No you don’t…..continued

“So you want to open a restaurant….no you don’t” continues with a few brief observations.

“Restaurant owner” is just another way of saying “cheap labor.” Recently I have become the full time janitor at my restaurant. It is a long story but lets just say I am mopping floors and cleaning toilets again. It had been a few decades since I was doing that sort of shit but here I am trying to save us a few bucks by picking up cleaning duties. I have previously remarked on how totally fucked up your bathroom habits are in an earlier post. Now that I am the head janitor I can confirm more clearly how pathetic you really are when it comes to going to the fucking toilet…..especially my toilet.

Now everyone knows that the dudes have a problem with the toilet seat; put it up they forget to put it back down, leave it down they piss all over it like it’s on fucking fire or something. Everyone knows that about dudes. But let’s talk about chicks man. Ladies, ladies, ladies, if you are going to “hang glide” you have got to work on your mother fucking aim with that thing of yours. I know it ain’t no hose and it just kind of sprays everywhere but seriously you make the biggest fucking mess of all. Plus, you have all that lady plumbing stuff going on. Which, by the way, the Health Department requires us to have a separate trash can with a lid on it for. Then you go and still just toss that shit in the toilet or in the regular lidless can like everyone really wants to see that bloody mess while they are having their goddamn dinner. So ladies, I hate to be the one to break it to you but you are ten times as dirty in the bathroom as the dudes. The good news for you is that you have an excuse, sort of, what with your monthly visitor and the lack of hose apparatus. So dudes don’t get all superior acting and shit because we are built for good aim and we don’t menstruate so we have no excuse. All and all, both the girls and the boys need to work on their fucking toilet technique. Take it from a restaurant owner janitor you all suck ass when it comes to using my restrooms….tbc

Dear so and so

Dear Secretary Henry M. Paulson,

Hank my man, what is up? Long time no chat Mister Secretary of the Treasury. I know you are busy right now trying to get almost a trillion bucks out of the wee little tax payer but I had a little request. See, I own a restaurant and it is going pretty well. We have been open for almost three years and we are starting to make a few dollars (just barely past breaking even actually). I mean we ain’t getting rich and probably never will (we’re in it for the love Hank) but we aren’t throwing money at it like we did for the first two years. The problem is we would really like to live a little bit higher on the hog as they say and we would like to be doing that like right now. Plus our employees could really use health insurance, preferably with dental benefits and no penalty for preexisting conditions (you know, like the health benefits that you get as a member of the federal government). We also need a new a/c unit and we have to replace the exhaust duct that goes to the roof (have to bring it up to the ever changing fire code you know). The duct has to be made of 10 gauge black iron or some shit and that ain’t cheap Henry. Plus one of the kitchen sinks is leaking again and the floors in the dining room should really be sanded and refinished. The floor in the kitchen needs to be sealed where it meets the wall and the whole thing should be leveled so that water doesn’t run into the corners when it is being cleaned. Some of the dining room tables are getting kind of wonky and should be replaced. Oh yeah, when it rains really hard water seeps in through the back basement steps (literally a creeks worth of water) and I think we need to dig up the whole backyard/garden to create better drainage. If we are going to do that we might as well put down new pavers in the garden because the stuff back there now is like from the Seventies and shit. It would also be great if we could winterize the garden so we could seat more people so we could bring in a little more cash. I almost forgot, we really need a new exhaust fan for the hood as well as replacing the duct because the fan we have now isn’t powerful enough and when you have like two things on the grill the kitchen fills up with smoke and me and the other cooks start crying like babies. Plus it is hot as fuck in there in the summer so we really need the new exhaust fan and hopefully the kitchen can get in on that new a/c as well. Speaking of cool air, the basement is butt ass hot as well so we would need the a/c to go down there too. You know now that I am thinking about it we should maybe have a wine room built in the basement. I know it sounds posh and unnecessary but if we are going to serve expensive bottles of wine they shouldn’t be sitting around in 100+ degree heat all the time. It’s even hot down there in the winter because of the radiator pipes. We could also use a new set of stairs going into the basement but a nice paint job and anti-skid stuff would do for now. Oh, did I mention that we need a new compressor for the walk-in and a “sleeve” for the ice machine. Actually, if I could I would just rip out the whole basement and start over so it was nice and perfectly clean. You know what else would totally rock? An espresso machine! We could totally use one of those. I wouldn’t mind having some new saute pans as well. Jeez Hank I could go on forever about all the stuff we….tap beer for the bar Hank! Think about it that would be awesome. So anyway, like I was saying, I could go on forever but I won’t bore you with the details (you don’t seem to like those much anyway).

So all these things do cost money Mister Secretary and that is something we don’t have a lot of right now. Sooooo……Henry since you have basically “been handed the reins of government” as Bob Herbert put it, I thought I might ask for a tiny little hand out. Now I know you like to give the big bucks to those guys who like to live recklessly until it all blows up in their fucking faces and then they beg for hand outs like those “welfare mothers” you all hate so much but I thought maybe you would give us a little bit of scratch anyway. I know we have been overly responsible and haven’t borrowed tons of money from the Chinese (none). In fact, we have done almost all of this with our own money (It’s called “savings” and you might recognize the term from the Keating Five/S&L Crisis of the 80’s and 90’s) so you might look at us as being too upright and responsible for any sort of unfettered hand out. But I am going to ask for one anyway. Hank, and I am sorry to ask you this after having not talked to you for so long, would you give me a million dollars? I know it’s a paltry sum but that would set us right for the foreseeable future I think. If you like I could go and try and borrow as much money as possible at ridiculous terms from some dude in Chinatown. Then when I couldn’t pay it back and he was coming to take my wife into slavery until I came up with the cash, I could come to you and ask for the million bucks. I would be willing to do that if it would make you more inclined to give me the cash. Anyway, let me know asap because if you don’t a black hole will open up in the basement of my restaurant and suck us all into oblivion.

Sincerely,

Iceberg Wedge

P.S. If you could give it to us in cash that would be great. 50,000 twenty dollar bills would be perfect.

P.S.S. Don’t forget about the black hole. Chop chop Hank. Chop chop.

No you don’t…..continued

“So you want to open a restaurant? No you don’t” continues with a how to lose weight plan:

How to lose 30 pounds, look great and feel like shit.

Step 1: Decide to open a restaurant
This must be done when you are overweight by at least 20 pounds. Do not attempt this diet if you are at your preferred weight or underweight.

Step 2: Go ahead and begin the process of opening that restaurant
–There will be an endless amount of crap to do and free time will be at a premium
–Begin spending more time speaking to your contractor or city agencies then anyone else you know including friends and family
–Drink more alcohol and coffee and sleep less
–Start bumming cigarettes from everyone you see who smokes (remember when you “quit”)
–Stop eating proper meals and start eating at odd times of the day (you are rarely home and the kitchen at the restaurant is a construction zone)
–Eat loads of junk food
–Go to nice restaurants and drink bottle after bottle of wine, beer or sake and call it research for your super awesome restaurant
**At this point the restaurant probably seems pretty cool. You get to play architect and designer and chef and all sorts of fun stuff along with some of the crap. But prepare yourself for you are about to enter the bowels of hell.

Note: If done properly, all of the above may actually result in a slight weight gain (don’t worry you will lose it later).

Step 3: Finish the one million tasks which go into opening a restaurant
–Begin to panic and stop sleeping pretty much all together
–When you do manage to fall asleep you should have nightmares about things like the restaurant burning down (god I wish it had burned down, that would have been so awesome)
–Start eating less but drink even more than before (still researching?)
–Smoke more cigarettes (oh yeah, you are now buying your own packs of cigarettes because you started to feel bad about bumming so many from other people…..so not only are you overweight but you are a smoker again as well (congratulations asshole)
**At this stage you might have lost a few pounds but nothing major due to your alcohol intake and continuing research. You will also notice dark bags forming under your eyes, and your personal relationships will really begin to suffer. You taste food all day but eat very little because you a.) don’t have time b.) are too nervous to eat c.) are repulsed d.) would prefer to smoke e.) oh shit something just went wrong and you have to go fix it (all answers are correct). So you might be losing some weight now but not a ton because of all the drinking and “testing”.

Step 4: Open the restaurant
–Go into full panic mode–the first night you should be literally shitting yourself: what if no one comes? what if tons come? what if we suck? what if no one likes it? what if I just threw a few hundred thousand dollars down the toilet on my stupid restaurant dream so that I could become a glorified line cook?…..stupid asshole
–After the place is open for a few days you will begin to notice that you are a daily victim of Murphy’s Law. This is normal for a restaurant so try not to feel like a martyr.
–Drink water, beer, and lots of coffee instead of eating
–Stop sleeping altogether if possible (you will wish that you slept enough to have nightmares)
–Spend every minute at the restaurant
–Smoke constantly
**Your head will be swamped with a thousand things and your body will begin hurting everywhere. You will find yourself unable to pay attention to what your friends and family are saying because your mind wanders, and you are so damn tired but there are a million things to be done and the knot in your stomach will keep you from eating. The ironic thing is that you are surrounded by food and other people eating your food but you can’t bring yourself to eat any of it except for apples for some reason. This doesn’t help with your stress related diahrea by the way. But it does help you to shed those unwanted pounds.

Step 5: Get a glowing review in the New York Times after you have been open for a month

–Repeat Step 4 but as a suddenly busy restaurant with an instant reputation to uphold
**At this point you can’t comprehend anything outside of your restaurant world. Your friends don’t make sense any more but you now wish you had their 9 to 5 job and a pay check at the end of the week plus benefits (it is so excellent being your own boss…fuck you). At this point apples are even hard to stomach and beer just gives you gas. You become convinced that you can live off of Tums, cigarettes and the fat molecules floating in the air of the kitchen. You accept that 3 hours of fitful sleep a night is all you are going to get. You chain smoke and drink coffee by the pot. Then one day, about two months after opening the restaurant, you get on a scale and realize that you are 30 pounds lighter than when you decided to open that “dream” of yours….congratulations again asshole.

no you don’t…..continued

“So you want to open a restaurant? No you don’t” continues with all the crap you will have to put up with from people who have no idea.

Customers, strangers and everyone else who has no idea
And everyone thinks you’re a big fucking chef and that it is glamorous and they are intimidated to cook for you and it is a bunch of garbage because you have pretty wide tastes and are impressed with just about anything which someone else cooks for you partly because you are just happy you didn’t have to cook it but mostly because anyone who actually makes the effort to cook can come up with something nice to eat…just not everyone can work in or own a restaurant and truth be told they shouldn’t, it just isn’t for most people, end of…
Everyone has a recipe or a favorite thing they or their mom makes that they just have to give to you…”would you like that?” No I wouldn’t fucking like that, I didn’t open a restaurant to cook your fucking family recipes you idiot… And then you take a night off or even go on vacation and people are like “whose running the restaurant?” “are you closed tonight?” Yeah right, like we are going to close down just because we want a day off and if we did set it up so the place couldn’t run without us we would be really fucked…yeah sure we would save some money but then we could never take a moment off ever and tell me what is the more foolish; to hire good people and pay them a decent wage and take some time off once and a while or work every waking moment of everyday you are open and go fucking bonkers? And trust me you aren’t making any money either way in the first couple of years unless you get lucky or some how everything came together just right–food, press, reviews, location. We all die in the end but I just can’t see the point of trying to hasten it by working yourself to death……
Or your friends or colleagues come in on a busy night and are therefore convinced you are doing really well and must be making money hand over fucking fist..or they hear that we grossed a few hundred thousand dollars in our first year and they think “my god they must be rolling in it” and the truth is after cost of goods and payroll, payroll taxes, income tax (as if we had any income), rent, property taxes, equipment replacement, waste/spoilage, electric, gas, water, window washing (very cheap), hood cleaning, grease trap cleaning, licenses, sanitation, straws, bev naps, to go bags, to go containers, pots and pans, strainers, knives, spatulas, hotel pans, exterminators, refrigeration repair, all the fucking things that needed to be fixed from the previous owners because they were cheap bastards, electricians, plumbers (oh god plumbers), comps, car rental, dishes, glasses, dishwasher machine rental, new robot coupe, kitchen aid mixer, soda gun rental, upkeep, insurance (multiple kinds), linens, uniforms, phone/fax/internet bill, cable (have to watch soccer), toilet paper, c-folds (stop throwing them in the toilet you assholes), soap, brooms, mops, metal scouring pads, green scrubbies, bleach, bleach buckets, paint, curtains, floor mats/rugs, two screen doors, liquid nails, spray foam, bug spray, water pumps (because every time it rains the basement fucking floods), hoses, plants, flowers, flower pots, fence for the garden, fucking clogs etc. etc………So after all that we came up with a huge negative number and that isn’t including startup costs, purchasing of the business, remodeling or lease deposit!
Or people want to talk about food food food as if you are really that fucking interested after being neck deep in it for every waking moment since the day you decided to open a restaurant which you should have never done in the first place and certainly not with your own money…. I mean fuck, are you stupid?

no you don’t…. continued

“So you want to open a restaurant? No you don’t”… continues with a break down of the hours and work restaurant owners have to do.

Hours break down
Did I mention the super long hours?–60 a week at a minimum, usually more like 80 to 100. So you will have between 12 and 32 hours for yourself after sleep–assuming you sleep 8 hours a night (that would be nice).  And by yourself I mean this is the time you have to commute to the stupid restaurant you opened, shower, shave, shit, piss, clean your house, do the laundry, water the plants, eat, do the dishes (from plating take out because you have no time or desire to cook at home), worry about the restaurant, talk to your family and loved ones on the phone, go to the doctor/dentist (you are getting older and are starting to fall the fuck apart), shopping, getting a haircut, wondering what the fuck you have done to yourself, popping zits in the mirror, tweezing nose hair, checking out other restaurants, surfing the internet, reading, writing, listening to music, watching tv, staring into space, making love, drinking after work (sometimes before and during work as well), thinking about new menu items, waking in a panic and staying up in bed going over and over and over stuff until you finally fall asleep for an hour before the alarm wakes you in a panic over something else, napping most of your one day off and then by the end of those things you are left with next to no time–maybe a couple of hours to do something nice so enjoy your 2 hours a week of “free time” you dumb ass……  Oh well, you will probably be too fucking tired to want to do anything anyway.

All the Shit you will have to do
Unless you are using someone else’s money, which you should,  you have to do a lot of shit that you would rather pay someone else to do or just don’t want to do but must.  You are no longer just a chef.  Instead you are a carpenter, painter, builder, novice electrician and plumber, fix-it guy, stove and refrigerator repairman, first aide administrator, counselor, boss man/woman, celebrity of sorts (but not enough of one to really benefit from it), stock boy, dented can inspector, secretary, fish-chicken-beef-pork sniffer/feeler, hard ass, the guy who returns produce-meat-fish because it sucks, taster taster taster taster, story listener (everyone has got one and most are fucking long, pointless and boring), story teller, dj, host, accountant, bookkeeper, number cruncher, data enterer, payroll person, check writer/signer (you will do a shit load of  this), bug exterminator, rat catcher, fly swatter, recipe writer, food cost figure-outer, shopper, talk to stupid people on the phone person, yes man/no man, burnt/cut hands/arms person, hirer, firer, excuse listener, bitch, asshole, cleaner, mopper, sweeper, water bailer, garbage man, chain smoker, teetering on the edge of alcoholism person, talking to strangers in the dining room who wanted to meet the chef guy….clog wearer, fucking clog wearer.  Dude those things are for old ladies who have gardens, what are you gay or something?

All the things you will be or become

And you will be hot–constantly hot, ass sweat hot, you must always be hot, greasy, sweaty, stinky, unwashed, unshaven, hands smell like fish/garlic/onions/unknown foul odor that is reminiscent of the monkey house at the zoo (which you would like to visit but don’t have time).  You will always be either over-eating or under-eating depending upon the level of stress and panic and how you deal with it.  You will have burns and cuts on your hands which you will be constantly reminded of by salt and citrus.  Your back will ache and will probably totally go out some day when you are picking up a case of Idaho 90’s or 50 pounds of heritage pork butt.  Your legs and feet will also be sore from standing all the time and you will most likely spill scalding hot braising liquid into your clogs at some point–those stupid fucking clogs which are supposed to be so good for you and yeah I guess they are, but dude….you are a clog wearer, a fucking clog wearer…….tbc

No you don’t

So you want to open a restaurant? Actually, no you don’t. You want to use your own money to open a restaurant? What, are you stupid? If you are going to open a restaurant, which I highly suggest you don’t, please use someone else’s money. Someone who is willing to wait years to see any of that money again, if ever. Someone who needs tax write-offs and who gives regularly to charity because that is all you will be for years most likely…a charity case, a money pit.

All the things you will have to deal with:
I look with envy at small nonfood related stores, boutiques, and what not. What a simple life they lead; no health department inspections, fire department, sanitation, epa, liquor authority, grease trap cleaning, hood cleaning, exhaust fans, food poisoning, mice, roaches, mosquitoes, flies, ants, other assorted bugs inside and out, critics both real and imagined (everyone is a fucking critic-anyone with a computer these days fucking writes a food blog…boring boring boring. I mean fuck so you don’t like my food do you have to tell everyone about how much you hate it? how bad we suck? Is it that important to you that you would wish ill upon us? Wish that we actually don’t make it? So what if you don’t agree with what we do get a fucking life dickweed lots of people do like the restaurant and you don’t…..[take a deep breath]…I suggest never visiting a food blog once you open a restaurant…which, of course, you shouldn’t), high insurance rates, many employees (and who knew that employees could be such fucking dickheads…I mean I was an employee most of my life and never imagined I was such an asshole but there you go [and by the way we have been really lucky with most of our people and yet some of them still turn out to be douche bags]), purveyor/delivery problems at least once a week and often every day, neighbors who think you make too much noise/smoke/smell, people who constantly stick their faces on your just cleaned windows to see inside, leaving greasy smudge marks from their hands and noses (no really their fucking noses), screaming kids who are guaranteed to be there for at least an hour while their parents eat and ignore them, people who tie up their poor dogs outside and then they bark for an hour or two and often get their dirty paws on my windows, my just cleaned fucking windows you assholes…people who apparently have never used a restroom before and have no aim whatsoever with their urine, feces, paper towels, toilet paper, feminine hygiene, spit–who the fuck taught you to piss on the walls, shit on the seat, spit on the mirror, and then take a bath in the sink and spill water everywhere and then dry off with 20 c-folds (those fucking things cost money asshole) which you throw in the toilet and then you don’t flush….the only fucking thing you can make in the toilet are paper towels? you and your parents should be shot–and don’t even get me started with bitchy demanding customers…restaurants have by far the worst–I want this, I don’t want that, I’m allergic to this and that, no you are not you fucking liar, this is overpriced, this isn’t what I want, this is burnt, this isn’t cooked all the way, why isn’t there salt on the table, this is too salty, what do you mean you don’t take reservations, why did you take that off the menu… Fucktards the lot of them…….. tbc