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Friday, October 23, 2009

We are healthy.....or at least the permit says so!

Health permit is official.  Finally got it today (Thursday).  Worked until 2:30am Thursday morning in order to get it.  Was able to get everything done right before the inspector came by at 3pm.  That's the biggest obstacle and it is now out of the way.

Found out that we don't own all of our sidewalk in front of the building.  What does that mean?  We have to find another cart that doesn't go past our 42" from in front of the building.  Not getting rid of the one we have, but will need to get a smaller one to use.  The length isn't an issue, but the width.  I found one that is outside of Houston, but will need to get some money to actually buy it.  I am hoping that the owner will hold it for me until Tuesday.

If we can get the other cart and our occupancy permit, then the Halloween opening will go as planned.  If not, then we will work on another option and will still probably open on Halloween.  Looking forward to finally getting this company launched.  We still have tons to do and more stuff to buy, but we can get our daily operation running.

Found out that our local Restaurant Depot is now carrying everything I need for the business.  They carry pretty much all of the Vienna Beef hot dogs and accessories.  Had a great conversation with the store manager and he is going to look into getting the soups, chili, and other types of dogs from Vienna.  If they can do that, I will be set.  I will have to drive into Austin and pick it up, but I will save tons of money and not have a minimum that I am forced into purchasing.  Yea for Restaurant Depot!

First event is Saturday.  Pretty much have everything purchased and will only need to haul it to the site.  Still a little nervous, but that will pass once we get going.  Hoping to sell out of everything, but will be fine with making some money.  It should be lots of fun also.

Got our uniforms tonight.  I am wearing a red Chef Jacket and black pants and my staff is wearing red shirts and black pants.  I like the color scheme because it is not only very professional, but also fits our "Rock and Roll" side.  Won't be wearing the uniform in the restaurant, but only for special events and catering.  Will have a little more relaxed dress code for the restaurant.

In all of this work we have put in, I am lucky enough to have learned tons of new things.  I can now run plastic (pvc) plumbing, run electrical wires and hook up outlets (with my buddy's help - Thanks Joey!), and build shelves by hand....not put them together, actually cut the wood and screw it all together.  And I can also hook up a tankless hot water heater.  Not the one I originally bought (it leaked) but the one that my buddies at Lowes sold to me.

I am very proud of not only the work I have done, but the work that my wife and niece have put in.  Without them, we would still be wondering when the business was going to open.  They really pulled it together today and helped me get everything done with only minutes to spare.  Not sure what I would have done if they had not helped me.

*Just a little info for those who are wondering:

We started this concept back in March of this year.  Not in May or June, those were just some milestones, but actually all the way back in March.  I was recently unemployed at that time and needed to find something to do.  I had not thought of this at first, but my brother in law giving me that Chili/Cheese machine really set my mind at work.  My wife wasn't sure at first, but told me to do research and make sure this is what I wanted to do.

I spent uncounted hours doing research before we started this business.  I not only gained tons of knowledge from the internet, but from also going to Hot Dog University.....that is where I knew for sure that I really wanted to do this.  Mark taught me a lot more than he knows...considering that I showed up knowing more than I should have.  I know more about hot dogs than most people would ever know...except my friends at Vienna Beef, they know everything!

Why has it taken so long?  Some of it stems from my endless hours of research, some of it from working on the kitchen, and some of it was just physically and mentally giving up the idea of this ever working.  There were several times that I really wanted to stop and not go on.  I just didn't think we would ever get this done.  There were a lot of things that had to be done first and the task made the final outcome seem unimportant.

I finally had to receive a push to get my head back in the game.  I had grown to love the idea of this business, but hated the path I had to take in order to get there.  I was not only pushing myself, but also had my wife pushing me.  Those that know her can attest to how motivating she can be.  She stayed on me until I got my mind straight and pushed harder than I ever had.  Needless to say, I love her very much for what she has done for me and the business.  Plus, she came up with a really great idea that I think we are going to do.  Needless to say, it will take our business beyond just the hot dogs.

So why the change in my mindset?  I remembered why I wanted to do this in the first place.  I really love this business and am willing to do whatever it takes to make it succeed.  Am I very optimistic about this working for us?  You better believe I am!  We have the right ideas and concepts to take this business very far.  We already have preliminary plans to expand next year and ideas that will make us very successful.  I think that 2009 has been pretty productive, but 2010 will be the first year that we really shine.

And thanks to all the other who have supported us during all of this.  I really appreciate your word of encouragement and patience while we were getting setup.  Please continue to read the blog and we hope to see some of you real soon!

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