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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Some ramblings to be going on with.

So, we took over a pub and were full of fine plans and ideas. Within a short space of time we realised that it wasn’t important to change much about the Provi’, more a case of enhancing what was already there. A few more lights, a log fire blazing in the winter and a smile for the customers. It started well. Our chef; Karen, began to produce mouth watering food and people came from all over to taste her dishes. Things looked promising and we looked forward with enthusiasm. At first the long hours didn’t seem to matter. I would see Helen and the boys each weekend, although it used to shoot by and before I knew it they would b making their way back to Northampton. Then each day would slip into the next, I would cat nap when the opportunity arose and looked forward to the time when the takings would increase sufficiently to take on additional staff to allow me a break from the bar. Costs never decrease, but takings improved and targets started to be achieved. Throughout this time Karen was working six nights each week as well as trying to look after her young son and maintain a semblance of family life. The hours needed to make the kitchen work became too much and understandably Karen felt that she needed to hand in her notice. We found ourselves facing a predicament; we needed a new chef and quick. We advertised the position and even offered accommodation for the right candidate. We were contacted by several people who all seemed interested in the room and its potential view as well as needing to know how far the beaches are from the pub. When asked how experienced they were in the kitchen there was a long pause. Fortunately we were then contacted by a local chap called Gavin Stevens from Kingsbridge. Gavin had just returned from working in Australia and wanted to settle down in this area. His qualifications and experience were ideal and it didn’t take long to offer him the position. So here we are a few weeks down the line, the food is still great and the Provi’ continues its march towards profitability.

So what of us?

We have found the past few weeks extremely difficult. I cannot pretend otherwise. The boys are of an age when they need constant attention and rightfully so, Helen is working long hours and travelling long distances. I have to admit that over the last few weeks we have seriously questioned our future here at the Provi’.

No member of staff will ever have the commitment to a business that the owner has and we have had to accept that we are hostages to that self same commodity of staff commitment. We are so reliant on the food side of the business and we have already invested a large sum of money into this, but it is very much in the hands of others and that is not necessarily the way we want things to be. It would be very easy to leave the pub and just live in our cottage; I could have lots of quality time with the kids and see a lot more of Helen.

So what do we do? Well f**k it – I am not a quitter, so we will continue. I will endure the insults of Mr. K. (Statler) and the deliberations on the quality of my beer by Mr. B. (Waldorf) as well as enjoying the company of VP, the Euchre and cricket team as well as the host of other locals who regularly visit us.


Anonymous said...

hooray, you're going to stay. so pleased. drawback is you create a platform for that Statler and Waldorf. good luck anyway

Anonymous said...

So glad that you're hanging on in there. Do hope things get easier as time goes on. You've both made such a hit with us locals and we'd really miss your cheerful presence behind the bar if you quit. So..good luck to you and long may you continue,