As a small biz owner, there are 3 Ps that I pay attention to everyday: my product, my patrons and my peops. I rely heavily on my fab staff to do the right thing – take good care of our patrons, be productive and responsible and have my back whether I’m there or not. I’m seriously blessed with a kind and hard-working team. They are talented and smart with kickin’ futures ahead.
In the restaurant industry, turnover is notoriously high. Since I opened 18 months ago, I’ve had 11 bakers cycle in and out of my kitchen. The front of house turnover has been even greater –17 have been employed over the course of that time. Currently I have 3 pastry cooks (Joan, Serena and Sacha), 3 bartenders (Pippa “Pips”, Mallory ” Mal” and Brittney “Britt”) who handle the shifts I don’t work, and 2 supermen, Juan and Luis, who manage the facilities and keep us sane.
Sweet Revenge® is open 7 days a week. We bake every day on site. There are two front of house shifts per day, spearheaded by one bartender handling all the front of house duties — greeting and serving patrons, making drinks and plating food, bussing tables, placing inventory orders, and everyone’s fave — washing dishes. I bartend 5 nights a week, sometimes 6.
Earlier this week, Mal put in her two week’s notice. She recently moved to Crooklyn with her boyfriend, “Bucket Boy” Chris (he has been the lucky recipient of quart containers filled with the scooped-out-centers of cupcakes). Mal is a cheery gal, full of Southern charm and grace. Thanks Athens Academy for posting such a great pic!
With Mal’s desire to get closer to the performing arts (she just landed a voice commercial for The Olive Garden – superstar that she is!) and her new long commute, I’m in full support to send her off so she can pursue her dreams. I’ve been trialing out a potential new hire, Kate, who hails from my hometown of Columbus, IN. Kate and I crossed paths several times at SR but the timing was never quite right to bring her onboard. She is bubbly and on it with customers. Pips reached out to a former staffer, Alicia, who has just returned from a dance tour, and she would be a delight to work with again. When it rains, sometimes you get lucky and it pours sunshine. I’d really love to hire both women, and I am trying to figure out if this makes sense.
I’ve learned that change is constant, whether it is taking place inside or outside of Sweet Revenge®. It used to be a weebit traumatic when a staff member resigned. I depended on each individual so much. Over the last 18 months, I’ve developed procedures and checklists and gotten better at training so that handoffs between team-member are smoother and a routine part of what goes on vs a stressful disruption. I’m not as emotionally invested as I used to be in that I don’t sweat it when someone quits because I know that I will find a fab newcomer for the team and everything will be all right. A former staffer who we all loved, Mimi (currently teaching English in Turkey!) left us with a saying on our tip jar: “Everything works out in the end. If it’s not working out, it’s not the end”.
In my personal life, I’m learning to handle change hopefully a bit better. Holycaramba is that requiring a lot of work and personal growth on my part! I’ve been reflecting on what a roller coaster starting Sweet Revenge® was and the many parallels there are in starting a new relationship. Relationships require patience, perserverence, a whole lotta love/acceptance/humor/confidence and a solutions mindset to navigate change to find a good compromise and good results. I’m working on not taking things personally that don’t have to do with me and finding peace knowing everything will work out in the end.
The world continues to turn…
Teaser Taste of Sweet Revenge®: Nailin’ down the deats on next Saturday’s Eat, Drink & Help Haiti Fundraiser!
The sweetest revenge is just to be happy!