Written by Danny
Helllllooooo my awesome people, how are all of you??? I really hope you enjoyed my first blog and as I mentioned in it, I'll be giving you a play by play on the massive turn of events that happened to us resulting in a Life Change Overnight and how we had to fly or die. Now as I write this I am 100% comfortable with the whole "restaurant" thing, y'know, waitering, placing orders in the kitchen and any other task you could imagine regarding owning a restaurant but now that you know where I've ended up, let's do that whole Star Wars thing and start working backwards and let me tell you where we started.
So the original idea when we first opened was:
- To open a somewhat fast food restaurant
- Sell Australian meat pies and other pastries
- To basically emulate a Spanish franchise “100 Montaditos” but instead of the little sandwiches, with mini meat pies and so on
The first week was intense, after having being out of the workforce for over 6 months at this point I was feeling a little less than super enthusiastic at starting back up again but of course the whole reason as to why we were here in Spain, so far away from our home was to do exactly that. So come Saturday May16th 2015 it was time to hold the inauguration to this new game we were about to enter (very naively).
As our guests started to roll into our freshly mounted restaurant for the celebrations, the nerves began to rise, especially when they asked me to pour them a beer and having realized that I pretty much STILL hadn't really poured a beer until then and we were opening in 2 days! The night rolled on and was a blur for all 3 of us. It was really starting to hit home that we have just gotten ourselves into something that we weren't 100% sure of.
Monday 18th of May, it was time to open to the public. We're waiting inside the restaurant fearful of what the first day would bring us. At this point we knew nothing of "the unspoken language" of running a restaurant. We only ever had bakeries. Where we would open the doors at 5am and had customers trickling in all day. There were busier times such as the breakfast rush and lunch rush, but constantly people coming in and keeping us busy. Well with a restaurant here in Spain and now that I think of it, anywhere in the world there is: (times based on Spanish times and they be a little crazy hahahaah)
- Breakfast time (8am-10am)
- Lunch time (2pm- 5pm)
- Dinner time (9pm- midnight)
Well when we opened at 11am that was just after the breakfast time sessiom and still 3 hours before lunch so we were freaking out and getting so worried as to the fact that we, for 3 hours straight had no one come through our establishment.
Come lunch time we had a couple tables and that was intense for me (at the time). I had to go up to tables and try and explain the menu that I still wasn't 100% sure about and on top of that I had to explain it in Spanish. People were asking me all these random questions and me being the "front man" of the business as well as the owner I couldn't afford to show any un-easiness in the way I carried myself (these are all things I've learnt from my many years in customer service in the bakeries back in Aus and I believe I'd like to make a blog about in the next few weeks to come)
So our main idea was to push the meat pies however about a day or two before we finished off the menus my dad said that he wanted to put a beef, chicken and a kangaroo burger on the menu, just to mix it up a bit. Wellllllll we weren't ready for the shock that we recieved. Sure enough people were ordering a few pies here and there for their entrées but nearly everybody was ordering some form of burger and mainly KANGAROO. We hadn't setup the kitchen to be a burger joint, nor had we stocked up on ingredients from our suppliers to be able to fulfill such demand, nor did we move 15,000 odd kms to another country to sell burgers!
However this is what the people wanted, they were going nuts for this new concept of exotic meat burgers that they were just flocking in, at a pace we couldn't keep up with at first. It was so intense and draining, we had tables coming in one after the other and it was absolute mayhem. We didn't have any systems in place to be able to handle such an onslaught of hungry people.
We had some pretty upset but understanding (due to good customer service, which like I said, I will get into on another post) customers. We really had our asses handed to us and soon after we realized that the dream of selling little Australian meat pies was over and we HAD to move to selling burgers or we'd go under.