Navy clean? I need Mom clean!

Sheriff's OfficeVia experimentation to clarify for all dining room employees what clean really means, a true measurement of what my Mother would deem acceptable is in direct correlation with how sore you are after a full days work of scubbing.

My good friend the Sheriff shared his Mother’s advice openly and remarked how it had become such a positive template for his life and how he expected others to live theirs – “Better keep yourself clean and bright. You are the window through which you must see the world.” – George Bernard Shaw

After many hours over nearly three weeks now, a good chunk of funds and some serious elbow grease the transformation to cleanliness and safety is quite remarkable.

The processes involved in taking over a cafe run rather grimy, unorganized and ultimately unsuccessfully by a family for the past few years has offered more than a few glimpses into the “behind the scenes” workings of a restaurant.  The processes of bringing meals to the public and providing an inviting, comfortable, delicious and safe environment my be more complex than many may realize.

Shaffer Dining RoomFor someone who has been on the “public only” side of things, I am enjoying a new understanding and appreciation of our cooks, servers and dish washers as they do definitely deserve our respect and gratuitous offerings.

Holding everything together, keeping your food costs low, opening very early, completing all of the required closing duties quite late are a seven-day per week undertaking. Having been thrown into the management of others in this small town environment, while staying away from the soda machine and the deep-fried finger foods, I am enjoying every minute of my ne adventure.

In the past I have managed many different teams, and successfully run lean, profitable businesses, yet this environment is far different and it requires more compassion and understanding than I had expected. With the income levels so low here, people need to be paid ever Friday and usually cash their checks from the register if possible.

The many requests for mid-week “draws” on their expected payday bonanza is quite common whether it’s for diapers or a 30 pack of Budweiser –  the essentials of life must be made available when at all possible.

All I know is that I am working long hours, juggling many hats and making progress on the improved safety and cleanliness of our cafe. I have a new understanding of “PHFs” and the proper handling of “potentially hazardous foods” as I have had the refrigeration brought up to code and will have all my employees be certified in safe food rules and regulations.

If you have never put together a completely new menu, I would not recommend you take on the task as literally everyone has their own take on family favorites. I love all of the input and suggestions, but I’m trying to keep our new and improved offerings under 100 pages.  Don’t get me started on New Mexico favorites either as that is a whole different world and a full page that must be included whether I like any of those items or not.

My quest for the ultimate “brown derby” salad, biscuits and gravy and the worlds best chicken enchiladas continues…

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