The Father's Day Massacre

June 15, 2012    » posted by: charlieredd

The Father’s Day Massacre

I think I can finally talk about Father’s Day last year. This story has been in the editing stage since the massacre happened at 4257 Washington St on Father’s Day 2011. It is time to come clean to all the patient families, irate hungry decaffeinated parents, to the poor couple at table 4 whose daughter flung the champagne flute across the dining room at the peak of the hysteria, and to the couple that flipped me the bird as they walked out. I’m terribly sorry, but there is a story to be told, it goes like this….

Two months into the opening of RnR we had a rocky start. The general manager I had hired turned out to be a disaster, the staff he had brought on was incompetent (minus a few characters, but they wouldn’t EVER work brunch), and I found myself running the front and back of a restaurant that was puttering along quietly. People were trickling in but we were without a street front sign (still are!) and making a quiet debut. Staff:

-Harley the stony landscaper had quit as our Sunday dishwasher, replaced by some punk rock hitch hiker from Worcester covered in home made tattoos.
-Adam, our current general manager, had just come on not knowing the swamp I was roping him into.
-Sandy, Antonio, and I had solidified our brunch routine and were supported poorly by Priscilla who was straight out of culinary school but showed very little interest in cooking and a lot of interest in stage makeup and red lace bras coming out of her unbuttoned chef jacket.
-Heather Kelly holding it down at the bar, longing for Legal Seafoods income level without the bull shit. Always ready to go but rarely put to the test.
-One other unnamed server that was just showing signs of cocaine abuse and could barely handle 5 tables.
A shaky team, no support, but some pillars. WE had never served over 50 people at brunch, even with our gorgeous patio up and running. We dove into Sunday brunch thinking we were ready.

9:45 am- prep has been going on and we are looking good, Kitchen is dialed in, dining room is set, Heather has the bar tight, everyone is still putting the finishing touches on their “mise en place” in an excited anticipation of our first busy brunch. The sun is out, weather perfect, people are walking by the windows in the front, it’s going to be a good day. As I check the prep and set up I get the excitement of finally overseeing this restaurant have a good busy day.

And then it all fell apart.

WE have a staff breakfast between 9:45 to 10 to get a little something in the belly before service. Today no one had bothered with the last minute details being attended to except for me. Knowing this would be a big day and I needed to come up big I got a little plate of eggs to energize me through it all. I took a bite into soft scrambled eggs only to be overcome with revulsion. The eggs were bad!!!

“Grab those omelets! Bring them back here NOW!” As the first plates started to go out I stopped them dead and took a bite, all rotten. Fuck.

I grabbed my new punk rock hitchhiker dishwasher and gave him a hundred dollar bill.

“Go to the grocery around the corner and buy 30 dozen eggs. If you don’t come back I will find you and tattoo my name across your forehead with a ball point pen. GO!” Out he ran.

Dining room is full at this point. We can’t seat people fast enough. WE are open 10 minutes and already full. Front staff consists of two servers, Adam managing, and Heather bartending and quickly taking tables. I don’t remember who the servers were but they sucked. Heather and Adam charged into it like Thermopyle. There was no way to come out alive but they tried their damndest.

Priscilla called from the back of the kitchen” I have a problem with the waffle iron!” All the waffles were sticking to the iron like glue and burning. I now had two waffle irons completely gummed up and burning, a batch of rotten waffle batter ( as best I can tell from the cause and effect, someone didn’t rotate the milk and our scrambled eggs and waffle were made with sour milk. Idiots!) Things were looking worse as I stared at a full board of tickets. This was going to take some SERIOUS politickin’ to get out with some reputation intact.

Dishwasher got back, eggs got cracked, kitchen cranked up again, 30 minutes behind. I don’t know if you have ever worked brunch before but people are not friendly when they have to wait for their food in the morning. Put on top of it that your stupid server doesn’t know how to make the coffee and lets the thermos go dry while it takes 10 minutes to brew some more which won’t be enough to fill all the cups clanking in the dining room for more. Add to it that people are hungry AND can’t get coffee AND are there with their kids to celebrate and you have the Bermuda Triangle centered on us and Amelia is flying us into the center of the the hurricane.

Some highlights from the carnage:

-Regular customers came from yoga class and waited, meditating at times to channel the extreme shittttttyness of what was around them, over an hour for waffles.
-Party of 8 lesbian parents arrived promptly at 10 am for their reservation and waited 1 hour with three screaming hungry children only to get their dishes all screwed up.
-Table four, quiet couple and new parents sit 8 month old down in high chair ( we ran out of those at 10:10am), get some champagne, hold hands for a second, only to have daughter grabs champagne flute and chucks it at table of 8 sending glass sliding through the whole dining room and around the feet of a barefoot child for some reason running around the table of 8 (see above).
-Patio full. Wait list is prepared. People waiting impatiently at the bar. Someone is sat at the first table to open up on the patio only to realize (maybe) that a waiting party was skipped and starts to yell at everyone. Chaos unfolds. Demands are loudly expressed for justice. All is made calm with a lot of free alcohol.
-Strollers parked in the flower bed.
-Sox start to lose mirroring our bad fortune.
-xx-Couple walks out flipping us the bird over their shoulders after sitting and getting no service for thirty minutes. The true kick in the balls as we were down. Sucks, sucks , sucks, SUCKS.

We powered through it like trained professionals. Never give up, always “Make it Happen”. We followed our mantra and made sure that every plate that came out was as good as we could make it. If someone is going to wait 1 hour for an omelet it better make their underwear fly off in sheer pleasure. They’re hungry enough!

(I’m gonna finish this bottle of wine alone just writing and reliving this horrible two hours.)

Brunch was served, people equalized once food hit their bellies, we bought drinks, coffee, food anything we could think of to let people know we cared. The weather was still beautiful and the restaurant hit it’s stride, in time to close!!!!!!! Amount of people served, 176. A bit more then 50.

SOOOOOOOOOOO, to anyone that was there, please accept my most sincere apology. It was my worst day in this crazy business. Come in again this Sunday and we will make it up to you while giving you the best brunch of your LIFE! This year we are ready,…….I hope.

also seasoned with: