Thursday, March 13, 2008

Times they are a changin'

Well this week we brought in the Aloha P.O.S. (Point of Sale) system to the joint. I purchased it through a re-seller called the Bodnar Group. My buddy Dave Story, who runs the kitchen at the Jim-n-Nick's Smyrna location put me in touch with his Dad, who runs the re-seller. I've known for some time now that this was inevitable. When you run a restaurant by yourself and/or with limited help, you would be wise to invest in one of these systems. I have asked Dave to guest blog to further explain things, but in short it enables you to manage every little thing, from labor to food costs to about 100 other things that I wont list here. I am really excited about it, I'm excited about what its going to do to help me manage everything. It should really make a difference for me of about a 15% savings on my controllables (labor & food).
That being said we are all still learning the system and it is slowing us all down considerably. Last night felt like the first week we were open. We pissed a few folks off last night because our wait times were considerably higher than usual. Thankfully most of them were regulars and understood. I spent a good bit of time explaining our situation and giving away some free food, but its all good though......its to be expected.....and in the next week or so we'll have it down and it wont be a problem, but my oh my is it causing a headache right now. Today was a lot better than yesterday.....huge improvement on everyones part. I dont think it will take more than a week for us to get it down. That being said we may have to go back to the old cash register for this Saturday if we cant keep up. I'll post Daves blog here in the next day or so, its part one of a couple to come.
Oh yeah........2 guys on my kitchen crew is leaving in a week and a half, so I've got that fire to put out. That could be a pretty big fire to put out if I dont find some good guys real soon. We'll see what happens........the good Lord will take care of us.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The week/Atlantic Sun Tourn.

The week has gone really well. Last year March was our second highest month in terms of gross sales. Last week was very, very strong and this week has started no different, mimicking last years sales and some. That being said I think Ma' Nature is about to slow our sales down. Today though we have snow moving in. Now if you are reading this and you dont live in Dixie.......the mere mention of the word snow is cause for panic. Even if its just a dusting folks stock up like they will be put out for days. And this snow forecast will be even worse, because its not gonna be a dusting.......they are predicting 2-6 inches. We have not had that kind of accumulation in several years. All we ever get around here really is usually a dusting that with the help of some rain will turn to "black ice" on the roads. So I'm bracing for a real slowdown!
Last night we catered the VIP room for the Atlantic Sun Mens/Womens Basketball Tournament. Dave Story helped out......he was a big help! My Lipscomb Bison's fell to East Tennessee State though. They need some help inside! I'll be looking to do an audio blog sometime in the next day or two.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

More Whole Hog.

Some other pics I have from B.E. Scott's in Lexington. The Pit-Master is Ricky Parkers (the owner) son Zach. I have a few more coming from about 17-18 years ago at Thomas & Webb Bar-B-Que in Henderson (where I learned to cook). Hopefully I can get them loaded up. I have more of L & L Bar-B-Que (now Ole' Time BBQ) which is another place I hung around quite a bit back when I was at FHU. When I get my hands on those Ill try to get them on disc and loaded into my Mac for the blog.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


This post has absolutely NO relevance. Hickey & I cooked some Osso Bucco, had a little wine and decided to give you a worthless blog.

Mobile post sent by MartinsBBQ using Utterz. Replies. mp3

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Newspaper article in "Brentwood Life"

Here is the link to the article in Brentwood Life

Martin's Bar-B-Que and the Tennessee Department of Tourism

The week has been really strong! Yesterday we had an article on us in Brentwood Life (which I'll post a link to in the next post) which really helped yesterdays sales, particularly last night. But Tuesday and Wednesday were strong and I cant figure out why. Rain, snow, mud.......misery. Usually on days like that its slow, not this week. Dont know what the good Lord has in store for us today/tonight in regards to sales, but so far we've had a week comparable to late April/May. Could not come at a better time considering the bludgeoning I'm taking in regards to city/state/federal taxes. Yesterday Matt Burton came by to show me his new "attitude adjuster".......a 1974 Ford Ranchero with 351 V-8 in it. It is a very "proving" vehicle. We got our veal knuckles in on Tuesday and roasted them yesterday afternoon. I plan on making a stock with them today to be the base of the sauces I plan to make with some of the wines from Arrington Vineyards (Kix Brooks' winery). I neglected to mention here on the blog that the Tennessee Department of Tourism has elected to add Martin's Bar-B-Que & Arrington Vineyards to the their list of destination locations, much like they market a place like Loveless Cafe. The director of the Williamson County board of Tourism would like for the two of us to have a celebratory party for the occasion. I went over to Arrington Vineyards and Chris gave me a few bottles to play with. When I get this stock made I'll reduce the reds and see what I can make of it. Hopefully we'll be able to put a party together for the occasion!

Biz Blog #2-A; "Recession proof" foods

This article says it all.

What is this Blog???

You ever been sitting around cooking for your family and friends and been told the following: "Hoss, this is the best I've ever had in my dadgum have got to open up a place of your own". The thought crosses your mind to do just that, but for whatever reason you dont. Well I'm "that" guy that actually went through with it and did it. I had absolutely ZERO restaurant experience! I decided to start this blog about my own experience hoping that it may be of some use and help to others who might be interested in opening their own place.
I learned this craft almost 20 years ago cooking whole hogs on brick & cinder block pits at a couple of little BBQ Joints in Henderson, TN. I learned from old, lifelong career Pit-Masters, working with them as an apprentice during school off and on for four years. Over the course of that time I learned the old, time-honored craft of REAL pit barbecue. At Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint I am trying as hard as I can everyday to bring that time-honored authenticity to my customers.
As you read you'll see I've made some stupid decisions, and I've made some good decisions. If you are thinking of opening a restaurant, especially a BBQ Joint, read this blog! Maybe some of this info can be of use to you. At the very least you will be entertained because I pull no punches.
Now listen, this is my blog to not only help with information but my blog to freely rant about my day to day experiences. There is no real "bad language" on this blog but there might be some things said that are very "tongue in cheek". If you are easily offended and/or cant see the satire in my posts then please just leave the blog. It will save both of us the annoyance of each other. For those of you who do like satire and are looking for good information about this experience, then by all means enjoy!