By this time most years, it’s time to pipe all hands on deck- November is here, catering is in full swing, Thanksgiving orders are coming in at full tilt, and payroll is peppered with overtime. Just like everywhere else, though, it’s a weird year here. Hiring continues to be a thorn in our figurative side- Since I last sent out an email, we’ve scheduled eight more interviews, half of whom have shown up for the interview, and two of whom have shown up for a stage. The one person we’d definitively hired emailed on Monday to say his schedule at his primary job had changed, and he wouldn’t be in on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday as scheduled.
Food costs have unmistakably gone up this year, but if you want to know what you’re really paying for when you go out to eat these days, it’s the dramatically increased cost of having a staff. We went from training maybe two or three people a year to training three or four a month. It’s more just to get them in the door, and will they stay? The odds are against it. So it’s a steady stream of training. We had three more scheduled to stage this week, one of whom has already opted not to come in, less than sixteen hours after agreeing to. We’ll see what the next two days bring as far as kept promises go.
People seem less predictable on all fronts, though. We’ve learned by now that potential coworkers are unpredictable, but catering has been strictly a last-minute affair this year. A normal October is usually booked up by July, but this year people have waited until the eleventh hour, like the guy who called yesterday to order an early Thanksgiving dinner for tomorrow. As much as I’d have loved to accommodate him, ordering the ingredients for turkey and its trimmings on a Tuesday, assuming we haven’t missed the 4:00 cutoff, means getting them in late in the afternoon on Wednesday, likely after most or all of the prep cooks have gone home (after all, the purveyors are as short on drivers as we are on cooks,) which would mean preparing a Thanksgiving dinner from scratch within a couple of hours, and that’s also assuming, have we not missed the cutoff, that the turkey hasn’t come in frozen. You get the idea.
It’s with this in mind that I report to you that what’s usually a dull roar by now has been considerably dulled by either procrastination or a lack of interest- the jury’s still out as to the cause. But I hereby offer you the link once again to the Thanksgiving carryout menu with the reminder that just as we have a cutoff to place our orders, so must we dictate a cutoff for you- you’ve got until the end of our business day on Saturday to call in your Thanksgiving pickup order to pick up with heating instructions the day before.
If you want, you can place your order when you come in for this Saturday’s wine tasting, for which you’ll want to have made a reservation.
Again, we’ll keep giving thanks, and hope that you’ll keep wishing us luck in finding a solid, reliable crew, so we can all have something for which to be thankful.
Your friends at Feast