Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Clock says 3:45am

Well, it doesn't actually talk. The digital display let me know it was way to early to be awake. I took a drink of water and put my arm around Sherry to return to my dreams. Nothing doing. The thoughts started. And they wouldn't stop. Tamales. What do I need to order? A million little thoughts about the business. You want to go back to sleep for a bit, but they come fast and furious. You think about the customers you saw the day before. What will Karen write in the paper? Did I spend enough time with my friend Robert when he came in? Was Mr. Monday going to write something about us? What do I need to add to the grilled tomato salsa? Can we keep up production?
I roll back over and see that's it's now 4:30. Just a little more sleep, I promise myself. I tell my mind not to forget these great insights and just let me sleep for 1 more hour. It agrees but doesn't comply. The clock ticks (not really, it's digital, remember?) Then after another 45 minutes I decide that one more hour of sleep isn't in the cards. I get up and make my coffee. Check the news online. Call Tucson Food Service to place an order.
I still have so many questions about the business. I want to know how we are going to pack Mike's order for 7 dozen Tamale tomorrow. I know we have the bags, but how can he carry 7 dozen? (I just walked into the kitchen to pour more coffee, looked out the back door at the beautiful morning then walked back here without my coffee, so, back to the kitchen). I wonder, have any of the employees thought about that? That's when I realize what is keeping me up. I have to get everyone to think like a small business. We are just getting started. We have to focus on the small things that make the experience great. We have to have great food and great service. That's our only goal right now. This morning when I get in, we'll have another meeting to talk about the small things that are so important.
I was pissed at myself last night. I brought home a couple of tamales for dinner and started with the green chili pork. It was fantastic. Then I warmed up the chicken tomatillo. It was not what I wanted it to be. I had roasted and then diced some chicken for it. I had been shredding chicken before. The dices were too big and that made for a drier then I want Tamale. I wasn't pissed that I screwed up (I've done that before), I was pissed because that morning before we opened, I tried every Tamale on the steam table to make sure the quality was what we wanted. But I forgot to try the Chicken Tamale. And that was the one that wasn't up to snuff. Live and learn. A new batch of Chicken Tamale will be coming out today.

1 comment:

Tamale Lee said...

Hey, it's almost 1 AM, and I'm going through some of those ideas.
Join the tamale party, Todd!
- Lee Harper