It had nothing to do with the food; everything ran fine and people were happy with their burgers. It mostly had to do with me finding out that I'm going to have to shell out nearly five grand for a new motor for my exhaust fan.
For those of you who've been following along, and remember when the fire department was here, that's probably not a big surprise. But I was holding out hope that someone would tell me that I just needed a new fan belt or something similar that would cost a hundred bucks or so. No such luck.
After having three or four HVAC guys out here, and getting wildly disparate opinions about what the underlying issue was, the last two have basically told me the same thing, which I am now resigned to believing. I need a new motor, a new drive shaft, and new bearings.
That's not the reason for my crappy day, though....It was more due to how I responded to the news. The quote was delivered to me right as we were about to get busy for lunch and I really let it affect me. The guy kept turning the fan on and off and we kept building up lots of smoke and heat and then it would slowly dissipate, and for a while I was worried that his monkeying around up there was going to cause the thing to fail entirely.
Instead, it kept chugging along, but they're coming out tomorrow to do the install. After I found out I'm going to have to put out all that cash, we had a fairly slow lunch (well, ok....not slow, per se, but slow compared to the crazy pace we've been going at) and I found myself sweating the stupid small stuff like people getting water instead of a soda and that kind of thing.
Normally, I hate the kind of nickel and diming that restaurants often engage in. My philosophy is that I'm happy to provide water cups for free (full size), happy to have people get in and out for $4.75, and happily give four quarters to non-customers because I believe in the concept of hospitality.
It's a lot harder to do, though, in the context of a $5,000 hood repair, and so I wasn't able to be as upbeat and positive today as I normally try to be.
Similarly, I try hard not to "cut" my employees when we're slow. Generally, I believe that hiring and scheduling well makes it possible to allow my employees to work their scheduled hours, and that giving them X number of hours per week consistently is the humane thing to do, since they have bills to pay and households to run and need to be able to count on getting a certain dollar amount every two weeks.
Today, though, after the lunch rush ended, I continued worrying about money, so did end up cutting two of my guys early, although I asked them if they would mind and was fully prepared to allow them to work their scheduled shift if they expressed reservations. Both were actually happy to get out, so that was no big deal.
Bottom line is that I allowed the news about the hood to affect my mood and demeanor with customers and my employees, which is not good.
I need to chalk the expenditure up to start up costs, which is really what it is--it was something that needed to be addressed all along, we just didn't find out about it until a month in--and get over it.
I'm having a hard time doing that, though. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be closer to a place where I can manage it. A really busy day will help. And so will seeing the burger smoke whip up into the canopy and out the way it's supposed to, rather than billowing around under it and curling out into the restaurant as it's been doing for the past month.