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In 1975, Gabe Kotter went back to his ‘alma mater’, James Buchanan High School in Brooklyn, to lead a racially and ethnically diverse remedial class. He may not have been successful in teaching the curriculum, but he made a big difference in the lives of the “Sweathogs”.


I feel like a member of the class. Our industry is a racially and ethnically diverse bunch of misfits. I’m not sure what our collective grade score would look like, but I do know that we didn’t choose hospitality over law or medicine. We may not be A students, but we are passionate, talented, entrepreneurial, innovative, resilient and spirited. We are good at what we do best, but not so good on the other stuff. Accounting, law, technology, carpentry and mechanics are best handled by experts. We will concentrate on being hospitable.


DapperDan’s Hospitality Industry Guidelines did arrive late on the promised date. I’d already started on a Mornington Pinot by then, but I did manage to get through the 30 page thesis with a little help from another HospoVet (thanks Nugget). To be fair, it is all quite reasonable and pretty much as you would imagine. It relies on good old common sense. A tick from me.


What ticks me off is the expectation that the ‘Sweathogs’ will be able to decipher all the mumbo jumbo. I had a coffee with my Sardinan mate Stefano this morning who I sent the thesis to last night. He said “I coulda not been bothering reading it, waddas it say?” I explained my key takeouts;


1. Maximum 6 pax per booking;

2. Staff not included in 20 person rule;

3. Customers can enter the premises to collect takeaway without being counted in your patron limit;

4. 4m2 rule applies to trading space only and must not include bars and back of house;

5. Must record every persons name and number and that information MUST be destroyed after 28 days;

6. Use common sense.


The other 'tick off' is the release of the training materials next Monday. That’s right, the day we are allowed to start trading. Just after I put the finishing touches on my brand new business plan, cashflow forecasts, rosters and pricing models. When I've completed a deep clean, set up, designed a new compliant floor plan, trained the staff, produced a new menu restocked and got my Tyro terminals back. Immediately following a refresh of our POS system and reactivation of supplier accounts. Somewhere in between the equipment check ups, beer line cleans and other maintenance. Just after I finish the budget for the relaunch and tick off the last item on my extensive To Do list.


You want to hear the best bit? I have to employ more staff to cover the 11 shifts on top of my classmates that didn't qualify for JobKeepers. I don't know about you, but I haven't been flooded with pre-booking enquiry.


This 'Sweathog' is opening on Tuesday, maybe. You can stick Monday “up your nose with a rubber hose”.


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