July 7, 2017

The Light at the End of the Tunnel... (#12)

So... Did you miss me? It has been six weeks since my last post and no, I wasn't sunning myself on a beach in Saint Tropez (I don't even know where Saint Tropez is. Oh, now I do. Thanks, Google. Hah! I also thought it was 'San' Tropez - I hate that place now.)

The last six weeks have actually been more like a roller coaster than a train in a tunnel. But I'm think I'm going to force this Light-At-The-End-Of-The-Tunnel metaphor to work, so... not an ordinary coaster.  More like Space Mountain - you know, the dark one down in Disney World? Anyway, I had some pretty great moments of accomplishment... followed by some pretty tough lows that felt like gut punches (hence, the ups and downs of a roller coaster - oh boy, if I am explaining this, it really is forced). And once or twice, I thought the light at the end of my roller coaster tunnel was indeed an oncoming train (or coaster... you get my drift).

Yes, it was touch and go as I negotiated a new lease and searched for a chef. However, in the last few days, it looks as though it is all coming together and the light might actually be the tunnel's end (and in Space Mountain's case, probably the end of the ride... and since it is not the end of my Wit's End ride, it is the end of my troubled roller coaster train metaphor, which was kind of a disaster, oh well).


I have been working feverishly trying to remove the fly from the ointment (this isn't another random metaphorical idiom... see Post #11). And as of July 3 (yes, it took forever - for reasons I will only share over a cocktail), I have the landlord's agreement allowing me to take over the lease from the existing tenant. (Aside: Buying your own restaurant or bar? Remember Pete's Lesson #425: Discuss a new lease with the landlord while simultaneously negotiating the terms of the purchase agreement... not after!)

Which means... only the transfer of the liquor license from the sellers to me stands in the way of Wit's End becoming real! (Cue the majestic trumpets!) THAT and about a thousand other tasks, which, upon execution, will ultimately answer your most burning questions: What about the chef? When do you open? Where are you located? What else has to happen?


Well... I hired a chef (he wasn't Swedish). And... I was really excited. And... the chef kinda had a change of heart two days after I hired him (in fairness, he never really got started). And... I was really bummed. So... I hired another one. And... I am really, really excited. (See... a little bit of a roller coaster still going on here!)

I can tell all of you (because I know you are super concerned about this), that the food - still small plates - is going to be awesome.  You see, folks kept badgering me into making sure I actually TASTED some of the chef's cooking before hiring him (okay, okay, it was the right call!), so I had him cook for me! (Quick aside: Did you know you can rent time in a professional kitchen pretty easily? I went to www.foundationkitchen.com and Ciaran and Tara totally hooked me up.... and while circumstances dictated that I did not end up using their kitchen, it's a great resource to know about...right in Somerville!) It went splendidly and I am totally confident that the food is going to be fantastic. Better than I would have expected!

With the locomotive, uhhh, coaster (now I'm confused) now moving at full speed, I realize I need to put my MS Project skills to work and develop a schedule (or more likely SmartSheet skills - it's all about the cloud, baby! Wow, I just dorked out. Sorry.)  Some things I need to schedule out (that I'll be discussing soon):
  • my new logo and taglines and other branding
  • my drink menu and beverage program (still need a kick-ass bar manager!)
  • menu design and presentation
  • the interior design and furniture plans
  • an exterior building mural
  • the Wit's End loyalty program (what's your level? Witty, Wittier or Witttiest?)
  • the social media plan
  • uniforms
  • an online platform to standardize operational procedures
  • more hiring
  • training plans
  • liquor license hearings and final transfer process
  • and.... wait for it... an announcement of WHERE and WHEN Wit's End will be opened!
Holy crap. That's a lot of stuff and there is more. Feels like a runaway train (on a roller coaster track)! I gotta get back to work!

Na zdravi!
-Pete