In the first half of this month we are, in percentage terms, substantially up on our turnover compared to the previous 2 januaries. Old Mr glass-half-empty-Dave still points out that the turnover is nothing like summer – but who expects it be?! The difference is, of-course, the weather. While the rest of Europe struggles to get on with daily life through ice, snow, floods and volcano eruptions and the rest of the world deals with floods and mudslides and random shooters, we here in the Pyrenees have been basking in our own bubble of wall to wall sunshine. So people have been getting out and about and coming for lunch.
It is bit erratic, though. Last Wednesday lunch saw a stream of people through the door until we had but one table left, a bit of a shock as we started the service with not one reservation! It was sheer luck, rather than good planning, that I was able to produce enough lunchtime menus as that was the big seller of the day. In a panic I did a load of prep for the next days lunch, thinking perhaps it was a bit of a trend for the week only to be really quiet. A lot of people ask me how do I know how much of everything to prepare and the answer is that I don’t, but your business develops a rhythm and you fall in with it. The one exception to that is the lunchtime formula which is just too erratic to predict. And that is why we can’t offer a different option every day unless we have sold the previous one and sometimes it changes mid service as we sell out. So what I do is make about 15-20 portions of a particular lunch dish and that runs until it’s sold. I will have a dish in my head lined up, so that I ‘m always one step (dish!) ahead. If we just relentlessly changed it everyday and threw away the leftovers, our margins would go down the Swanee. Not to mention it being a terrible waste of food.