Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Black Saturday

Valentine's Day this year fell not only on a Saturday but also on a holiday weekend, so we were good and braced for a long, busy day.

Sarah and Neki raised spirits with Winnie-the-Pooh and Strawberry Shortcake Valentine cards. And Johnny Cannoli (sort of his real name) set the mood for the day by showing his love through what he does best: cooking. Before the restaurant got too busy, out from the wood-burning oven came a heart-shaped pizza.

What about that pie doesn't scream love?

So this holiday is known as Black Saturday because, theoretically, it's one of those busy nights that will help put a restaurant "in the black." Restaurants are infamous for jacking up prices and offering expensive set menus and overbooking their tables to help achieve this financial goal.

I will hasten to point out that this is not the case where I work.

In the industry, Valentine's day is also one of those events known affectionately as "amateur night," a night when non-restaurant-going folks feel obligated to go out to dinner. It's up there with Mother's Day and New Year's Eve, when restaurants are crammed with dazed and overwhelmed diners who might or might not actually want to be there. They are notorious for ordering cheaply, socializing poorly with the servers, and leaving tips not commensurate with service.

But we try to look forward to these nights anyway. Like any other night, we remind ourselves. Only busier. More challenging. We'll sleep really well after.

I only worked lunch so was spared the mania of the dinner shift, which, from all reports, was one of the busier nights we've had of late.
It was a night of controlled craziness, with the kitchen pumping out food at a furious pace and the floor staff scrambling in the most pleasant way possible, trying to appease a crowd of people who were competing for seats, food, and attention.

Me, I was home tucked into my recliner under a blanket with a big book and a big mug of tea while visions of festive pizza danced in my head.

All thanks to Jonathan for getting us off to a deliciously Valentiney start!

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