Saturday, February 28, 2009

First night at Hennen's...

Last night was my first night back at the "old" trade. It went surprisingly well. I remembered a lot from my days at Lancaster's and Somoma Cucina. (Both Bloomington, IL restaurants).
The guy who trained me was named Ivan. He is really good. Smooth talker. He has a lot of "regulars/request tables." The sections are small but the ticket sales are big :) Me likey. I think Ivan had 7 tables all night and had over $1000 in sales. Very good considering he was trying to teach someone the "ropes" at the same time.
The restaurant is BEAUTIFUL. I have never been in a place this nice. The kitchen is real nice too. Really long and skinny. More like a galley kitchen. The menu is out of this world. The chef really has his stuff together. The chef is from Alabama, but has lived all over the world. It won't be a problem making money here. The food really sells itself. I think the most beautiful dish I saw go out was the scallops over grits with prosciutto ham and arugula to garnish. The grits looked like fluffy mashed potatoes. I can't wait to try it!
The only "obstacle" I see is the computer. I haven't worked on a computer at a restaurant since 1998! All the tickets at Lancaster's were hand written. So I could basically do whatever I wanted. At Hennen's it is a little different. It is a really organized house with A LOT of rules. No eating on shift. No hoop earrings. No more than one ring on each finger. Black socks, shoes, and pants. White oxford shirt with a button down collar. And you MUST use Hennen's pens. The manager gave me 3, and said if I need more they are 50 cents. I get 1 apron, if I need another one, it is $8. Whew. Tight ship.
I am in a training period of 5 days...working 5 dinner shifts straight through is going to be tiring to say the least. At least I will get done with training fast and get my own sections and finally start making money! At the beginning of each day there is a test from the previous night. I need to get 90% accurate in order to start the next shift. They gave me a copy of the test last night to "practice" on...come to find out, nothing I learned last night is on the test. It is all in this 40 page manual they gave me! Looks like I have some studying to do this afternoon. :)
I am going to head to the mall and try and find another couple white shirts and check out mattresses. Sleeping on an air mattress is getting really really old (thanks Heidi, but the aerobed can only please a person so long :))
The weather down here is rainy and in the low to mid 40s. It is so strange to have skipped the month of February and March and jumped right into April weather. I hear things are still really cold up there. Sorry guys. :(
Take care and wish me luck on my second shift at Hennen's tonight.

No comments: