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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 09-20-2019, 02:27 PM   #3226
jacobp
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I'm sure Jeremy is absolutely swamped and busy, but The Prized Pig is opening up today at 5:00. I can't make it today but my daughter and I will be there tomorrow for sure.
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Old 09-27-2019, 06:50 PM   #3227
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Here's a one week in update...

Holy ****. Talk about insane. This is by far the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. It makes Prized Pig 1 seem easy. The things that have happened in the past week to get to this point are like a soap opera.

We opened on opening day without an even functional smoker. We had a team of people working on the smoker until 2pm, just in time to fire it up and have ribs and tips and chicken and stuff ready to go by doors open at 5. So much pressure. And on the same day we had kitchen floods, broken dishwasher, one of the coolers went down, you name it.

To top things off, at 4:55 with a line down the block waiting to come in, I'm gathering with my staff one last time to go over the POS and taking orders. Guess what? Our credit card processor goes down. Yep. Your worst nightmare. And when the clock struck 5:00, our plan to have a host seat tables one at a time and set the pace for the night, everybody stormed in and just sat down everywhere and a huge line formed throughout the dining room for carry out. We went from zero to about 85 people in the building instantly, all without a working point of sale system.

It was awful. I mean, to me it was awful. I'm sure most customers were excited and had a relatively good time, but from an operations standpoint it was pandemonium. Then tickets weren't printing to the kitchen. Suddenly we have 1-2 hour wait times for food that is essentially already cooked and just needs to be plated. I don't know how we survived.

We are a week in now and things have gotten much better, but it's still chaos. There's just so many customers and they don't stop coming. From 10:45 in the morning until about 5 or 6 when we sell out it's almost constantly packed and almost always a line.

The smoker is big enough but now it's a matter of not having enough space to store the food we cook. We need at least double the CVAP cabinets we have now if we want to stay open past 5 on a busy day. So we just ordered two more. We already have two kitchens and it doesn't seem big enough. I don't know what's going to happen.

It's so amazing to see this kind of reaction quite a few years later, but it's stressing me out that things aren't going so smoothly in the front of house and people aren't getting quite the service they need all the time. So we're working on it. Oh, did I mention staff is the hardest part of everything? Almost every day dishwashers just stop showing up to work. Servers don't show up. Cooks don't show up. I've already fired about 4 people and our staff now is up to almost 20.

It's just insane, that's all I can really say to describe it. Never in a million years would I have imagined that hundreds of people would line up every day to eat my BBQ. It's just wild.

But I'm exhausted. I've had a few 18 and even 20 hour days in the past few weeks. I've hardly slept. I haven't eaten. It's starting to get to me to be sure. Monday we're closed so I hope to recover and get ready to go at it again next week. Just have to survive this weekend first...
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Old 09-27-2019, 07:07 PM   #3228
Rusty Kettle
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Congratulations.
One heck of a crazy ride you have had.
Since you have a heck of alot of experience. What do you think someone considering doing this some day should know? Also, whats your best piece of advice for anyone considering this?
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Old 09-27-2019, 07:12 PM   #3229
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marubozo View Post
Here's a one week in update...

Holy ****. Talk about insane. This is by far the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. It makes Prized Pig 1 seem easy. The things that have happened in the past week to get to this point are like a soap opera.

We opened on opening day without an even functional smoker. We had a team of people working on the smoker until 2pm, just in time to fire it up and have ribs and tips and chicken and stuff ready to go by doors open at 5. So much pressure. And on the same day we had kitchen floods, broken dishwasher, one of the coolers went down, you name it.

To top things off, at 4:55 with a line down the block waiting to come in, I'm gathering with my staff one last time to go over the POS and taking orders. Guess what? Our credit card processor goes down. Yep. Your worst nightmare. And when the clock struck 5:00, our plan to have a host seat tables one at a time and set the pace for the night, everybody stormed in and just sat down everywhere and a huge line formed throughout the dining room for carry out. We went from zero to about 85 people in the building instantly, all without a working point of sale system.

It was awful. I mean, to me it was awful. I'm sure most customers were excited and had a relatively good time, but from an operations standpoint it was pandemonium. Then tickets weren't printing to the kitchen. Suddenly we have 1-2 hour wait times for food that is essentially already cooked and just needs to be plated. I don't know how we survived.

We are a week in now and things have gotten much better, but it's still chaos. There's just so many customers and they don't stop coming. From 10:45 in the morning until about 5 or 6 when we sell out it's almost constantly packed and almost always a line.

The smoker is big enough but now it's a matter of not having enough space to store the food we cook. We need at least double the CVAP cabinets we have now if we want to stay open past 5 on a busy day. So we just ordered two more. We already have two kitchens and it doesn't seem big enough. I don't know what's going to happen.

It's so amazing to see this kind of reaction quite a few years later, but it's stressing me out that things aren't going so smoothly in the front of house and people aren't getting quite the service they need all the time. So we're working on it. Oh, did I mention staff is the hardest part of everything? Almost every day dishwashers just stop showing up to work. Servers don't show up. Cooks don't show up. I've already fired about 4 people and our staff now is up to almost 20.

It's just insane, that's all I can really say to describe it. Never in a million years would I have imagined that hundreds of people would line up every day to eat my BBQ. It's just wild.

But I'm exhausted. I've had a few 18 and even 20 hour days in the past few weeks. I've hardly slept. I haven't eaten. It's starting to get to me to be sure. Monday we're closed so I hope to recover and get ready to go at it again next week. Just have to survive this weekend first...
I can feel it.

While I don't own a restaurant, I have cooked in a few high demand, fast paced kitchens.

It's a brutal war zone on a good day and an absolute nightmare when things go bad........which seems to be the norm.

You just soldier through and try to make it happen.

Hang in there, marubozo!
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Last edited by Smoking Piney; 09-27-2019 at 07:36 PM..
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Old 09-28-2019, 08:17 AM   #3230
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I've been following you on the book of faces and am excited for you.
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Old 09-28-2019, 04:44 PM   #3231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Kettle View Post
What do you think someone considering doing this some day should know? Also, whats your best piece of advice for anyone considering this?
I can sum things up pretty easily. You have to be all in and be prepared to sacrifice everything.

Anybody can learn the business as they go, but what you can't train for or learn from a book is the fact that there's no possible way it can be half-assed. At least not if you want to be successful. It becomes your life. You think you live and breathe BBQ now? Not even close.

It consumes you. Every waking moment is about the business. You end up dreaming all night about the business. You sacrifice free time. Friends. Family.

So anybody considering this needs to seriously consider how it will change their life. Possibly for the better, clearly, but you will also give up so much.
å
And to add to the drama of our opening week, I was involved in a car accident this morning on my way rushing back with product before we opened. i'm mostly ok. The car isn't. But there's no time to lick the wounds, I rushed right back here and just finished our busiest day so far. Now it's time to gear up for morning and do it all over again...
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Old 09-28-2019, 06:41 PM   #3232
jkief
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Man...That’s amazing. I always thought about doing something like that when I retire from the Army.
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Old 09-28-2019, 09:55 PM   #3233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marubozo View Post
I can sum things up pretty easily. You have to be all in and be prepared to sacrifice everything.

Anybody can learn the business as they go, but what you can't train for or learn from a book is the fact that there's no possible way it can be half-assed. At least not if you want to be successful. It becomes your life. You think you live and breathe BBQ now? Not even close.

It consumes you. Every waking moment is about the business. You end up dreaming all night about the business. You sacrifice free time. Friends. Family.

So anybody considering this needs to seriously consider how it will change their life. Possibly for the better, clearly, but you will also give up so much.
å
And to add to the drama of our opening week, I was involved in a car accident this morning on my way rushing back with product before we opened. i'm mostly ok. The car isn't. But there's no time to lick the wounds, I rushed right back here and just finished our busiest day so far. Now it's time to gear up for morning and do it all over again...
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
Sorry about your car. Glad to hear you are ok.
Good luck with your new restaurant.
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Old 09-28-2019, 11:49 PM   #3234
bryonlr
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Congrats on what sounds like a very successful business. You can have the best equipment, the best recipes, quality ingredients, but your employees will determine how long your success will continue. Just show them you appreciate them, reward their loyalty, and in time, the long day's, and sleepless night's will be a thing of the past. Good luck
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:42 AM   #3235
Neil
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Thanks for the update Jeremy. Marci and I will be down after things settle down some.
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:05 AM   #3236
jacobp
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Jeremy, I'll say that my 2 1/2 year old daughter were in recently and the food is amazing as always.
Place was jumping, also crammed with people coming in to place takeout orders. So much so that I almost came on here and suggested doing dine in only or limiting takeout until things calm down a bit. But I get you want to serve everyone you can.

In all likelihood, she and I will be back in on Saturday. If its not crazy i'll try to stay hello. Congrats on the success, hopefully it will evolve into a more manageable flow for you soon.
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:34 AM   #3237
marubozo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil View Post
Thanks for the update Jeremy. Marci and I will be down after things settle down some.
Thanks! I'll see you soon I'm sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobp View Post
Jeremy, I'll say that my 2 1/2 year old daughter were in recently and the food is amazing as always.
Place was jumping, also crammed with people coming in to place takeout orders. So much so that I almost came on here and suggested doing dine in only or limiting takeout until things calm down a bit. But I get you want to serve everyone you can.

In all likelihood, she and I will be back in on Saturday. If its not crazy i'll try to stay hello. Congrats on the success, hopefully it will evolve into a more manageable flow for you soon.
Yeah takeout is about 50% of business right now and trying to streamline that along with the dining room has been a challenge for sure. But this week we hired a new FOH manager and have someone dedicated to handling all the carry outs, so things are already running a lot smoother. Still busy as hell, but at least smooth and busy.
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:51 AM   #3238
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Still busy as hell, but at least smooth and busy.

Controlled Chaos is how I refer to it!
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Old 10-01-2019, 05:26 PM   #3239
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If I was there I'd come and help you out. I'm slow but dependable!
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Old 10-16-2019, 12:35 PM   #3240
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I've got our first secret menu item

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