Today’s the big day, Valentine’s Day. The book is completely full. People will be late for reservations. Others will no-show, having made reservations at several restaurants and picking the one that best meets their tastes, budget and time schedule – and they won’t call to cancel. Guests will camp out, nursing waters or coffees, as if they purchased a 99-year lease on their table when they made their reservation. The owners will scurry about, hysterical, issuing conflicting directions to staff – everything is ASAFP! Never mind that you’re in the process of some other ASAFP task equally important. Guests will be irritable having to wait 20 minutes for a table on the busiest day of the year.
Proverbial Writing On The Wall
And, believe it or not, the phone will still ring off the hook. Restaurant professionals will recognize how typical and true the following phone ‘transcript’ is:
‘Thank you for calling Carney’s Corner. May I help you?’
‘Yes. I’d like to get a reservation tonight for two people at 7 o’clock.’
‘Mmm. I’m sorry, but we’re really booked up tonight. It’s Valentine’s Day.’
‘Actually, we’ve been pretty much full for more than a week. We can get you in around ten o’clock, if you can make that work for your schedule.’
‘You’re telling me you don’t have anything at seven? How about 7:30?’
‘No. You’re welcome to walk-in and take a chance, if you like. You never know. There’s always no-shows. But we can’t guarantee anything, of course.’
‘You’ve got nothing . . . I’ve been coming in there for years. I know Carney. She’ll know me when she sees me.’
‘I can have her call you, if you like . . .’
This will happen tonight. Multiple times.
It’s phenomenal on several levels. 1) It’s dicey to call ‘the night of’ on an ordinary night, but Valentine’s Day? 2) Then being amazed, or even offended, that we’re full? 3) Don’t they know that everybody knows Carney? This is why the restaurant is popular. Do they expect Carney to cancel the reservation of somebody else she knows so she can satisfy you?
Well, so anyway. Last night was absolutely stellar. As I predicted last post, the quality of diners was very good, though there was some ‘amateur’ spill over. I had more than two full turns, and guests ordered well. I brought in $403 for the team, and ended up walking with $272. Our bottom line was improved somewhat by the absence of one busser, leaving us with just Primo. Accordingly, we tipped out a little over 10% instead of the customary 15%. Which was fair because, though Primo was working harder to compensate, so were we. The end result produced much more money for Primo (than if he had a partner) and more money for us. He made over $100, which is a lot for a busser (at least in my experience), and he deserved it.
The week at Michael’s was no great shakes, personally. Though business was higher than usual, so was the staffing. Out of four, I had only a single $100 day. Ended up with a $65 average for the week.
I might pick up Sunday night, depending on Mark’s willingness to give up the shift. They have shifted him to the floor (from behind the bar), bringing in Frank to work the Stick. It will be a good night. I consider it an easy opportunity to get while the gettin’s good. I’ll be taking the Wife out for our Valentine’s Day Monday or Tuesday, so the extra money should cover that event nicely.
Everyone: Have a happy and stress-free Valentine’s Day!