“We are fortunate to have an accountant on the management team, able to work out what it costs to run the business: All the aspects from utilities, maintenance, food and furnishings, marketing and wages. Yes, that last one is important. Paying everyone who works for us a fair wage. Having worked out these costs, and factoring them into what we charge the customer, then hopefully there will be enough in the pot for us to make a little profit too.” Said Morgan.
“We need to provide guests with something more memorable than a standard box-room hotel. We need to find and hold onto great staff. Staff that will go the extra mile for everyone who comes through the doors, they will become memory builders for our clients. In fact, good memories, instantly take a client back to that place and put a smile on their day.” Said Alice.
“Our emotional investment in the character of Hour House should create memorability for the clients. All we are short of is finding a top hat and tails for you, Morgan, and one of those old Porter’s chairs with a tall, hooded back. Then you could sit in the entrance and help our guests with packages etc.!” mused Alice.
“What on earth do I want with a chair like that?”
“Canopied chairs carry a sense of drama and ceremony fit for a monarch, Morgan. You could sit there and be monarch of all you survey.” She giggled. “Carolyn might know where to find one equipped with drawers under the seat for your secret stash of sweets, or where hot coals could be placed to keep you warm on weary winter nights! She might even find one upholstered in leather, buttoned on the interior, in a colour to match your eyes. A hinged shelf that could be propped up at night to hold a lantern and a nightcap would be a help as you read the Financial Times!” Alice was really warming to this game.
“Are you saying that you are reneging already and I am being abandoned to the shadows of the night in the vestibule, even before the nuptials take place? ”
Suddenly the room filled with laughter.
They were sitting in the kitchen with Carolyn & George Knowles. One week after his interview, George was back to accept their proposal, give a starting date, and make suggestions of people he would like on his team. He had worked with all of them at different stages of his career, knew their skills and taken the liberty during the week of checking if they were available or interested in a new adventure with him. They were all interested in making the move. He had handed over the folder with CV’s and details of referees’ for all of them.
“I so want to check out this kitchen in more detail and check out all appliances are working to my satisfaction before we open to the public. Do you have an opening date in mind yet? Asked George.
“We have yet to decide on a function manager and the agency have lined up a day of interviews for us to meet prospective administrative, housekeeping and waiting staff. Are you free next Friday, to join us on the panel? “We would appreciate your input and expertise in the business. Who better to advise on waiting staff, than a chef they will work closely with.” Said Morgan.
“Good idea!” said Alice.
“I do have one appointment early on Friday, but a phone call is all I need to switch that to another day. I think I will enjoy being part of your team. Good humour is so important in any relationship and it sure helps as a stress buster in the pressure cooker atmosphere of a hot and steamy kitchen. I am not a fan of hysterical showmanship, I prefer a more gentle approach and laughter is one of the most used tools in my arsenal”
Carolyn vouched for George’s humour, she had known him for many years. It was part of the reason she had suggested him. She wanted this venture to take off and do well.
“We were thinking of opening The Oratory to begin with, it might help to put us on the map and build up a regular clientele of coffee sippers.” Said Alice. “What do you think, George?”
“Certainly! We will soon be into the festive season, most companies book their annual staff dinners in August, but there are always groups who leave it to the last moment, so we might benefit from them. How about a press lunch? We invite the ‘What’s On Brigade’, feed and water them well and hey Presto, we are on the map!” Said George, before adding, “First off, we need to decide on an opening date.”
“That is down to Alice, she has promised to make an honest man of me with a big splash ‘DO’ for the official opening of Hour House. Lovell will be home in a couple of weeks and we did promise her that new dress. So what do you say, Alice? When do you wish to be latched on to me?
“A big splash ‘DO’ for half a dozen people will look a little ridiculous. Lovell is my only blood relative and you have no siblings. We have promised Lovell a bridesmaid dress, so I am sorted, Do you have a best man in mind? Or do you intend dragging a man in off the street to act as witness?”
“What a dull ‘DO’ that will be. Said George with a wink, “Carolyn, I think that you and I need to come to the rescue. How about we act as witnesses on the big day? I am sure my new bosses will agree to me having an hour off. But wait now, I do not have a written and signed contract yet, so this will count as a pre arranged appointment, they will have to honour it. Right?
What do you think Carolyn?
I think you girls need to go shopping, while I take Morgan in hand!”
“Well, out of the box thinking, how about 21st November?” Asked Alice.
“Perfect!” Chirped Morgan, “What better birthday present could you give me, my Love? 21st November it will be.”
“Really?” Asked Alice, “You never told me, but it will be the ideal date, since it will be my birthday too! As Lovell would say:
How cool is that!
All other parts can be found on a page of the same title, just under the Header at the top of the post. Apologies for being so late today.