Friday, September 26, 2008


It is now time that all of us patriotic, Christian Americans get down on our knees and thank the Lord that Sarah Palin and her friend Reverend Muthee have saved us all from the great threat that has hovered over us for so long. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, she has saved us from.......WITCHCRAFT! Forget the financial crisis, the never-ending war in Iraq, high gas prices, or our bankrupt country. She has truly saved us from the most evil scum the world has ever seen.

Just Google Sarah Palin, Muthee, and witchcraft, and you will see how she has saved us.

Nuff said.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Scary Times, Indeed

As I've posted before, I talk to many, many restaurant workers, managers, and owners on a daily basis. At least 95% of the time, while I'm ringing up their 1/3 pans, bib aprons, and wine keys, I have the time to chit-chat with them. "How's business?" is repeated in our place about 40 times a day or more. And these folks want to talk. If business is good, they want us to share in their good fortune. If it's not so good, they want reassurance that better times are ahead. These are, indeed, rough times, and some are having a rougher time than others.

The thing is, everyone knows who's doing well, who's getting by (barely), and who's going down the tubes. This is a not-so-big city and everyone knows who's doing well and who's not. Times like these tend to weed out the weak, the un-educated, and the fools. The restaurants that are in the danger zone can be divided into different categories, which are:

Ass-Run. The first indicator of this is that the only person from this establishment we see is the owner/manager. Only the one person. This person micro-manages to such an extent that they don't trust any person who works for them to buy a $1 spoon. And they want you to give them that $1 spoon for 50 cents. And they name drop the owner's name if you don't sell it at cost (which is what they saw it for at Wal-mart, although it's not the same quality). (Believe me, the owner would not give his mother anything for free, so don't try it) These asses treat everyone like their personal slave. They get my minimal discount. And my eternal disdain. They will never have long-term, happy employees, and so will be out of business sooner than they desire. And they deserve it.

Ditzy ass-Run. These people have the right attitude, but no experience (or aptitude) to do it correctly. These are the ones that buy imported stemware to serve $8 a bottle Chablis. Or buy cheap 8 ounce stemware for both white and red wine. They are the ones who don't know what a 1/3 pan is. Or think Bain Marie is a pop singer. Or who don't know whether their dish-machine uses chlorine, iodine, or quaternary. These are the kind who will hang on by the skin of their teeth, making it more difficult than it should be. They sweat every Health Department visit because they don't know the rules. They usually have inherited the business or were thrust into it. They will never be successful, but will

Lazy ass-Run. These people sit back and wait for people to flock to their restaurant. They don't advertise. They close on Sundays and holidays because they think they have a life. They "create" a menu and stick to it, no matter what. They put no effort into their endeavor and then wonder why no one eats there.

Cheap ass-Run. These folks are the ones who come into our place of business and ask where the used fryers and reach-ins are. When we explain that we don't like to carry used merchandise because it's a losing proposition for both of us, they roll their eyes. Hello, if you're going to put $1000 worth of food into a $600 refrigerator, your priorities are in the wrong place. Their business depends on equipment that works every day, and if it doesn't, they need a warranty to keep costs down. If you buy used equipment, you don't know if it's been maintained properly. We usually get calls from these dorks at 4:45 on a Friday begging for help with their fryer that won't fry their 95% fried menu (Can you say time-and-a-half times $70/hr?). Needless to say, a minimal discount from me is their reward.

I could go on and on since there are countless others who will never be successful in the biz, and for countless reasons. The one thing that they have in common is that they don't ask for help from us. My boss (Who I don't like so much, but he probably couldn't care less) hires people with restaurant experience to work my job so we can help (He's not stupid, just not very diplomatic). Those who prosper know how to ask for help from those who can help them the most. Those who fail don't ask, they just complain.