer but at least no one got sick! I guess that will have to just be chalked up to a business loss. And hopefully the fact that we had to close on our very first Saturday of business won’t turn people away. If you made the trip to eat with us on Saturday and we weren’t here, I apologize profusely! Please come back and visit and give us another chance.
We did use the time to revamp our menu and get the place all organized and spiffed up for week two! So that was our week… how was yours?