Sunday Funday.... PaluSanto Style
WOW What a day! I’ve been toying with the idea of doing Sunday Funday again for quite some time. As is the norm for me, I’ve had numerous people almost insist on it and tell me I’m crazy not to. I had been doing it for a few weeks when this great restaurant on the beach in Garza reopened and was revamped. They started doing Sunday Funday with two great bands playing every week. Awesome ad campaign, perfect oceanfront location, great food….. hard to compete. So I stopped. Several months later, this restaurant went through management changes and stopped the Sunday Funday. Then it was May, the beginning of the “off season”. I thought about picking it up in July/August but it seemed much slower this year. Then I was at a restaurant in Guiones and heard this awesome band. Four young guys, NO vocals, but the sound was so fun and uplifting. I was told they were from San Jose and only play here once in a while. I assumed if they were a band from San Jose they would be entirely out of my price range for my budget. I left thinking, I’ll find a decent band somehow, somewhere. A few nights later, I saw them playing at another place. Everyone in attendance looked so engaged and happy. I decided to take a chance and ask what the deal was.
To my delight, they had moved closer to town and were available to play in Nosara more often. Great! When I asked what their fee was, I was pleasantly surprised and booked them immediately for the following Sunday afternoon.
It being September, and the height of rainy season, I knew I was taking a chance but I also knew there are quite a few more residents here than in the past. I knew I had to at least try. As news got out that this great band, “PaluSanto” would be playing on Sunday afternoon, I began getting texts and Facebook messages telling me how excited people were and how busy I would be. Oh boy.. this could get interesting. I immediately put word out for extra help to work that day. What most people don’t understand about this business, it is not a simple matter of booking a band and waiting for the customers to show up. You need a staff, more food, more beer/wine/liquor, etc etc. Y’all get the point.
I hired a bartender, a server and an extra person to help Krhisly in the kitchen. I thought, this is good; I’ll have plenty of people to cover the 50 people that will probably show up. I scheduled them all to come in early so I could go over the menu etc. Evidently I should have had them come in 4 hours earlier. We open at 10am and at 11:55am we only had 4 people. I’m thinking.. …. Oh boy, I guess I overestimated the “crowd” that would be here today. And thennnn …. 12:05………..BAMMMM…. Cars, trucks, quads and moto’s started to arrive. Oh boyyyyy. Here we go. …
Mojito’s, Margaritas, Caparanhas, Mint Limonadas, … “Can I order food”, “What’s the Wi-Fi password”? Holy Muther of…. All at once………..about 100 customers………. THREE new staff members………..oh wait, no, only 2 new staff members since 1 new server never showed up. Hahahahahaha…………. There is only so much you can do……….. you smile, laugh and run…….lots of running. Run to the tables, to the bar, to the kitchen, back to the tables and the bar…. Over and over and over again… People trying to order food with the brand new bartender who never had a chance to catch up from the 5,000 Mojito’s and Margaritas being ordered, let alone take food orders when he had no idea what was on the menu. It was quite stressful and but even more comical.
My neighbor, Mike, had come down to hang out and enjoy the music. He made the mistake of asking if I needed help. Hahahaha……..Ummmm Yes Please. Thank the heavens above he offered. He cleared tables, helped serve beers, helped me deliver drinks etc. I was more than just “in the weeds”; I was "in the very tall cornfields". Hahaha… I tried very hard to enjoy the day and the crowd. People tend to assume I am “upset” or “angry” if I don’t have a perma smile on when it’s busy. I am actually, 100%, enjoying every minute of the crazy, busy, somewhat organized chaos. However, when you have a totally new staff, and not enough since 1 did not show up, 90 more people than you normally have on a given day here in the mountain and you are coming up on age 53……….you need to concentrate much harder to keep it all straight. LOL There is a LOT going on and 98 of the 100 people are looking to me, calling my name, chatting as I walk by, yelling out orders as I run by and if I’m not smiling the ENTIRE time, I get… “Relax, Tranquilla, SMILE” (my favorite). Hahahahaha.. I can’t win so I gave up long ago. As long as all of my guests are enjoying themselves and I’m “somewhat” remembering all the orders, I think, “Good Job”. I keep plugging along, answering the 1,000 questions thrown at me, putting out fires, dealing with power outages, needs of the musicians, fielding phone calls…. You name it, I handle it. J
I have put a few new systems in place, I am far more organized than I was that first day and I can now enjoy my “Sunday Funday” with the rest of ya’ll!
Anyone in this crazy business we call “Hospitality” will most surely understand every word I have written here. If you are not in this crazy business, now you get a little glimpse of what it’s like. (And you can stop telling me to smile, relax, take a breath, cuz believe me, I AM smiling, relaxed and breathing, on the inside) J Someday I will hang up my “owner shoes” and find something less stressful, but clearly not as challenging and fun. Until then, bring on the next CRAZY, Chaotic event. Have a great night everyone! Pura Vida
FOOTNOTE: Thank you VERY MUCH to my right and left hand Krhisly Aguilar, my neighbors Mike Murphy and Tim Hartig for bailing my arsse out 3 weeks now and to ALL my very kind, understanding, patient, FUN customers for putting up with my Boston, Irish, Sarcastic arsse. Until next time. Slainte’