This Mothers Day Article tells a real story of what happened one Mother's Day at the restaurant.
For people in “the biz,” Mother's Day is both a blessing and hard work with long hours .
Mother's Day is the busiest day of the year for most restaurants, including mine. I was looking forward to it from a financial stand-point, but I had a few concerns because I had a new Chef.
He and I had discussed and planned the Mother's Day Brunch in detail for two weeks. He kept assuring me that he had prepared numerous brunches for hotels and I was not to worry. This would be a “cake-walk.”
My husband and I went home that night completely reassured that all would be ready and in order by 6:00 AM the next day. To be ready meant the Chef would work through the night along with two other kitchen staff members.
I arrived at 6:30 AM the following morning to find the kitchen crew in a panic. The new Chef had not shown up until 5:00 AM (no he had not worked through the night) and preparations for our annual Mother's Day Brunch were way behind.
It seems the Chef had gone out drinking the night before. He was walking around in a daze that morning.
The rest of the kitchen staff were "running" as fast as they could in an attempt to catch up. Their eyes told me two things: they would get the job done and they were really, really upset.
Thoughts of strangling the so-called Chef, who had prepared
numerous brunches, were going through my mind and I was wondering if we would
be ready for the 9 AM opening. We had 450 brunch guests coming beginning at
9:00 AM. I thought to myself, "Could the day get any worse?" The
answer turned out to be "yes," it could. And did!
Thanks to everyone but the Chef we opened the restaurant doors on time. Guests started pouring through the doors and the Chef stood at the brunch table slicing roast beef and ham. His lips were fixed in a half smile and there was a blank look in his eyes. I still had a worried feeling, but there was nothing to be done. The “show must go on."
While I seated guests, answered questions and kept track of reservations, I frequently glanced at the Chef. I began to notice the color of his face becoming a brighter and brighter shade of pink. I prayed, “Lord, let us get through this Mother's Day without any more problems.”
Half the prayer would be answered. We’d get through, but not before having another problem.
It was about 10:30AM when I heard a very loud thump behind me. I turned and saw my very red-faced Chef lying on the floor, eyes closed. Worried guests were standing around him.
I hurried to the kitchen for help as more guests began crowding around the soon-to-be strangled Chef (if he lived long enough to give me the opportunity).
The kitchen staff half dragged and half carried the Chef (I am using the word loosely now) from the floor of the dining room to a chair in the staff room. He mumbled something, laid his head on the table and whispered that he was fine, just a little faint.
In the meantime, another staff member had done a speedy change into a clean white uniform and had high-tailed it to the brunch line which was at a stand-still because no one was slicing meat. By now our guests were more concerned with eating than with the new Chef.
As “the buzz” died down and things returned to normal, we went on with our job of creating a memorable dining experience for our Mother's Day guests. We were rewarded with many compliments. “Best brunch we’ve ever had.” “Thank you for the fantastic food.” “We’ll be back.” “It was great.” All of this was music to my ears.
That Mother's Day the guests got more than a fabulous array of food and wonderful service. They went home with a story to tell!
The Chef also went home with a story to tell. He would have to explain to his wife what he had done because she thought he was working all night.
I never heard from him again. His wife picked up his final paycheck without a word more said.
For me, this was just another day in the restaurant "biz.”
Special Notes and Thanks :
This Mothers Day article leaves out some information I want to share. I have had many unbelievable experiences over the past 31+ years in "the biz." But I have been blessed with a core of hard-working, competent staff members for many years. Despite this Mothers Day article, I want them to know that day-in and day-out, they have been responsible for the restaurant's success.
This Mothers Day article really tells two stories: one is about a "chef" who didn't stay employed for long; the other is about a fabulous, hard-working staff that are my blessing every day.
This Mothers Day article doesn't mention that every server who helped rescue that day still works for me, six years after the "Mothers Day I'd Like To Forget."