This actually took place about a week ago, but I've been reluctant to blog about it for fear of feeling pressure to get open and possibly do before we're ready.
I've been doing trainings with my staff (which has now grown to include a kind of scrappy guy named Luis) and there have been some issues, mostly centering around cooking the 8oz. burgers to the requested degree of doneness, and then also some issues with reading tickets and putting the correct toppings on the sandwiches. Totally stuff that you'd expect to have to work out, but that does still need to be worked out. Preferably not on paying customers, although it's inevitable that there will be some of that.
So I've been trying to limit that as much as possible by inflicting it on my friends, who are always willing to submit themselves as guinea pigs. Down to the last, they are gracious when they receive a dreadfully overcooked and wrongly-topped burger, but it's hard not to feel sheepish and apologetic when someone I know and care about is given badly prepared food.
There were definitely some growing pains. Following one such session, where I invited a bunch of denizens of LTH forum, I got really down on myself and the restaurant for a couple days. Things did not go well and this was a group whose opinions I really valued. Everyone was completely kind and understanding, but I was embarrassed and started to question the whole crazy idea of me running a restaurant. Until the next good thing happened--I think it was nailing the corndog recipe--and then I was on top of the world again. Can you say bi-polar?
I've mentioned this before, but it's tough not to feel about as good as my last experience here, given the fact that the restaurant has no history, no momentum, no "way it always goes", to fall back on. I guess it's kind of like when you have your first kid and everything's so hugely scary...you just aren't all that confident that they won't just stop breathing one night. But you do tend to gain that confidence over time, with each night that passes and there they are, still alive and fine the next morning.
I keep coming back to the restaurant on days or nights I don't need to be here just to ensure that everything's still here and working the way it's supposed to.
So far, besides some anticipated setbacks, it is.