Archive for November 2010
what is the real reason i have a restaurant? i hope to make a place for people to have a good time. that is why is so upsetting to me when customers are mad that the wait is too long, or mad that we are cash only, or mad for whatever reason… this breaks my heart. i made a place so people can enjoy talking and hanging out and celebrating events around the table. the atmosphere, the food, it’s all there to give you an escape from all the hard times life can bring.
it’s so refreshing when someone takes the time to say something nice. we are lucky in that most folks really like our place and have a good time. but it really makes my day and week when someone takes the time to tell me. somehow it validates the whole thing for me. i was lucky to get just such an email from some nice folks in orlando. they have allowed me to share their story here:
I just wanted to write you a note to let you know how important your restaurant has been to my wife and I over the past few months. In late August we discovered that our beloved cat Cody had a very bad cancerous growth on his shoulder. We were heartbroken and wanted to find the best vet in the country to take care of him. We live in Orlando and realized that taking him to the UF vet teaching hospital would give him the best chance of survival. Over the next few months we traveled up to Gainesville from Orlando quite a few times and each time we visited Satchels Pizza. The whole process was really rough on both of us, and Satchels Pizza and LSE gave us a small thing to look forward to each time during this difficult situation. Your staff was always very welcoming and warm to us when we visited for long lunches while he received treatments at the vet. We even found some cute little kitty items at LSE! Unfortunately, he passed away last week after a long fight. We probably won’t find our way back to Gainesville for a while, but we wanted you to know how important your restaurant was for us in our difficult time.
a good friend has a pinewood derby every year at his house. danny made a video last year, see it HERE.
there are a couple times i am filming from the end of the track… the first time my son’s car is on the right, and wins. the second time my car is on the right, and wins. however, we did not win the whole shebang. had fun anyway. video made with my new ipod.
my son’s car was called “sonic boom,” my car was called “thank you Jesus.”
sort of like a skateboard fanatic who breaks a lot of boards, we break a lot of peels. these babies get a work out. this one is one it’s second glue-up. at over $20 each, i glue them and sand them down and keep going. we have about 6 peels.
it’s been busy – kick my butt busy. if it weren’t for sundays and mondays i might just give up… that’s how much of a wimp i am. i love the job but it wears me out. we have 2 more people on pizzas than 2 years ago, and 2 more people in front of house, and we still have folks waiting 45 minutes for their pizzas and an hour and a half for a table… i swear to you- i’m doing my best. every day i try and figure out ways to make the whole system more efficient. i think there was only one time saturday night that i remembered i was supposed to BREATHE!
thanksgiving week! hooray! hooray for the food my mother will make, especially the sweet potato casserole (i hope she melts marshmellows on top this year) and thanks to the Lord for the ambrosia which rocks my tiny world… and well- there’s not time to talk about all the food i love so much. i will try and bring you video.
oh- and the restaurant will be slammed too. that’s always fun and exciting. the chil’rens have a TWO day school week and FIVE days off- YES!
i am SOOOO thankful for Thanksgiving.
i got on the website for my credit card points to redeem some points for a hammock chair, and lo and behold i had a LOT of points. i got the hammock chair and then decided i needed a new ipod. i ordered the ipod with a video camera. i am still amazed and confused by this device, the ipod touch, and i took this photo tonight. the picture quality doesn’t seem that good and i’m interested to see the video quality since it is supposed to be hi-def…. we’ll see.
i’ve never bought or used an “app” before so i guess with this new device i may have to figure out what an app is.
a customer sent THIS LINK which is a cool, but geeky, representation of a couple of our stickers…
another customer sent THIS LINK to a blog about gluten free products.
and as for last weekend, there was a vandal (or vandals) at LSE. they threw bottles on the bocce court, broke out some lights with bocce balls, threw bocce balls into the woods and thus lost several for good, and carved up the bathroom with a razor blade… yikes! too bad for people like this. we have been fortunate i guess, up to now, to not have anything like this happen.
i had lunch at east end eatery which was very awesome. the smoked turkey, corn and tomato quesadilla was tasty and my daughter loves the kids menu and the games. why were there no customers there the whole time i ate? well- it was a late lunch to be sure, but still, it makes me so sad to see such a great lunch spot so slow… like my pal steve in st. augustine- he’s got some quality food but some days the people just don’t come in much. i don’t get it. there are so many restaurants with crap for food and they seem to be steady enough, and then there are those places which are yet undiscovered. let’s hope they get discovered.
judy has a blog she has started, about the artists showing at satchel’s, among other things. the idea is to give folks a look at some of the current artwork hanging and also a mention of the artwork that is coming up. she’ll show some of the products at lightnin’ salvage too, and show what we have or talk about what we’ll be getting in. just in time for the holidays too. we’ll have loads of good stuff for the people on your christmas list, young, old, or in between.
for those of you who might have missed it, click HERE for the link to our ESPN spot a few weeks back.
well- of course, no money was paid out. the day manager complained that the last deep dish was sold too late, that danny got in late and posted on facebook. he could come up with a hundred reasons why he didn’t like the bet once he was in last place… and then we say double or nothing next friday with no facebook post…and they say ok, but then danny points out that they should all have to keep their same count – meaning if they said we would have 10 left it should stand for next week too… but of course NOW day manager who said we’d have 10 left is saying we’ll sell out next week by 7…what a mess. no matter. we always sell out on the weekends so i guess they have learned that now.
i took a couple pictures tonight to share, but forgot the camera at work. no matter.
we finally got in our 20 new deep dish pans and 2 new racks to hold them while they proofed. so, today was the first time we were ready with 40 deep dish pies. mark, the day kitchen manager is always cynical and skeptical. he started the “bet” on how many we would have “left over” at the end of the day. i was in the kitchen early today, saw the clipboard with a couple people’s votes… “what is this about?” i asked. no one would tell me. later, i found a couple more people had voted so i asked someone else and got my answer… it was a bet (dollar a head) to guess how many deep dish pies would be left at the end of the day. “are you all crazy?” i asked, incredulous. “what do you think?” they asked. “NONE!. there will be none left! why do you think i bought all these pans? i know what the people want.” mark then says, “by when?” … meaning – if i say we will sell out, when will we sell out by? “9:30,” i reply without a pause.
later in the day i notice that every employee involved had picked a number from 4 to 15. mark, the day kitchen manager had said 10. tina, the day front manager had said 15. wow. i must say i was shocked, but then again, they are very seldom there on a friday night so i guess they just don’t know what it’s like.
i put my ZERO on the paper. and 9:30.
here’s where things get tricky.
danny comes in at 4pm and working in LSE he has no idea how many deep dish are still available at that time, all he knows is i am going crazy telling him that the kitchen is betting against ME and that they don’t know what time it is. a few minutes later i am back at LSE and danny is handing me a dollar and a slip saying we will sell out by 9pm. damn. i am thinking: “i should have said 9. i played it safe by saying 9:30 because no one else even thought we would sell out.” whatever. cool. i write down ZERO 9pm for danny.
let me tell you those deep dish were flying. at 5pm we had about 30 left and by 6 it was 20… by 7pm it was 13… by 8pm it was 8… (i know all this because i was texting my friend john who was dying to know the results throughout the night.) 9 o’clock was approaching and danny was looking good because we were getting real close. i should mention that it was about this time that i texted mark to let him know that everyone who had voted was out of the running and it was down to me and danny…
so, at 8:57 we sell the last (so we thought) deep dish. danny won. good for me because we sold out even earlier than i had predicted and good for danny because – well – he was the only one who had MORE faith in them than i did. HOWEVER- here’s the tricky part…. about 9:30 i notice a deep dish over there on the rack still and come to find out it was a “reserved deep dish” (customers can call in and reserve one with a time) but it was for 7pm… well, peter had been in, had ordered his deep dish, but somehow the reserve ticket had not been removed.
“we have one more deep dish!” i yell to everyone. sell this last deep! but it was too late… the waiting list was almost all sat – no one was getting the last one… and then at 10pm, the LAST table does order it, and so voila! all 40 sold. the big question is, do i win even though i said they would sell by 9:30 and it was 10? does danny win even though we actually had 1 left? does no one win?
the truth is it doesn’t matter. we sold 40 today, which is the most we’ve ever sold. they all looked awesome. it was a really busy night. everyone seemed in a good mood. the gators play tomorrow and you know i’ll be watching that. tomorrow night will be busy because the game will be over and there is the arts festival downtown. my son is about to turn 9 (monday) and it’s also my sister’s birthday and my niece too. the pinewood derby is next week and the weather is pretty sweet.
i worked all day getting the plastic up on the porch windows so folks would be warm. i bought and installed a new heater on the porch, and i brought out and tested the 3 patio heaters. i worked a 14 hour day and although that is not ideal, it is what i had to do today to make it all happen. what is the moral of the story? don’t bet against me. if i want to sell 100 deep dish in a day i will figure out how to do it. i have a competitive nature and our pizzas are so good because we all love to make them and we love our jobs. i am a very happy man. happy because i love what i do so much.